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America is not a racist country (never was)

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posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall


Right, and this statement is like the first statements you made that point to you believing that if some one does something wrong (anything) then it's okay to redo or to do it others. The Europeans were wrong when they were "doing it to each other" and they were wrong when they went elsewhere and "did it to others". It was wrong - it is wrong. It's wrong.


No...no.... The Europeans didn't do anything to the "natives" that the "natives" weren't already doing to one another.




posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by 21cdb

Originally posted by Valhall


Right, and this statement is like the first statements you made that point to you believing that if some one does something wrong (anything) then it's okay to redo or to do it others. The Europeans were wrong when they were "doing it to each other" and they were wrong when they went elsewhere and "did it to others". It was wrong - it is wrong. It's wrong.


No...no.... The Europeans didn't do anything to the "natives" that the "natives" weren't already doing to one another.


Yes, they did.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall


Yes, they did.


Well, I'd love to counter you with fact, but everytime I've done that in this thread it gets deleted so....



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:51 PM
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By using "natives" are you honestly suggesting there is - insanely - no (and never was) a "native" population in the Americas.

You might want to check the European maps and records of the tribes in the Americas....take a breath first, then relax. You might learn something.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by 21cdb

Originally posted by Valhall


Yes, they did.


Well, I'd love to counter you with fact, but everytime I've done that in this thread it gets deleted so....



That would be incorrect as well. Let me help you understand. You took a statistic (that there are more blacks in American prisons than there are whites) and you placed your own interpretation of that statistic (i.e. therefore blacks are more prone to commit crimes) in a post and insinuated that that was a fact supportive of your further racist statement that they have "certain behaviors" that lead them to create violence.

That's what happened to your post and what got you the cute little red thingy.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by infinite
By using "natives" are you honestly suggesting there is - insanely - no (and never was) a "native" population in the Americas.

You might want to check the European maps and records of the tribes in the Americas....take a breath first, then relax. You might learn something.


One could say there was no "native" population in the Americas as it's been proven that people migrated there from Asia. Bit of a stretch and it's not something I'm debating one way or another.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall


That would be incorrect as well. Let me help you understand. You took a statistic (that there are more blacks in American prisons than there are whites) and you placed your own interpretation of that statistic (i.e. therefore blacks are more prone to commit crimes) in a post and insinuated that that was a fact supportive of your further racist statement that they have "certain behaviors" that lead them to create violence.

That's what happened to your post and what got you the cute little red thingy.



Yeah...people have nothing better to do than to unjustly imprison others. Not because of the acts they committ at all.

Nope.


I love how fact is now ignorance.



[edit on 20-9-2009 by 21cdb]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by 21cdb

I love how fact is now ignorance.

[edit on 20-9-2009 by 21cdb]


Fact is not ignorance. Your interpretation is ignorance. You have chosen to take a statistic and state your personal interpretation of it as fact without taking into account all parameters that lead to that statistic.

This thread is not the correct place to put you through Sociology 101, so we'll have to just leave it at - your interpretation shows a tremendous amount of ignorance about societal influences and shows absolutely no attempt at a "root cause analysis".

You just found a statistic that you think supports a bias you have and you're running with it.

[edit on 9-20-2009 by Valhall]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by infinite
reply to post by Valhall
 


I'm not denying the historical records, especially the massacres against the Native population. But European Americans never had the mentality of Afrikaners, who introduced Apartheid in South Africa.


Have you ever heard of Manifest Destiny? How about segregation? Or were these just actions of a minority? How about the slaves? You know I might agree if you had title your post "America is not racist anymore" and then explained that it's only a minority today who hold racist views. But America was never racist? Come on, give me a break!



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall


Fact is not ignorance. Your interpretation is ignorance. You have chosen to take a statistic and state your personal interpretation of it as fact without taking into account all parameters that lead to that statistic.

This thread is not the correct place to put you through Sociology 101, so we'll have to just leave it at - your interpretation show a tremendous amount of ignorance about societal influences and shows absolutely no attempt at a "root cause analysis".

You just found a statistic that you think supports a bias you have and you're running with it.

[edit on 9-20-2009 by Valhall]


Again, anything I counter this with will be deleted so.....



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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So...back to the subject at hand.

infinite,

I believe with a bit more research you'll find that the U.S. had some type of racism embedded in the very fiber of its being (if you will) from the start. It did a bit of perfecting in its oppressive actions as it swept across the west. And it took until the 1960's before we could stop wearing paper sacks on our heads when speaking with the global community.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by Valhall
 


I understand and appreciate that, always welcome your comments in a thread Valhall

But the main premise behind the thread was to highlight that there were movements and actions to combat racial policy - Americans did protest and speak out (my reference to Indians)

This thread was not intend to brush over massacres that occurred, slavery and segregation in the South.

Many Europeans are quick to jump and point to America and suggest the entire population was racist.

[edit on 20-9-2009 by infinite]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by infinite
Many Europeans are quick to jump and point to America and suggest the entire population was racist.



They do that because many Europeans are just as, if not more, guilty than Americans ever were. Many countries, including the one I was born in, have had more than a couple of centuries of inequality based on racist ideals. It was INVENTED there.

The relatively short history of America shows a fairly quick recovery from the poison that hitched a ride in the minds of those who emigrated from the 'Old Countries'.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 02:13 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Unfortunately, your words point to exactly what the thing at the top is speaking against:

1. The election has nothing to do with racism.
2. The criticism of Obama's performance to date has nothing to do with racism.

So why did you connect them to it?


I disagree, I think both the election and the current surge against Obama both have something to do with racism.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 02:57 AM
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reply to post by infinite
 


America was the most racist country when it stole people from Africa to becomes its slaves.

America was the most racist country when it disenfranchized the Indian race and put them on reservations, on the poorest land available.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 06:59 AM
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reply to post by infinite
 


Er... nice try but this argument was never going to fly, really. I find it hard to believe that anyone could seriously advance this argument because it just means you have to ignore... well, the bulk of American hisotry.

Of course there have been good people of all colours struggling against injustice: but the fact is that the US has been a predominantly racist nation (and brutally so) for almost its whole history. Other posters have mentioned Jim Crow, but there are so many examples to draw from. There's the Tuskegee experiment, for example. And interestingly, the US government lent Dr. Steven Hatfill to BOSS at one point in the eighties, at which point anthrax started affecting ANC camps... sure, just a coincidence.

Not every American is racist. But to try to spin their history like that... what were you thinking?



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:17 AM
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Valhall... I've enjoyed and respected your posts since joining ATS but at this point I have to disagree...


Originally posted by Valhall

1. The election has nothing to do with racism.
2. The criticism of Obama's performance to date has nothing to do with racism.


I think these statements are perhaps a little sweeping and injudicious. It's difficult to see clearly that specific criticisms of Obama have racist content, because racism is a taboo that few people break openly these days. But to rule racism out of the election of the first black US president, and any criticism of him is, I think, optimistic.

This is not to say that all criticism of Obama has racist roots. I'm not a huge fan, but that's because his policies are "more of the same". When that means continuing the policies of Dubya... that's not a plus, in my book. But to say that no criticism of Obama has racist roots requires, I suspect, psychic powers... can you look into the mind of every US citizen? I can't imagine you claiming that kind of superpower,

Two people might be making the same criticisms of BO, using the same words, and one person might be saying it out of a genuine sense of injustice while the other might have all sorts of conscious or subliminal race issues. How can you tell?

Your contention is not something that can be proved one way or another, so definitive comments like the one I've quoted (and, yes, I know it was in response to another absolutist comment) I don't think are terribly accurate or helpful.

[edit on 21-9-2009 by rich23]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by masqua
The relatively short history of America shows a fairly quick recovery from the poison that hitched a ride in the minds of those who emigrated from the 'Old Countries'.



They started to dismantle Jim Crow only in the sixties. Nixon and Reagan, IIRC, tried enforcing high standard literacy tests because it reduced the number of black people eligible to vote (and most of them voted Democrat). Funnily enough, in the run-up ot the 2000 election, Jeb Bush and Katharine Harriss' pals Choicepoint edited voter lists to bring the numbers down... who did they target? Black voters.

Racism is a problem for both sides. A friend of mine is a white jazz musician - and a hell of a player - who came across a lot of racism in NYC when he was living there. Back in the day, when white guys came to jam, there would be an unspoken desire to make the guy fall on his face... so the tempo would be moved up, say from 250 to even 300-plus. If you survived that, you got some respect. From what my friend was saying, it's got more personal and nastier since.

If you want an interesting perspective on race in the US, reading the experiences of musicians is a good place to start.

To say that the US has made a complete recovery from a Eurpoean disease is inaccurate and perhaps a little unfair on Europeans. The institution of slavery built America, it was central to its laws for many years, and when it was abolished, it was effectively replaced with indentured servitude - which, btw, is not dead: it's alive and well and living (to my certain knowledge) in the cruise ship industry in which I worked for a while.

[edit on 21-9-2009 by rich23]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by rich23
To say that the US has made a complete recovery from a Eurpoean disease is inaccurate and perhaps a little unfair on Europeans. The institution of slavery built America, it was central to its laws for many years, and when it was abolished, it was effectively replaced with indentured servitude - which, btw, is not dead: it's alive and well and living (to my certain knowledge) in the cruise ship industry in which I worked for a while.



I didn't say complete recovery, although I wish it were true. At least it's gone as an institution. Slavery goes so far back in time that writing needed to be invented before we can see any evidence of it.


Regarding Europeans, I stand by what I said. Here's some comparisons related to institutional slavery:



In America, 250 years:


From the beginnings of slavery in British North America around 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony at Jamestown, nearly 240 years passed until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially ended slavery in 1865.
www.slaveryinamerica.org...


In the Ancient World, 2000 years:


Slavery after the Fall of the Roman Empire
The introduction of Christianity toward the end of the Roman Empire had no effect on the abolition of slavery, since the church at that time did not oppose the institution.
www.infoplease.com...


In modern times, 600 years



A revolution in the institution of slavery came in the 15th and 16th cent. The explorations of the African coast by Portuguese navigators resulted in the exploitation of the African as a slave, and for nearly five centuries the predations of slave raiders along the coasts of Africa were to be a lucrative and important business conducted with appalling brutality. The British, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese all engaged in the African slave trade. Although Africans were, as early as 1440, brought back to Portugal, and although subsequent importations were large enough to change distinctly the ethnography of that country, it was not in Europe that African slavery was to be most profitable and widespread, but in the Americas, where European exploitation began at the end of the 15th cent.
www.infoplease.com...


In the Americas, even before the Europeans came, slavery was a widespread practice. There is no point we can reference as the beginning and there is no nation we can point to and say "They started it!"

The comparatively short time that the US used slavery in business enterprise was already under attack before, during and after the civil war. It takes a long time if institutional slavery is profitable.

In some ways, it's still in existence the world over. The idea of whips and confinement have been somewhat discouraged, but cheap labour and back breaking work seem to go hand-inhand. You alluded to it as well when you mentioned 'indentured servitude'.

In my simple logic, slavery and racism are the two children of man's inhumanity to man. Slavery has existed forever, but, as the world became 'enlightened', an excuse was required to make it good practice.

That excuse was racialization and expressed the ideology that certain people were less qualified as humans to govern their own lives. It was not invented in America.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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America is a racist nation, because it was founded by and continues to be inhabited by human beings. We all harbor racist tendencies, to one degree or another, no matter how hard you try to hide it or lie to yourself.

We are a tribal species, and our modern tribes extend beyond family distinction, but include such diverse examples as cultural, ideological, religious, political, and other things. Anything we enjoy or align ourselves with as an expression of our personality or identity, we seek groups with similarities for support and friendship. We see the opposites of our chosen tribes as potential threats or allegiances. Whereas Chimpanzees may fight and dispute over territory (we do also), we also fight over matters more esoteric - even if in good-natured mock competitions. From booing the fans of an opposing sports team, to booing the supporters of a current political leader. We pick our tribes, and we promote/preserve them, sometimes by conflict.

Further, because we spent nearly our entire species history in small hunter-gatherer tribes and clans, our brains never evolved the ability to conceptualize more than about 150 (iirc) different unique and independent individuals. Just like how we can visualize the distance of a foot or a yard in our minds, perhaps even a mile down the road, we cannot visualize the distance to the Moon. So when faced with a tribe that has such striking differences, especially visually and culturally, we form stereotypes of perceived common traits as a means to anticipate the mindsets of that tribe as a whole. Whether the traits actually exist, or are derogatory exaggerations, or even completely false projections makes little difference.

We all do it... even if we don't perceive it as harmful or in a negative way. Some will even swing the opposite direction in racist behavior, and become overly accommodating and friendly in order to prove they aren't racist... when in fact, they're only confirming it by granting special consideration to group of people based on a stereotype. At best, it appears as pathetic over-reaching, and at worst - like pandering.


Regardless, even if we are all racist by nature, that doesn't justify racism or promote the use of stereotypes. Just because something is true, doesn't make it justifiable - because you can still consciously try to mitigate such behavior... which can only be done if you recognize it and deal with it, rather than ignore it and pretend you're above it.


... and as exampled above, race is only one facet of a deeper behavior pattern which underlies our social interactions. Different races typically have rather different cultures they are stereotyped as coming from, which (considering how large a factor culture plays in personal identity) can evoke strong reactions in those who fear that culture as a threat to their own. Political and Religious "tribes" are an example of non-race based groups we identify - even define ourselves by at times... which is why they are often said not to be discussed amongst friends. Lest you find them in a different tribe opposed to yours. The "battle of the sexes" eludes to the gender equivalent of this.


Often "tribes" can be expanded to include others, or contract to exclude them. A Religious faction splintering into two sects over interpretation differences is an example of a tribe contracting to exclude others, whereas the short period of unity in the time around the 9/11 saw expanded tribes (or a promotion of a commonly shared "American" tribe) wherein race and politics were set aside to dig out survivors and formulate a retaliation against the common enemy who attacked the tribe we all belonged to.

... which brings up an interesting point... in the days after 9/11, not all of America came together. Americans of middle-eastern descent (as well as immigrants), especially those who openly practiced Islam, in many cases became the targets of hatred, abuse, and even violence. A similar phenomena occurred in WWII with many Japanese citizens being put into concentration camps.



America is a racist nation, because we are a human nation. Just as ALL nations on Earth are. That's not something in itself to be ashamed of. It's how we manage that racism as a society, and the moral significance we assign to acts of racism against each other which make all the difference between something to be ashamed of, or something we can be proud of the gains we've thus far in mitigating it, and in either case humbled by the lengths we still have to go.



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