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Why pretend race doesn't matter?

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posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 07:49 PM
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masqua made some wonderful points. I have a few to add. Can't promise that they'll be wonderful, but they are things I realized in just the past few years. (I'm in my 50s and still learning, thankfully).

Ever since I've been aware of the inequality perpetrated by American society upon the darker tribes, I have wanted so badly to "prove" that I see all people equally. I wanted to be one of the "color-blind". This led me to kind of "force" the belief that we are equal, even though my education and context from my youth told me otherwise.

It bothered me that black people had Black History Month, NAACP, Ebony Magazine and BET Network, etc.. because the very fact of them indicated "inequality".

After many discussions and much inner reflection, one day it just hit me. We are not completely equal. Not because of intelligence, ability, drive, motivation or desire, but because of HISTORY. Two people, no matter how equal in every other respect, cannot be thought of as truly equal if their histories are so radically different that they so strongly affect the final product. And I believe that's the case with the tribes of the United States.

A people, who have been discriminated against their whole lives (and don't be fooled, black people still are), who are taught from a very young age that they will have it harder in life than white people, who are told in so many ways by society that because of the color of their skin, they do not deserve the same chances, the same opportunities, the same privileges as their lighter brothers and who, most of all, have the legacy of slavery imprinted on their souls... these people are living with a lifetime of experiences that we aren't even aware of. This history, along with the daily experience of how many white people think of them, could certainly wear on a person's psyche and hurt like I can't imagine.

I don't mean to speak for black people, as I cannot possibly. But this is what I have come to understand from talking with them with an open mind and an open heart.

I used to argue with a member here. Some of the long time members will remember. But only after having knock-down drag out fights with her and after she was gone, did I start to realize what she was saying to me... (even though she had a horrible way of trying to get her point across...)

No, we are not equal. Not in a "light is better than dark" way, but in the way that we can never know what it's like to be a dark man in a light man's world. And they can never know what it's like to be born with the skin color of privilege. Our histories set us apart.

A people who have been discriminated against for 400 years cannot just pop into the game. We can't just say, "All right you guys, we have decided that racism is over. We're tired if it and it's time to be equal to us now. Come on. Get with the program. Get rid of all your History Month, NAACP, Ebony Magazine and BET Network and all that special crap. You don't need it anymore. You want to be equal, OK. The time has come."... That's just another way for white people to tell them what to do. It's absurd and arrogant! (And I have argued the exact opposite of what I'm saying now, so I KNOW beliefs can change.
)

One thing that really helped me was this show. It's incredible.

Meeting David Wilson

Race Based Doll Test

Sorry for the ramble...

[edit on 12-9-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]

[edit on 12-9-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
Ok. But rather than repeating it, how about try to explain to me why you believe it? I recognize that you may have strong feelings on the matter, but let's leave out politics and emotions for the moment, and discuss it.


It just so happens that politics IS the problem. The politics of Empire and colonialism. Perhaps you missed my previous post in this thread and the link within it.

Rather than merely 'believe' it, I'd rather 'know' by looking at the historical evidence regarding the roots of racism and what its primary purpose was.


To me, saying that "there is only one race of human" doesn't seem all that different than claiming that "there is only one breed of dog." Would you seriously suggest that the difference between a chihuahua and a great dane are merely due to "geography, diet and societal stresses?"


As a matter of fact, all breeds of dogs came from the wolf, who over many thousands of years of breeding and social interaction with humans, became the myriad of types we now see. Some were bred for hunting and others for herding.


Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences were analyzed from 162 wolves at 27 localities worldwide and from 140 domestic dogs representing 67 breeds. Sequences from both dogs and wolves showed considerable diversity and supported the hypothesis that wolves were the ancestors of dogs.

www.sciencemag.org...



From the tiniest Chihuahua to the powerful and massive English Mastiff, modern domesticated dogs come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes, with an equally diverse range of temperaments and behaviors. And yet, according to genetics, all dogs evolved from the savage and wild wolf — in a transformation that occurred just 15,000 years ago.

www.pbs.org...



www.nwcreation.net...
www.highbeam.com...


Why are humans "magically different?"


As you can see, they're not.


Do you really believe that if you were to deposit, for example, a dutch family into south africa, that after a couple generations of south african "geography, diet and societal stresses" they would become just like the natives?


No. It would probably take approximately 1000 generations but a much shorter time if interbreeding were prevalent.


If so, why have the boers not come to resemble native africans after these past couple hundred years?


A hundred years is nothing. That would be like saying a Tyranosaurus Rex became a chicken over 10 generations. Even small evolutionary changes, like skin colour, take many millenia.

BTW... interesting you use the Boers as an example. My great grandfather was an advisor to Smuts.


BB Code edit

[edit on 12/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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You can't say indefinitely that some voters didn't vote for the man because he's mixed and black....Just like you can't say all whites are fine with all blacks...

Racism is there just like hate- it'll take a very long time to go away. Look at the world- racism has been going on for ages. The issue today is theres always one bad apple that does something that's one type of race that people tend to judge the people of that race by...People today are much more accepting but look at what happened recently with the Holocaust museum shooting...Some people just won't let go.



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:05 PM
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Obama surrounds himself with racists. What does that make him?



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by masqua
 




It just so happens that politics IS the problem. The politics of Empire and colonialism. Perhaps you missed my previous post in this thread and the link within it.

Rather than merely 'believe' it, I'd rather 'know' by looking at the historical evidence regarding the roots of racism and what its primary purpose was.


Neither this response, nor the previous post you linked answer my question. Saying that you'd "rather know" comes across as a coy way of saying that you don't really have any reason. For example,


Question: "Why do you believe there's a God?"
Response: "I don't merely believe, I
know there's a God."


That's all well and good, but it's not a reason.

Reading through the other thread referenced in that other post...so far as I can tell, you're not actually giving any logical reason there either. You appear to be saying that the word "Race" was originally used to describe observable differences amongst different people, but that those observable differences were later used to justify ideologies that you happen to disagree with, and therefore there is no such thing as race.

I'm sorry, but that logic doesn't work for me.



It would probably take approximately 1000 generations but a
much shorter time if interbreeding were prevalent.


Ahh. So you're saying that blacks and whites are 1000 generations worth of genetics apart. Ok. How do you reconcile that with the idea that "there is only one race?"

You might as well say: "There is only one breed of dog. But the different types of dog that you mistakenly think are different breeds, are really just the same breed that happens to be different by a thousand generations of difference."

Do you see why what you're saying doesn't make a lot of sense to me? Why not simply call dogs separated by 1000 generations of difference, diferrent breeds? Why not simply call humans separated by 1000 generations of difference, different races?



interesting you use the Boers as an example.


They seemed the most suitable example.



[edit on 12-9-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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Copernicus, last I think Russians and Americans are still the same race.

As to race and Obama.
His race matters and comes to the forefront in a negative way because he is associated with very unpopular legislation.

Had he ushered in somethng showing that he really had the interests of the people at heart, almost everyone would love him and in their eyes his color would fade to just another guy with a sun tan.

Benevalent Heretic, the darker races have always been and always will be looked down upon. Why this is no one seems to know. It is just a fact of life. Even among the dark races there is pregudice against the darkest among them.

Those who say there is only one race are simply in denial.
Humans are a species. There are different races, each having distinquishing characteristics. The negroid race has a unigue one of a kind in the world of Earth mammals, hair structure, in that it has no central core. It is solid all the way thru.



[edit on 12-9-2009 by OhZone]



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by LordBucket
 


I have no desire to get into circular arguments with you. If you want to believe that there are seperate races which define mankind, then there is nothing I can say or present to you which will change your mind.

This is what I know:




"Race" first appeared in the English language around the 17th century. North Americans began to use the term in their scientific writings by the late 18th century. Racism was developed and popularized by scientists in the 19th century, as they were regarded as purveyors of truth. At the time this ideology also explained political and economic conflicts in various parts of the world and legitimized the dominant role of British capitalism in the world economic system. Racism is universal and is evident in many different ethno-racial groups. It is not limited to white groups.
By the mid-19th century, there was general agreement that the worlds population could be divided into a variety of races: groups of people who shared similar phenotypical attributes, eg, skin colour, hair texture. This process of race categorization is referred to as racialization and is necessary for the emergence of racism as an ideology.

www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com...




There has been a constant pressure from social and political practice and the coincidence of racial, cultural and social class divisions reinforcing the social reality of race, to maintain “race” as a human classification. If it were admitted that the category of “race” is a purely social construct, however, it would have a weakened legitimacy. Thus, there have been repeated attempts to reassert the objective biological reality of human racial categories despite the evidence to the contrary.


raceandgenomics.ssrc.org...



DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans.

www.ornl.gov...


You can either buy into the ideology or toss it by the wayside. It's up to you.



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 10:54 PM
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Masqua, this "social construct" existed long before it was defined in words.

There was/is the cast system in India that is thousands of years old.
The blackest people are/were the "untouchables".

Race is more than skin deep, and more than culture deep.
It is not bad to recognize it.
In fact it is necessary and desireable.

Pharmaceuticals
Race-Based Medicine Arrives
medicine

race and medicine



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by OhZone
 


Let's go back to the Original Post:



Originally posted by OldDragger

Over and over i hear people say that Obama's race doesn't matter. Of course it does.
Is there really anyone out there that is so lost they think that people aren't concerned with race? Please. Are you aware of the fact that non whites didn't have full civil rights ( legally ) until 1964?
Do you realize a great number of Americans living right now were around in 1964?
I'd guess at least 20% of Americans have a problem with having a black President.
Don't say he's half white, in America if you look black, YOU ARE BLACK! Spare me your "reverse racism" bal;oney, this thread is about racism towards Obama.
It's funny how NOBODY can just admit it bugs them that we have a black man as President!


I agree with OldDragger in that Obama's skin colour seems to matter to many Americans but that they will not openly say so because of the stigma that is associated with making such a statement.

My only disagreement is in the term 'race' since it is a fallacious ideology not based in genetic fact. Before racialization occured, as you noted, distinctions were made between people of colour. I call it tribalism and it certainly does precede racism.

I've a thread going in which that can be debated, but I think it would be wrong to derail this thread any further from what the original poster intended.

Regarding the Nitromed link you provided, it is quite controversial:


Duster, president of the American Sociological Association, writes that research on isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine (BiDil), produced by NitroMed, incorrectly links a biological idea of race to heart disease and that socioeconomic factors better explain susceptibility to heart disease. Duster's analysis appears in Science magazine.

"Race is such a dominant category in the cognitive field that it can leave its own indelible mark once given even the temporary imprimatur of scientific legitimacy by molecular genetics," Duster writes, expressing concern for the precedent the NitroMed study may set.

However, Duster encourages continued research to match genetics and medical treatment.

www.news-medical.net...


One can find racial distinctions being made everywhere, even on CNN.


It doesn't mean it's fact.

grammar edit







[edit on 12/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




I have wanted so badly to "prove" that I see all people equally.
I wanted to be one of the "color-blind".


Yes. And for many people this desire leads not to color-blindness...but simply blindness.



We are not completely equal.


...I would say it depends on what you mean by that. "Equality" is not neccesarily "equivalency." One can have "equality of law" or "equality before God" whether or not one has "equality" of wealth, awareness, intelligence, or any other quality one chooses to look at.

We are equal in the regard that we operate under the same rules. We are equal in terms of potential. We are not equal in terms of ability. It is readily observable that different people have different measures of ability. I may be a better orator than my neighbor. He may have more wealth. Or he might not. It doesn't neccesarily "balance out" between individuals. My dog isn't neither as intelligent, nor as wealthy, as I am.

However, we are equal in our relation to natural and spiritual law. My dog is limited to the extent of his awareness, as am I. The only difference is the extent of our awareness. That is all. The force of gravity is identical upon both a fat and a skinny man. It treats them equally. It is they who are different.



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by masqua
 




I agree with OldDragger in that Obama's skin colour seems matter to many Americans but that they will not openly say so because of the stigma that is associated with making such a statement.


Yes. Very likely. There's still a lot of fear and anger over race in this country. In a way it's very refreshing to go to a country like Japan where they still have the integrity to put up signs that say "Japanese only." It may be mildly inconvenient for those of us who aren't Japanese, but I appreciate the honesty. Here in the US, the norm is more like "Oh, look...the president is black. BUT OMG I'M SO NOT A RACIST!!! REALLY I'M NOT! I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE AND HALF MY FRIENDS ARE BLACK AND I CUT MYSELF TO CELEBRATE MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIRTHDAY 'CUZ I'M NOT A RACIST PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE BELIEVE ME REALLY I'M NOT!!!!"

What's that line? "Me thinks she doth protesteth too much."



president of the American Sociological Association, writes that


Yes. It comes as no surprise that the president of a Sociological association would object to pharmecuetucals being developed to target specific races. Meanwhile, religious zealots can object to the work of archeologists, because obviously dinosaurs never existed, and the fossils they keep finding are just tools of Satan to delude us.

At some point, you might consider looking at the data instead of figuring out ways to interpret it to match your conclusions.



posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
At some point, you might consider looking at the data instead of figuring out ways to interpret it to match your conclusions.


My last reply to you on this topic:

I've supplied nothing but data to support my conclusions.

You?

Nada.



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by masqua
 




I've supplied nothing but data to support my conclusions.


Umm...no? You gave a bunch of links, but did you actually read them? Only one of them even addresses your claim.

Here's a complete list of all the "data" you've provided:

1) www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com...
Summary: "Scientists coined the term 'race' in the 17th century to describe observed differences amongst people. 200 years later people started using those observations to justify being mean to each other. Theory: if those differences weren't there in the first place, it would be difficult to justify being mean to people. This is true, but irrelevant. It doesn't in any way suggest that those differences are invalid. It just says it would be awfully convenient if they were."

2) www.merriam-webster.com...
Summary: "Websters definition of racism. That's nice, but so what? You're claiming that race does not exist. Providing a definition for racism does not demonstrate that race doesn't exist any more than providing a definition for 'religious hatred' would demonstrate that religion doesn't exist."

3) www.sciencemag.org...
Summary: "All the variety of dogs we see today share a common ancestor in the wolf. Ok, again...so what? You acknowledge that there are a variety of types of dogs, why wouldn't you acknowledge that there are a variety of types of human?"

4) www.pbs.org...
Summary: "Reiteration that all dogs share a common ancestor in the wolf. Once again...so what? Your pointing out that all the variety of dogs we see today can come from a single ancestor 15,000 years ago fits in much more nicely with the idea that humanity could similarly vary after having come from a single ancestor than it does with your notion that even though we have evidence that dogs are different...humans are all the same for some reason. This link REFUTES your position by providing a counter-example."

5) www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com...
Same source as #1 above. You quoted it twice, as if repeating it would make it more convincing.

6) raceandgenomics.ssrc.org...
Aha! This one at least talks about what you're talking about. I note that apparently the entire website this link is on exists to promote the particualr social agenda that you are, and thus might not exactly be considered impartial. It's analagous to me quoting Stormfront as evidence of the validity of race. Or quoting the bible as evidence of the truth of christianity.

That aside, it's difficult for me to give a summary of this one, because they appear to be playing a numbers game to make a claim that doesn't pass the common sense check. To me is reads like they're claiming that the amount of genetic difference between members of "local national or linguistic" populations in greater than the amount of genetic difference between 'races.' For example, The french are geneticly more similar to the japanese than they are to other french. But then they go on to give the united states as an example of such a "local" population...as if the united states were a race. Yes...of course if you do a genetic sample of everyone in the US you're going to get a big mix of variance. The US has people from all over the world. About a third of the way into the page they then say that if you examine the data in another way, yes you can demonstrate DNA variances that match classic races. But they don't like using that method. And then they go on to say that the observable differences amongst races are in the process of breaking down because of interbreeding.

So...summary: "If we choose to look at the data in a certain way, we can come to a conclusion that there is no DNA basis for race. Unfortunately, if we look at the data another way, we can come to the conclusion that race does in fact have a genetic basis. Fortunately, people are inter-breeding, so eventually the whole question will go away."

Not exactly convincing.

In any case, while you're considering that "85% of variation is between people of the same population" you might read over Lewontin's Fallacywhich suggests that that conclusion is basically a result of ignoring data.

7) www.ornl.gov...
Summary: Discussion of the research into the 'ethical, legal, and social issues' that might result from knowledge of genetics being readily available to the public. Translation: '...umm...so if people actually KNOW this...my god, what would happen?"

Again...saying that it would be convenient if something weren't true is not evidence of it being untrue.

And finally...

8) www.news-medical.net...
Summary: "Somebody develops medication INTENDED TO HELP BLACKS, and a SOCIOLOGIST says 'Oh, no! You shouldn't do that! I don't believe race exists, so I'm going to ignore the fact that you've developed medications that help them!"


You do realize, don't you, that of eight sources...only ONE even ATTEMPTS to address your point?


[edit on 13-9-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by masqua
 




You?
Nada.


I was asking you why you believed there was no race. You appear to be the only person in this thread of that opinion. I was asking you why you belived it. I don't see why you would expect me to provide evidence to refute your claim. I'm simply asking for you to justify why you're so insistently making a claim that nobody else seems to agree with.

But I'll give you a few anyway:

1) www.innovations-report.de...

"A 60-page review of the scientific evidence, some based on state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain size, has concluded that race differences in average IQ are largely genetic."

2) www.charlesdarwinresearch.org...
"On average, Orientals are slower to mature, less fertile, and less sexually active, and have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the opposite end in each of these areas. Whites fall in the middle,often close to Orientals (see Chart 1)."

"brain sizeaverages across the four measurement techniques and also, where possible, corrected for bodysize. Orientals averaged 1,364 cm3, Whites averaged 1,347 cm3, and Blacks averaged 1,267 cm3"

3) cultural-evolution.vndv.com...
"Africans have the highest testosterone levels (average testosterone levels are 10-20% higher in black males than whites), followed by Arabs, then the Europeans and then the Asians."

4) discovermagazine.com...
"Overall, 25 percent of the genes seem to show different levels of expression in Asians versus Europeans, and SNPs in regulatory regions probably account for much of the difference. In the case of one gene, researchers found that Caucasians expressed it at 22 times the strength that Asians did."

5) www.bloodbook.com...
"There are racial and ethnic differences in Blood type and composition.

The frequency with which Blood types are observed is determined by the frequency with which the three alleles of the ABO gene are found in different parts of the world.

(Chart follows)"

6) www.lrainc.com...
"Mongoloids, caucasoids, and negroids can be distinguished on the basis of obvious differences in skeletal morphology, hair and facial features, as well by blood groups and DNA fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists regularly classify skeletons of decomposed bodies by race. For example, narrow nasal passages and a short distance between eye sockets identify a caucasoid person, distinct cheekbones characterize a mongoloid person, and nasal openings shaped like an upside down heart typify a negroid person. In certain criminal investigations, the race of a perpetrator can be identified from blood, semen, and hair samples. To deny the predictive validity of race at this level is nonscientific and unrealistic. "



[edit on 13-9-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
...I would say it depends on what you mean by that. "Equality" is not neccesarily "equivalency." One can have "equality of law" or "equality before God" whether or not one has "equality" of wealth, awareness, intelligence, or any other quality one chooses to look at.


Yes, I depends on what I mean by equal and I tried to explain what I meant:

"Not because of intelligence, ability, drive, motivation or desire, but because of HISTORY."

In other words, I believe that we ARE equal in terms of potential, intelligence, ability, drive, motivation and desire, and I also believe we are equal in terms of the law. Whites are equal to blacks just as any two people are equal. But when we look at the history of our tribes and cultures, another important factor emerges. And that is that in general most black Americans are raised in a totally different environment than most white Americans are.

Take 2 twins, separate them at birth, place them in vastly different environments for 25 years and the resultant adults will speak to (but not fully explain) the "inequality" that I'm talking about between whites and blacks in America. Did you see the doll test? 3-4 year-old children are ALREADY displaying the "inequality" to which I'm speaking.

I don't see this difference or "inequality" in whites and blacks of other countries so much. In fact, I dated a man from Africa for a year and a half. He had never experienced discrimination until he came to America as an adult. He was VERY different than black Americans because he did not have the same history. In fact, he had a very hard time understanding and relating to black Americans until he was here for years and began to understand more about their history.

It was AMAZING to see how we were treated in public by white Americans. Walking into a store, the clerk would "eyeball" us, watching us suspiciously as we walked through the aisles, paying special attention to our hands interlocked. The color difference was quite striking as he was BLACK, not brown, like African Americans. But when we got to the counter and he spoke, with a beautiful and lilting accent, a smile would come over the clerk's face and her eyes would brighten as she softly asked, "Oh, where are you from"? All of a sudden, he went from being "just another black guy out to steal something" to an intriguing foreign traveler, gracing her store with his presence. We did this experiment many times and the results were nearly always the same.

By the way, masqua has opened my eyes yet again and I will be using the term "tribe" instead of "race" in the future. I won't try to go into explaining it or justifying it to anyone, though. Perhaps it requires a fundamental belief shift that I have already had that I am willing to embrace the change of terms. To me, what we call the difference in skin color is less important than that fundamental shift.



We are not equal in terms of ability.


As equal as any two people are. After all, I'd have to say that as much as I am attached to my intelligence, Barack Obama is MUCH more intelligent than I am. In addition, I believe his natural abilities far outweigh mine. The difference in ability between people has nothing to do with their tribe.



It is readily observable that different people have different measures of ability. I may be a better orator than my neighbor.


But this inequality in ability is not associated with skin color.
"as equal as any two people are"...

As far as links go, we can all find Internet links to back up our beliefs. To me, this discussion isn't about proving anything. It's about our thoughts and feelings, our awareness and empathy. And there are no links to that.


[edit on 13-9-2009 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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The OP is correct on his view of race and Obama. There are things being done,questions being asked, and comments being made that would not have occurred if Obama was white.

Look at that guy that made a CD called "The magic "N" " and disseminated it throughout his office. Or the the Tea Parties that have signs saying "what you talkin bout willis". For all that don't know this way of speaking is a throw back from the days of Andy and Amos.

Obama got elected because a great number of whites both young and old saw a man that could effect change,him being black was somewhat incidental but all the same, it did play a part because to elect a black man as president was to be a part of history.

And Rush hated this view with a passion I might add.

So no matter how you look at it "race" in some way,shape form or fashion played a part. Look at Sen. Wilson, where is the respect for Obama? No one was moved to yell "you lied" to Bush when he lied about about WMD.

We need to be honest about race in this country.



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by masqua


My only disagreement is in the term 'race' since it is a fallacious ideology not based in genetic fact. Before racialization occured, as you noted, distinctions were made between people of colour. I call it tribalism and it certainly does precede racism.


You are correct, the word "race" was not used in the past centuries, the word "nation" is what was used to distinguish people. The Persian Empire at his height ruled more than 20 nations and used the technologies that was unique to each one.








[edit on 13-9-2009 by Eight]



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Miraj

I hope people of other races can rise above these titles of "Asian American" or "African American" and just come to accept themselves as Americans. After all, you don't see me running around calling myself Irish American, Italian American or dutch american.

Why can't you accept that there are some that have risen above this segregation tactic?


So you're a caucasian (probably Anglo) and you're telling people of "other races" that THEY should rise above racism? You seem to be calling this self-segregation, and you may have a point there, but there are a few things I'd like to point out first.

No, I don't go around calling myself a "Scottish American" because the Scots have basically always been accepted in America. I'm already a member of the dominant ethnic group, so it would be redundant, like calling myself an Anglo-Saxon white person. It would be silly to go around talking about "white pride" (although some folks do) because it's not necessary. My ethnic group still holds the preponderance of the power in our society. As such a member of the dominant group, I am assumed sometimes to be an oppressor, and that usually distresses me, but that's getting off my point a little.

People who belong to ethnic groups that have been discriminated against at some point in our country's history proudly call themselves "Irish American" or "Italian American" or "African American" as a means of affirming both their heritage--something they have once been told to be ashamed of--as well as their pride in their country.

On racial matters, I was the child of progressive parents who were supportive of the Civil Rights movement. I was taught at an early age about the evils of racism, and I honestly thought I was free of it, and may have been more so than some of my peers.

Then, in graduate school, I attended a three-day seminar on racism taught by several African Americans. I learned, somewhat to my surprise and chagrin, that I indeed harbored some racist assumptions, often on an unconscious or semi-conscious level. They are just some of the assumptions of the dominant majority.

For example, the idea that "race shouldn't matter" and we should treat people of other races as though they are exactly like ourselves, caucasians. In truth, they're not caucasians, and should not be expected to be like us in all respects. Barack Obama once said, "I don't want people to pretend I'm not black or that it's somehow not relevant."

So basically it's perfectly okay to mention to black people the fact that they're black. What's not okay is to infer they are somehow inferior to other people because of it. You don't have to strain to behave as if they're white or as if you "haven't noticed" their race. They're perfectly well aware of that fact themselves.

So, to make a long story short, racism still permeates our culture, and probably will for a long time to come. It's ridiculous to imagine it's not. The best thing we whites can do is to examine our assumptions and acknowledge our prejudices. That's the first step to
overcoming the barriers that make us unequal and getting to a place where differences are acknowledged and appreciated, but where there is a fundamental unity, as a nation and as a society. It isn't wrong to celebrate what makes us each unique, it's only wrong when we begin to think it makes us superior.

[edit on 13-9-2009 by Sestias]



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by Eight
The OP is correct on his view of race and Obama. There are things being done,questions being asked, and comments being made that would not have occurred if Obama was white.


True enough.
On the opposite side, if Obama were white, there would be questions, comments, and actions done that would not be done given his current color.
Either way you look at it, there's a certain segment of society which will hold racist/prejudice views.

If Obama were white, he wouldn't have the protection of the "race card", but that would not change the fact that there would still be a small percentage of minorities who would discount him because he's 'just another white president'.

The absurdity comes when one attaches race to everything.
In some people's eyes, there is no legitimate criticism of Obama that does not involve the truly unimportant color of his skin.
These people are racist, as they look at whites as being racist SOLELY BASED ON THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.

The absurdity comes when Republicans are forced, in a way, to get someone such as Michael Steele to carry their banner, as he is 'immune' to the 'race card' as he is also black.
This too could be seen as racist.



Originally posted by Eight
So no matter how you look at it "race" in some way,shape form or fashion played a part.


I'm sure it did.
It hurt and helped Obama in different ways, and continues to do so.
I'd say it probably helped more than hurt... But who knows.



Originally posted by Eight
Look at Sen. Wilson, where is the respect for Obama? No one was moved to yell "you lied" to Bush when he lied about about WMD.


I fail to see how that fact alone makes him a racist.
There was much disrespect to go around when Bush was in office.
Does that fact alone make those people racist?
No one yelled "You lie" during Bush's speeches, but plenty of people portrayed him as the antichrist and much worse in the media and on the internet.
When that was being done with Bush, the first thought that came to mind wasn't race, but that these people had strong beliefs in opposition to Bush's beliefs.
When similar views are expressed about Obama, there's no chance it's due to opposing beliefs - because Obama is black. It has to be about racism.

My point is, there's far too much hype (or 'hooplah', if you will
) over racism.


Originally posted by Eight
We need to be honest about race in this country.


We also need to see things for what they are, and not make assumptions about people based on their skin color.
Example: Not assume Sen. Wilson is a racist just because he's a white individual who believes the President lied.



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


Great post, you are correct on a great many things. I don't believe I said that Sen. Wilson was a racist, and it was not my intention to portray him as being one.

Disrespect to the President does not equate to a person being racist. But I do know that some things that are being said and done fall along the lines of racism.

Let me give you an example of something that is not racist IMO but is a little odd and that is when Obama was running for office, commentators constantly said "he speaks well". Me being black, took offense to this because why are they so surprised that a black man can speak well. And I wasn't the only one, many blacks speak just as well as Obama.

But lets be honest,no president has come under the same level of scrutiny that Obama has. So be a rally where a presidential candidate was speaking and people is the crowed was yelling "kill him".

Now now you have this young white preacher named Steven Anderson who is calling for the death of Obama and A member of his church showed up at his town hall meeting with a loaded AK-47.

We can't say this is normal behavior because it's not.



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