reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
I'm going to disagree with this bit
Well, I did say no amount of calm discourse or social pressure is likely
to change them, not no amount "could possibly" change them.
Yes, beliefs can be changed. Case in point: in the example I gave, beliefs were instilled in the first place. That's a change.
It took time, thought and lots of discussion
to discover what I truly believed.
In my case, my perspectives on race started started out as vague emotional tendancies without any real understanding of them. Curiously, the first of
the two "emotionally traumatic" events I mentioned in a previous post really had very little to do with black people. It was the reaction of my own
mother that started it. We were playing the game gauntlet in an arcade together, and the arcade attendant, a black woman, was watching us play. I was
warning my mother about one of the monsters in the game, "death." She asked what it looked like and I said it was black. It was a completely
innocent statement. My mother, however, was horribly embarrassed, got very quiet and then left. I had no idea what was going on. Later she ranted and
raved and screamed at me for putting her in such a "humiliating" position, and never played arcade games with me again. At the time, it had never
occurred to me to identify "black" as in the color with "black" as in the race. In my mind they were no more similar than grape flavored candy and
the taste of real grapes. No similarity, they just happened to have the same name. But for my mother to yell and panic and scream the way she
did...claerly, in my mind there was something very important going on that I didn't understand. Up until that day, I don't remember having any more
distinction in my mind between black people and white people and people with really good tans. My next encounter with a black person was being beaten
up by a total stranger at school while others watched and didn't care. 7th grade. I was a small kid, and he was fully a foot taller than me. I had no
idea who he was. He walked up to me and said that people had told him I was saying bad things about him. I replied that I had no idea who he was...how
could I possibly have been saying things about him? Apparently he didn't like that answer and decided that would be a good time to beat the # out of
me. In the middle of a crowd of people who just watched casually and kept walking, pretending it wasn't happening. I didn't even know who he was.
Just some random big black guy I had never seen before.
So, the lesson learned was: no wonder my mother was so terrified. Saying the wrong thing around a black person means you may get beaten into a pulp.
And nobody will say or do anything about it because it's not socially acceptable to point out bad things if the person doing them is black.
There have been a number of events in my life that have reinforced those two events, and I've had a lot of years to think back on it all, but I have
the advantage of very clearly remembering
how it all started. I remember
being unaware of black people being any different than anybody
else, and I remember
the events that led to that change of awareness. I'm guessing most people probably don't. Can you imagine what it would
be like, living your entire life having felt those fears, those terrors, but never having any idea where they came from?
Ironically, after all these years, it's not black people that bother me nearly so much as the way white people react to blacks. Sure, some blacks are
thugs and rapists. But it's usually whites who drop nuclear bombs and have crusades and inquisitions. White supremecists are delusional if they
believe blacks have any kind of monopoly on murder and cruelty. But...oh...if you try to acknowledge that blacks can be thugs and rapists, if you try
to people about it...white people will be on your case in a heartbeat telling you how evil and horrible and "ignorant" you are.
I can point to statistics that demonstrate that asians tend to be smarter and more well behaved than whites. And when I do that, nobody has a problem
with it. They're just facts. Nothing more. But point out those same statistics showing whites smarter and better behaved than blacks, and you invite
a hellstorm of fury and anguish. "White pride" is evil, but "black pride" is holy and proper and good, and has an entire month on the calendar to
celebrate it. That bothers me
Once I started to think logically
Once I started thinking logically about race, my beliefs about it, and the beliefs of others...I began to conclude that people who insist we're all
the same are deluding themselves to conform to the social climate of the day. It's socially acceptable to like or dislike people because of their
religion. It's not socially acceptable to dislike people because of their race. Unless they happen to be white, in which case most people will let it
go. Again...I can make a sweeping statement like "asians are usually good at math" or "white men can't dance" and nobody will try to crucify me.
Whether or not they're true, it won't bother people, and many people will accept them as true. I can even say that "asians average 6 points higher
on IQ tests than whites, and less than 2% of US prison inmates are asian" and nobody will so much as blink. But try saying "blacks are seven times
more likely than people of other races to commit murder in this country" or "whites average 17 points higher on IQ tests than blacks" and you
invite anger, ridicule and denial, no matter how true these statements might be.
Why is that?
[edit on 12-9-2009 by LordBucket]