Demystifying the Phrases in Race-related talk, Pt. II

page: 1
6
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 04:27 PM
link   
Unfortunately, my previous thread was shut down due to staff action.


I would like to continue this topic. I would further like to address why there are phrases that continually are used within race-related discussions.

This is not a rant. This is a research and discussion question that needs the help of everyone on the board. I will only entertain discussion on the phrases themselves and not on any aspects of personality.

Furthermore, I will continue to post sources and address the phrases in a scholarly light so to address the question why and how they are used. I think that this is a very important aspect of the nature of race-relations, because it asks the question whether these phrases reflect the attitudes being expressed in race-related discussions. Furthermore, they shed light in why there is a difference of thought between races when approaching these issues in American society.

This topic needs to continue so that we can hopefully reach possible solutions to better approach these discussions thoughtfully.

I will post some phrases I have heard, once again. And I encourage others to post their phrases along with sources proving their prevalence in race-related talks in RL.




posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 06:18 PM
link   
Hate to tell you this, Ceci, but...

This one's going the way of the dinosaur. Unless you can pick locks.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 06:37 PM
link   
As it stands, there is absolutely no reason to close this thread. A legitimate subject ready to be discussed by the members of Above Top Secret. Ceci, I thank you for authoring a thread for us so we can put this behind us and move on with positive discussions on a subject that means a lot to some of us.

If a member is out of line, please submit a complaint rather than calling them out. Calling a member out who is off topic, is off-topic in and of itself.

Please do not respond to this post in any way, shape, or form, as all of this is in fact, off-topic.

Demystifying the Phrases in Race-related talk, Pt. II



Remember, clean slate!




[edit on 4/2/2007 by chissler]



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 12:24 AM
link   
I sorta figured the thread would have taken off by now. It's unlocked, so it's fair game- anyone is welcome to take any stance they like. All we're asking is that members can avoid getting personal. We'd like to discover a way of handling these things that doesn't leave both sides feeling discouraged and beaten up on, and this makes as good a test platform as any. No it's not a trap- nobody is going to be "made an example out of" out of the blue- just follow T&C.

And by the by, as the newest moderator assigned to the forum, my U2U box is open to any questions, suggestions, or observations stemming from this thread.


Let's have one of them phrases ceci- seems you and I were discussing something akin to this subject before an avalanche of outside obligations pulled me away from posting for a few days.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 07:15 AM
link   
I’d just like to say that I agree with Ceci that there are phrases used in race-related discussions that are irrelevant, off-putting and damaging to race-relations on all sides of the issue. I believe the use of these phrases is one reason we find ourselves starting the race threads all over again. It’s as divisive for someone like me to be told that I am one of “the Master’s Children” (which is news to me) as it might be for a black person to be told to “go back to Africa”.

Both phrases are meant to hurt, deride and shame the other person. There is no mystery here, as far as I’m concerned. One is as wrong as the other; since most black Americans today were born in the USA and have every right to complain about policy or ask for what they want. And since most white American’s parents weren’t “Masters” and wouldn't own slaves if they could and we hate the thought of slavery and racism as much as anyone.

I personally am not interested in discussing or reading about how often these phrases are used or posting sources to prove how or why they are used. We all know they’re used and we know why. To hurt other people. I don’t need any proof. I’ve seen it. I’ve read it. What I’m interested in saying that each of us needs to take responsibility to do what we can to stop it. And since I can only control myself, it’s my responsibility to refrain. And I intend to do just that.


[edit on 3-4-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 08:33 AM
link   
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"

For example:

"white people deny the existence of white privilege"

or

"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"

or

"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. For example, one that I have recently become aware of is the definition of the word 'minority'. Here is what Merriam-Webster Online has to say about it:



Main Entry: mi·nor·i·ty
Pronunciation: m&-'nor-&-tE, mI-, -'när-
Function: noun
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


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.




posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 02:45 AM
link   
I have a few insights of my own from the previous posts that I would like to share before I post a source trying to draw out what I mean.

I'd like to reply to OMS's post regarding the phrases that he outlined.




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"

For example:

"white people deny the existence of white privilege"

or

"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.


Over-generalizations are never good. 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.

Such as:

"Not all white people think in terms of the individual, but in race-related discussions, some, if not most do."

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."

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.


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"

or

"Some black people just want a hand-out"


I don't think they are problematic at all. Logically thinking, some people might act/feel/speak/believe in such a way. And this would be proven by sources to back it up. It only conveys that it isn't a generalization made with malice. It also states that there are people who exist in society that this behavior is attributed to. And, it doesn't go into territory of making an "over-generalized" statement.

Again, this is "community" or "group-oriented". And, when people aren't socialized to think in terms of a "group", these aspects might prove to be problematic--especially if they see themselves as only individuals and nothing more.


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.


You might know some white people who just want a hand-out. But again, respectively, the statements themselves aren't misleading if they have been made with sources to back them up. And, if you have experience or knowledge that a group of people are doing this, then the statements prove accurate.

In case of "white privilege", there were a number of posters who actually did deny "white privilege". Dr. Jensen writes of other white people denying that it happens. Dr. McIntosh writes of other white people denying that it happens. 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.

So, that isn't misleading. It's describing what happened in actuality.


So in these discussions, I believe that a large degree of attention and care needs to be applied to the wording and phraseology used.


I agree. But who's perspective should we follow? What the dominant culture teaches us in terms of wording and phraseology?


And unfortunately the literature is rife with what I consider 'sloppy' use of language.


Duly noted. But, may I ask, who created this terminology?


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.


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?


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.


Unfortunately, not everyone has the insight into the usage of terms. That is why this discussion is important. It goes beyond the emotional intent of the word, but examines how it is used.

I'd be hard pressed to use minority, because I don't like it due to the reasons you have mentioned. 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". Upon researching this notion, this is due to "color-blind" theory in which any mention of racial identity is deemed racist by white people. After examining white privilege, it makes sense why. If the racial make-up of the dominant culture is rendered "invisible" due to whiteness, then we (as people of color) have to render our color "invisible" too. This typification only tries to erase racial disparities in society so that "some" don't have to deal with it. And problematically, this goes against what people study in the humanities.

If you can't even describe your own heritage, then you are adding to the "invisible knapsack" of unearned benefits that only white people experience. And that means assimilating to their type of thinking--opposed to what people of color have been raised to think about themselves. And once a person of color does this, they are also contributing to the luxury that "some" whites have in not dealing with or thinking about race.

It's not that simple.


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.


Of course not. But, in the end the terminology still gets used. And it is used in disparaging ways--as you have pointed out. But, I still think that this might have to do again with cultural perspective. And the underlying aspect of it here has to do with the differences of cultural perspective when using these terms. This also translates into how to make these topics more inclusive through investigating the mechanics behind such usage of terms.

I thank you for your contribution.




[edit on 5-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 03:02 AM
link   
Old, yes. However, this topic is still very relevant. In talk after talk, I have been bombarded with phrases that are used to cut off the conversation without putting thought into the meaning of the words uttered. These phrases had been used with such frequency that I have decided to make a study out of them to research their orgins and discover the socio-cultural intent behind why they are spoken. In the first thread, I made it a point to uncover studies and other writings to delve into this area because it is about time that a light shines on these phrases so that people can learn about them.

I doubt that when they are being said, people put that much thought in them. However, when pundits, citizens and politicians repeat these phrases ("Why don't you people take responsibility" and "Go Back to Africa"), these phrases are important because they contribute to the history of language use in America. Furthermore, they represent terminology that is rather loaded in race-related discussions.

Simply put, I think that when people use vacous phrases like the ones mentioned in the first thread, it is their way of trying to avoid the discussion of race all together. If they truly wanted to speak about race, then they would thoughtfully address the topic and deemotionalize it to the point of adding something new to the table.

But when they don't, these phrases are used with the intent of emotionally venting feelings toward members of another race. Heck. It might even be cathartic for the individual to say these phrases because they have certain feelings that they can't express any other way. But, in the end, these statements mean something. And, I have the curiosity of finding out why they are being said in an analytical manner.

People can feel free to add their own phrases and find some sources to back them up.

After all, this is a thread in which people can discuss their feelings about these phrases so we can learn from each other.

The only thing that must be noted is that when the phrases are being used, they must be used in repetition from a number of people in race-related discussions.

I'll put a few examples here, before posting a full list of these phrases:

"I don't see a color."

"I only see human beings."

"Stop talking about race and it will go away."

"Everyone can make it on their own merits."

"Stop screaming, whining and crying about race."

These are a few phrases that continually get said over and over whenever someone describes their experiences about racial disparity. And, by "deconstructing" their meaning and analyzing why they are said, we might get a clearer picture of why these phrases are often picked out and used with such repetition to the point of it resembling a "script".

I thank you all so far for your contributions. When I get a little more time soon, I will post some excerpts for everyone to read. I will also try to elaborate these ideas a bit more. But, I wanted to just put this out there so that people can continue to focus on the topic.




[edit on 5-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 02:27 PM
link   
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 :

"Uncle Tom"

"Dominant Culture"

"Oreo"

"Cracker"

"It's a black thing"

"African-American"

These phrases were also very prevalent in the threads that were closed and simply and succinctly exemplify "the other side" of the discussion, as it were.

I apologize in advance if this thread is only about phrases used by Caucasians in reference to Blacks.

I assume that as the title was general, that all phrases would be discussed.

It was my experience that any number of phrases were thrown around in not so obvious attempts to cut one poster or another short when that poster would present a point that perhaps was correct, but not in line with the beliefs of one or the other respondent.

I believe that one must seperate "phrases" from actual 'opinions' expressed in one form or another.

Example...

"Everyone can make it on their own merits."

Why is that a "phrase" and not simply an opinion?

I would actually characterize that as a "Conservative Value" far more than a "Phrase.'

We must be careful to not simply define a phrase as something that disagrees with our position. That in and of itself would not qualify it as a "phrase." A phrase would by definition need to be used to define another concept, principle or thought.



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."


Would this not also apply to the Black Race? Or Orientals, etc...

When discussing a humanistic concept, is there research that indicates this is only applicable to one race, color or creed of people? Again, assuming this is a discussion about race and not specific to whites. Would not any human concept cross race lines and simply be applied to humans?

The word demystifying is defined as:


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.
Online Dictionary


Would it not be more productive to discuss the phrases as they apply to all individuals, of all colors and not limit the discussion to phrases made by or directed at any single race?

Semper



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 02:58 PM
link   
The Two Sides of Phrase-Relations

I agree with semper that it’s vital to address both sides of this issue. I think it's important to note that in the race-related discussions here on the board, there are phrases used by black and white people that can increase the racial divide and contribute to negative results, misunderstandings and racial tensions. I think it’s important that we all recognize this and address it.

Additionally, we can’t say that a phrase spoken by one person means the same as if spoken by another. For example, "I don't see a color" could be considered a derogatory comment depending on the speaker’s meaning. Or it could be a statement meaning that his judgments of other people aren’t based on their race. That’s actually what I think most people mean when they say that.

Here is a phrase used in our race-related discussions that I’d like to explore in this post: In race-related discussions, some, if not most white people think in terms of the individual.

- Is there something wrong with thinking in terms of the individual?
- Do people of color also think in terms of the individual?
- Are there conditions or circumstances when it’s unacceptable to think of ourselves as individuals?
- Can people think of themselves as individuals and also part of a larger community?

The idea of "community" vs "individuality" isn't as simple as it may seem on the surface.

Circumstances

In some circumstances, people (regardless of race) think of themselves as being individuals. In other circumstances, they think of themselves as being part of a community. And not all people use the same criteria to determine whether they think in terms of community or individuality.

For example, regarding responsibility, some people think only in terms of the individual, some think in terms of their community, and some think in terms of the responsibilities of the individual and the community. To try to pigeonhole most people of a race into thinking the same way about anything is simplistic and more importantly, it’s inaccurate.

When it comes to being responsible, whether in discussions of race or not, I think of myself as an individual, because I am responsible for what I do or don’t do. I am not responsible for what any community does. I would like for other people to be responsible, but I am not responsible for them.

My Communities

Any community that I might consider myself a part of is not based on race. “My community” may be people of like mind; it may be the people involved in a particular discussion; it may be my family, neighbors and friends; it may be people of my town, the Southwest or The United States OR it may be the human race. All are valid groups of which I feel a part. But I cannot recall ever feeling that “my community” is white people, because skin color is not a valid factor for me to consider to be “my community” any more than hair color or eye color.

I realize that some people do identify their community as people of their race and I have no problem with that. But when I think of myself as part of a larger community or group, it’s not because I hold other people in the group responsible for something. And if they do not behave how I would like them to, that is not my failing.

What Does It Mean?

So, in my opinion, it’s too simplistic to say, “In race-related discussions, most white people think in terms of individuality”. And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure what the phrase really means.

Do you mean, “Most white people seem to think in terms of “individual responsibility” as opposed to taking responsibility for the actions of their race”? And if that’s the case, I totally agree and I totally approve of that statement. I don’t think anyone should be held responsible for the actions of others, simply because they share a race.

I just think it’s important not to oversimplify how “most white people think” without defining the terms of this generalization. Especially without having “most white people” actually weigh in on the matter.



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 04:05 PM
link   
Exactly BH...

It is imperative that if we are going to follow the title of the thread, that we ensure we are discussing Phrases and not Opinions.....

I think that "I don't see color" is just that, a phrase. I would define it as such because of it's frequency of use and multiple meanings as much as anything.

Whereas "Dominant Culture" may not be so much a phrase, as a definition, again depending on the usage and position in the structure of the sentence.

And "Stop talking about race and it will go away" would be a classic example of an opinion.

I included the list to accentuate and more specifically indicate that a phrase can be insulting and is often used by all races and not exclusive to any single culture. That said, should not the discussion concentrate on those that one finds insulting or derogatory? Just asking....


American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition - Cite This Source
phrase

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.


Semper

[edit on 4/5/2007 by semperfortis]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 04:27 PM
link   

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 :

"Uncle Tom"

"Dominant Culture"

"Oreo"

"Cracker"

"It's a black thing"

"African-American"


They are not phrases, per se, but if you want to educate others on these aspects please do have the sources to back up your claims. I know that you've been quite interested in what Black people say to each other recently. So I encourage you to investigate this and come back with some findings.


This has been your personal mission in a lot of threads, so I encourage you to delve into this aspect a lot more and see what you can find. Just like I have my phrases that I want to investigate and discuss, you do as well.

So, thank you for the introduction. Now, run with it and educate us all on these words.





[edit on 5-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 04:33 PM
link   
Ceci,

I had no intention of inserting anything personal into this thread. I am sorry of you perceived it as this..

I was under the impression this thread was the beginning of a new debate on a topic that obviously interests you.

As to what has occurred before, I have no intention of referencing it and I am sorry you felt it necessary as I was truly attempting to contribute to the debate.

My contention does stand however, that if we are going to discuss phrases commonly used in discussion of race, all sides must be examined or what is the point...

I brought out the issue with the hope we could all examine all aspects of the topic you have chosen. I again apologize if you perceived it differently...

Semper



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 04:59 PM
link   
Then, there are two ways to see this, Semper:

1)You don't have the intention of contributing anything except to cause discord.

2)You are actually curious about these phrases and want to research these aspects to educate everyone.


I think, in the purposes of staying on topic, you have to make yourself even more clear. It's not enough to say that "both sides" have to be examined. You've got to contribute your findings if you truly want this to be the case. I'm still waiting if you want to explore these words, however, they have been examined in other threads on the board.

But, if you can do anything to shed light on these aspects, please feel free.


If not, I am going to stay on topic with the phrases I would like to investigate.


However, I am very sad that your lines of inquiry fall along the number one reason.


[edit on 5-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 05:38 PM
link   
It was asked where the concept of individualism and whiteness came about. I am going to post a few excerpts here:


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.


And then, Dr. Robert Jensen's important words about white people and individualism:


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."



These are starter-articles to introduce this phenomena. There will be a little more in the future concerning this area. I find in my initial research in this area, there is a lot of ground to cover in terms of why this socialization occurs and how it affects race-related perceptions and talks.

More to come!


[edit on 5-4-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:13 PM
link   
I don't recall a question about individualism and whiteness. I gave my opinion on individuality vs community, but I don't recall the above question.

Anyway, this source confirms my point of view on individualists, which is what I am and what I will always be. Not because I'm white (it has nothing at all to do with me being white), but because it is my belief.



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.


It's a fascinating (fairly short) article and well worth the read. It's not about race, per se, but it goes right along with the discussion here. It explains many people's views on individual responsibility, including mine.

I think what we're coming up against here is that collectivists see themselves as part of a group that they really have no choice about. For example, Ceci, your posts seem to indicate that you have a strong sense of community with black people even though you have no choice about the race to you were born. Whereas my race doesn't mean that much to me. Not because my race is white, but because I am an individualist rather than a collectivist. The groupings that mean something to me are the ones I am involved in voluntarily, such as my friends, my dog groups and others I choose to be in a group with. Not "white people".

Very interesting.



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 07:29 PM
link   
Thank you for your reply, Ceci...



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.


Actually, I agree with this. Generalizations, like stereotypes, can have germs of truth in them that can provide insight into general trends and attitudes.



"Not all white people think in terms of the individual, but in race-related discussions, some, if not most do."


I'm not quite sure I'm following this statement. Could you elaborate on this, please? Specifically, what do you mean by

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."


Regarding 1), I am pretty sure I agree with that statement. I do not believe someone should be given any level of anything based on skin color any more than I believe they should be denied based on color.

Regarding 2), I do not believe the first part of this statement, and I am very skeptical when I hear someone say that they don't see color (or height or weight or whatever). They may not care but I think I'm agreeing with you that they see it.



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.


I'm asking for more clarification here, as well. Do you mean that one member of a community is responsible for the behavior of another member of that community? I don't think I'm understanding you, here.



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 sort of agree with you here. I think over-generalization also happens when people are not careful of how they communicate, even if they are trying to be objective.



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.


I agree that technically, statements of that type are, or may be, accurate. But the context in which they are used then becomes critical as the overall point being communicated may be lost.



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.


I'm pretty sure I disagree with you here. In Truthseeka's White Privilege thread, there were a total of 46 respondents. You, HH, Truthseeka and Phoenixhasrisen are the four that I know are black or mixed-race (with black in the mix), by their statements. That leaves 42 (there were some posts by Moderators in a Moderating capacity, I did not count them. I did count chissler, as he was not a mod at the time). Of these, 10 did not state a clear opinion, leaving 32 who did. Of those 32, we have 22 that either explicitly stated WP exists, or strongly implied they felt it did. We only find 10 that either say or imply it does not exist.

So I don't think the numbers, at least on that thread, support the proposition that most people deny WP exists.

CAVEAT: I do not know the race of most of the respondents.



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 do not know or care. I disagree with whoever did. And if anyone can put me in touch with whoever did, I'll tell them directly.
Without regard to their race, age, weight, education or anything else. They may have a good reason for the definition, and may be able to convince me, but so far I have not heard one I will accept. As to what term I would use, it would depend on what I was talking about. If I was talking about the portion of a population that is smaller in number than other portions, I would use the word minority - in its correct, numeric meaning. Then I might talk about the oppression with which that minority is burdened.



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".


Well, I suppose it can be - if someone said "look at that stupid white guy" or something. But I don't buy it when people say that. I ask them exactly what is racist about the pure use of the term. So the context of the use makes all the difference.



this is due to "color-blind" theory in which any mention of racial identity is deemed racist by white people.


Well this statement is inaccurate. I'm white, and I do not deem any mention of racial identity as racist. So this would be an example of an over-generalization, even in the absence of malice.

I'm running out of room, so I'll stop now.



[edit on 5-4-2007 by Open_Minded Skeptic]



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 09:47 PM
link   
Thank you Ceci,

I will ignore your number one as requested by the MODS and accept your Number two premise...

Examining "Oreo"

This author associates his disassociation with his personality and "lack of blending in."


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.
Blackfolk


So here we have a direct illustration that racism is NOT all about the color of ones skin and in this case, more indicative of a cultural exclusion.

Semper



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 09:57 PM
link   
Here we have more examples of color NOT being the contributing factor in race phrases. In fact these indicate political leaning as the root cause for racist remarks..


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.

www.thisistrue.com...

~~~~~~~

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.

www.webcommentary.com...


So, apparently the race phrases are used commonly to indicate a dissatisfaction with someones politics.

Again we see a common thread emerge here. A phenomenon if you will, that all is well if one agrees. however when someone, even one of a similar color, disagrees then they become a target of the phrases we are discussing.

Taking this phenomenon to a logical conclusion, one must surmise the phrase is used to belittle anyone differing in opinion, lifestyle or political leanings...

Semper



posted on Apr, 5 2007 @ 10:22 PM
link   
While "White Privilege" absolutely does exist, there are other forms of privilege that are practiced as well.


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.
Blogher


Using this as an illustration, one can only conclude that class plays an important part in the human play that is racism. Class and sex are indicated in the above illustration clearly.

Now following BH's connections of class to race, these situations are evident and conclusive to her proposition. Therefor "Class Distinction" would also be a phrase that should be examined.

I shall tend to that shortly..

Semper





top topics
 
6
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join