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Main Entry: mi·nor·i·ty
Pronunciation: m&-'nor-&-tE, mI-, -'när-
Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
Usage: often attributive
1 a : the period before attainment of majority b : the state of being a legal minor
2 : the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole; specifically : a group having less than the number of votes necessary for control
3 a : a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment b : a member of a minority group
Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Another kind of phrase that I believe causes problems in these discussions is the over-generalization type of phrase:
"[insert color] people act/feel/speak/believe in such and such a way"
"white people deny the existence of white privilege"
"black people just want a hand-out"
Both of these statements are false. Because people of [insert color] color skin are not a monolithic group. A substantial percentage of black people, do not in fact want any part of a 'hand-out'. Nor do all white people deny the existence of white privilege.
Even inserting the word some does not improve the situation much, as in:
"Some [insert color] people act/feel/speak/believe in such and such a way"
So, while statements worded in this fashion are technically accurate, as in:
"Some white people deny the existence of white privilege"
"Some black people just want a hand-out"
These statements are in fact mis-leading, because they set up the assumption (unconcious) that they are complete. Because I am convinced some [insert other color] people deny the existence of white privilege as well. And I know for a fact that some white people just want a hand-out.
So in these discussions, I believe that a large degree of attention and care needs to be applied to the wording and phraseology used.
And unfortunately the literature is rife with what I consider 'sloppy' use of language.
3 a : a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment b : a member of a minority group
Note definition 3a. My objection here, and the point I am making, is that even a respected dictionary source, and respected social scientists are inappropriately (in my opinion) overloading the word 'minority'. They are confusing what a thing (minority) is with some potential consequences of being that thing.
Given that (in my mind) vague definition of the word 'minority', it is difficult to use the word in a discussion. Because if someone uses the word simply to mean the group that has fewer numbers, someone else may interpret that to mean that group is subjected to differential treatment.
And indeed such a group may be. But that is a consequence and failing of current human society, not an intrinsic attribute of a minority.
It is true that not every white person in America (or on the planet) think in terms of the individual (self-oriented thinking). However, it provides the truth that whenever race-related discussions are conducted, the "myth of meritocracy" pops up by a lot of white speakers: 1)"Everyone should reach this level by their own merits."; 2) "I don't see color; I deal with people as individuals."
de·mys·ti·fy /diˈmɪstəˌfaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dee-mis-tuh-fahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object), -fied, -fy·ing.
to rid of mystery or obscurity; clarify: to demystify medical procedures.
American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition - Cite This Source
A group of grammatically connected words within a sentence: “One council member left in a huff”; “She got much satisfaction from planting daffodil bulbs.” Unlike clauses, phrases do not have both a subject and a predicate.
Originally posted by semperfortis
In any discussion about Race in general, is it not necessary to examine and discuss all sides of the issue?
In that context, should we not also include such phrases as :
"It's a black thing"
Who Invented White People?
White people are fond of pointing out that as individuals they have never practiced discrimination, or that their ancestors never owned slaves. White people tend to cast the question of race in terms of guilt in part because of the American ideology of individualism, by which I mean our tendency to want to believe that individuals determine their own destinies and responsibilities.
Dominant Perspectives on Reparations
Robert Staples describes the value orientations of white Americans on individualism as follows:
In human society each individual must make his own mark through competition for the prestige goals of his culture. The rewards of his victory in the competition are his alone, to be shared only with certain prescribed people (e.g., wife, children) over whom he has control. Those who have not achieved success or are without sufficient resources have only themselves to blame because of their inability to compete. The dominant group perceives that each individual is responsible for his or her own behavior. . .
. . . . The value placed on individualism is so entrenched in the dominant perspective that it cannot yield to foreign concepts like group entitlement or group wrongs.
It is so remote from the experience of most members of the dominant culture that it is beyond their conception. When African Americans identify an act that was motivated by this perception of inferiority, it is perceived by the dominant group either as a kind of paranoia or as an excuse for failure to perform in accordance with the mandates of a meritocracy.
34 words, 41 shots
Second, our whiteness (in the sense of white privilege) is a fact we cannot simply wish away. For white people to be fully human, we must take seriously the moral imperative for political action.
To do that, I think, we must give up on the pathological individualism of this culture and start to see ourselves differently, to see how our successes and our failures are always partly social, not strictly individual. I'll end by quoting from myself, from my response to my white correspondent who couldn.t see racism. My final words of that correspondence were:
"I think people in this country tend to see life as an auto race -- we're all in separate cars, racing each other, competing for advantages, seeing our success as requiring someone else's defeat. That's a short-term view, and it's the wrong way to understand ourselves. I think life is like an ocean voyage with one ship. We're all on the same ship. We're all in the same boat. When a leak springs in one part of the ship, we're all in trouble. On this voyage, there's no dry dock to head to make repairs. Life is lived out on the water, plugging leaks and caring for each other."
Individualism, Individual Responsibility and Freedom
Individualism is the principle that the individual is sovereign in his life and actions. Individualism acknowledges that each person is best able to determine the affairs of his or her life. ... Individualists demand that people not be treated as some faceless cog in a machine, that people shouldn’t be forced to act like a herd of animals or hive of insects.
Collectivism is the philosophy that the group is more important than the individual. Collectivists believe the rights and desires of the individual must be sacrificed for the good of society. Many collectivists are altruistic in their intentions, believing they know better than individuals what is good for individuals and society. They are unwilling to let individuals determine their own course of action, as they believe individuals might make the wrong choice.
Individualists see value in voluntary groupings, and many staunch individualists highly value family, civic groups, charity, community, religion, and society. Where individualists and collectivists really part ways is in the use of force to meet their goals. Individualists abhor force as a method of compliance, and realize that the individual is best able to determine what groups he or she wants to associate with. Collectivists approve of force, and view force as mandatory to subjugate the individual to the greater good of the collective.
The problem with America today is that its people have abandoned their heritage of individualism and individual responsibility, which are key elements of freedom.
Originally posted by ceci2006
But, I tend to think that if you can describe a group of people accurately enough without malice, then they provide a statement about conditions in society.
"Not all white people think in terms of the individual, but in race-related discussions, some, if not most do."
think in terms of the individual
1)"Everyone should reach this level by their own merits."; 2) "I don't see color; I deal with people as individuals."
I tend to think that it comes down to being socialized to think in terms of "individuality". When there are a group of people who build their values around "rugged individualism", then anything community related is suspect.
However, when others have been socialized to think in terms of "the community", then describing groups aren't as much as a problem.
Over-generalization only happens when people aren't thinking in terms of making a statement objectively, especially if there is an intent of anger attached to it.
I don't think they are problematic at all. Logically thinking, some people might act/feel/speak/believe in such a way. ... It also states that there are people who exist in society that this behavior is attributed to. ... it doesn't ... mak[e] an "over-generalized" statement.
In case of "white privilege", there were a number of posters who actually did deny "white privilege". ... And out of all the responses on Truthseeka's thread, only a few white posters said that it does occur.
That means, most (on TS's thread) did deny that white privilege exist, while only some white posters actually said that did exist.
Duly noted. But, may I ask, who created this terminology?
Well, who makes this term overloaded? When you do a survey of social scientists who have used this terminology, which race might you find uses it the most? And what would you use in its place?
I mostly use people of color or racial terminology (white, black, asian, Native American, etc.) when describing people.
But even here, it is problematic because I am told by a lot of white people that even the usage of these terms can be "racist".
this is due to "color-blind" theory in which any mention of racial identity is deemed racist by white people.
This has been bothering me for some time now. Ever since joining blackfolk, I've witnessed a good number of members bash the members in oreos for allegedly being better than Blacks and thinking they're special. I didn't see why the hate was going on and still don't to a point. Going to a majority Black high school, I got teased for talking properly, liking rock music, and liking hockey. After graduating high school and arriving at college, I didn't get as much flak, but I still got some. There was one common theme throughout the teasing. The ones to talk about me were Black. As a kid going to a majority Black school, how was I to know that not all Black kids thought this way? I grew up with the mentality that what I liked, nobody around me liked. I associated rap, r&b, and slang as Black and just because I didn't like any of those things, I thought that I wasn't "Black" to an extent. Oh yeah, my skin color is Black and always will be, but inside I didn't feel connected to my Blackness, so I withdrew more and more to rock music and hockey, which to some, looked like rejecting my race, giving back my race card, etc.
Once getting to college, my attitude lightened some due to seeing others like me liking the same things; but I still got joked on by individuals, and it still pissed me off. Thanks to being a part of NSBE, I got to see a whole other side to being Black: the intelligent, diverse side. I learned that not ALL Blacks fit inside a neat box o' stereotypes. I started to feel connected again and I grew to accept myself more. I even turned one of my friends onto hockey because of it.
I still get teased by some folks to this day and it pisses me off, but not nearly as much as it did in college, and definitely not as much as high school. I grew out of feeling bad for liking things "not Black." Hell, to this day, I don't listen to rap or r&b simply because I don't like it, and that's fine with me. I just wish others would be more open to accepting this. I also wish that some folks would realize that sometimes this can be a phase of childhood that some simply can't get over.
After a briefing on the coup in Haiti, U.S. Representative Corrine Brown (Democrat from Florida) said President Bush's policy for the country was "racist" and engineered by "a bunch of white men." That didn't sit well with the president's man she was berating, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega. "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," he told her, but promised that he would "relay that to [Secretary of State] Colin Powell and [national security adviser] Condoleezza Rice the next time I run into them." Brown, who is black, said she was "absolutely not" apologetic for calling Noriega white, telling him "you all look alike to me." (Jacksonville Times-Union) ...Racism: an appalling slur on humanity, unless committed by a black Democratic politician.
In a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Op/Ed, Justice Clarence Thomas was said to be black but, ‘with an asterisk’; meaning he’s only a pretender and not really black. Justice Thomas, a conservative, has had to weather racial slurs from Democrat black Americans and Democrats in general for years. Democrats consider it bad enough to be white and conservative. But, if one is intelligent, black and conservative, they consider it a personal attack. And now that Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, a conservative Republican black American, has decided to run for the US Senate—Democrats have become spitting mad!
n order to attempt to block (if not stop) Steele’s run for the Senate, liberal and leftist blogs are now providing a litany of slurs against Steele—on a regular basis. These include, as was recently affected (hers was affected by the liberal ‘mainstream press’) against Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, ‘doctored’ pictures to make Steele appear demonic. And of course the liberals’ ever-popular throwing of Oreo-cookies-attack-mode tactics continues.
Men reflect on black male privilege after rape allegations at historically black college
By Kim Pearson, 2:08 pm, Mon 23 Oct 2006
It's interesting to note that while the wall-to-wall coverage of the non-news in the Duke case continues, very little attention has been given to rape allegations and the ensuing controvery at two elite historically black colleges in Atlanta.
In September, as BlogHim Mark Anthony Neal reports, students at Spelman, a highly-regarded women's college, marched in protest from their campus to neighboring Morehouse College, a men's school that proudly counts Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among its many notable alumni. The women were protesting to raise awareness of the issue of rape after rumors that two Spelman women said they had been raped by Morehouse men in recent weeks.
According to an Oct. 1 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, only one Spelman student has filed a formal complaint with the local police, and the details of her account are "murky."
But what bothered Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African American Studies at Duke University, is the reaction of the Morehouse students. Neal reports the eyewitness account of Spelman history professor William Jelani Cobb, who says that a number of Morehouse students jeered the Spelman students, and only a few of them joined the march. The Morehouse Student Senate condemned the protestors for creating a "hostile environment" and for failing to solicit the permission and involvement of the Morehouse student government. Neal says the Morehouse men's response reflects a common failure by black men to recognize their own privilege:
Black men often think that they lack privilege, but that is in relation to the relative privilege of their white male peers. Their privilege, in relationship to black women is real and it is often the basis, particularly within elite black institutions, that black women are expected to serve the needs—politically, socially, emotionally and sexually—of black men. In many ways the reaction of some Morehouse men, to the Spelman FMLA protest, has to do with the willingness of those women to challenge the social contract between them. Until black men are willing to break ranks with their masculine privilege, any claims of support—heartfelt or not—will ring hollow.