It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Problem with Racism or Why Racism Still Exist in America

page: 1
7
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 07:50 PM
link   
First I would like to qualify the basis of my opinion:
I am a 54 year old white male living in the Southeast United States. With the exception of my father, who died when I was 11, I grew up in a prejudice household. Mom suffered from mental illness and other ailments and she had a difficult time caring for 4 kids and a large mill house. Dad was the assistant superintendent of a cotton mill so he could afford to hire a black lady to come in two are three times a week to help keep the house. Now, I know that many of you will shut down right here and say that we propagated the stigma by having a black housecleaner, but please read the full story before you pass judgement.

Her name was Lessie (I will withhold her last name out of respect for privacy). As I said she came two or three times a week. She would do regular household chores and even helped raise me. When it was time to eat Lessie would try to eat in the kitchen away from the family; after all this was the south and she knew her place, at least that was the way of thinking in that day. However, Dad would insist that she come sit at the table with the rest of the family and she would. I loved Lessie to death and she would often send me to the store for a "soda and a pack of nabs" (cheese crackers for those of you who do not know).

When I was in the seventh grade desegregation kicked in and for my eighth grade year I was bused to a black middle school. There was a lot of animosity from the black teachers towards the white kids, but the white and black kids got along fine. It was a racially charged year because of parents (white) gathering outside the school and causing problems, etc.

As an adult I joined the Air Force where racial discrimination was kept on the front burner as not being allowed. I had many black friends, we partied together and when out in the field it was nothing to share a canteen with my black colleagues.
While I was in the Air Force I took a leadership course. The instructor stated that to overcome racism one needed to have a "significant emotional event". I knew that through Lessie, desegregation, and the military, that I had my "event" and was not prejudice.

Now, I am a Police Officer in the south. The small town that I work in is segregated with a capital "S". It is segregated geographically and socially. Even though it is not said, it is promoted. Tomorrow, I will attend a teen function on the west side (black side) called Teens Making a Difference. We will sing the Afro-American National Anthem. If I patrol on the west side I am scowled at. If I answer a call, I am too slow and I never do the right thing. If I enforce a law I am only doing so because they are black, etc, etc.

It is no secret that prejudice still exist throughout the country and I am referring to black/white prejudice in this thread. The level of it's existance varies depending on the area in which you live.

Why Is This?!?!?!

In my opinion it is because we have pressed equal rights. When in truth, if we had pressed "mutual respect", equal rights would have came about on it's own without effort.

A prejudice is a prejudgment: i.e. a preconceived belief, opinion, or judgment made without recourse to reason; drawing typically instead upon received information or upon instinctual preference. The word prejudice is most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgment toward a people or a person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. It also means a priori beliefs (without knowledge of the facts) and may include "any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence."[1] Both positive and negative prejudice exist; when used negatively "prejudice" implies fear and antipathy toward its subject, whilst when used positively can be used to decribe intrinsic or subconscious preferences (such as tastes)...Wikipedia.

Let me stress that this is my opinion based on my perceived reality. I know that there is prejudice throughout the country and cannot speak to that. However, here in the south the differences between blacks and whites is very obvious and this is not a bad thing. It is two different cultures. Let me say that again, "It is two different cultures". The culture within the black family and society is different from that of the white family and society.

At this point, I could begin to state the differences but it would just fuel debate. When in reality, we, both black and white, know the differences. The cultures are so different that when you see the races marry, you will inevitably see one or the other give up there culture and blend with the other.

So, why not acknowledge the differences and agree to mutually respect and accept those differences. This will not undo the atrocities of the past. They cannot be undone. But it could certainly make the future more bearable. With respect for each others cultural differences and by acknowledging and accepting those differences, our society would be better as a whole. We could even benefit by building on the strength of our differences.

Am I promoting "separate but equal"? I don't know, ...maybe. What if we were given the choice to segregate or not? Instead of it being forced down our respective throats.

In summary: If in the civil rights movement the mantra had been "mutual respect" instead of "equal rights" the amount of racial issues today would probably be at a minimum. ....on both sides.
Seeashrink




posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 08:44 PM
link   
You had some very kind words to say about your experiences with de-segregation and relationships with black people in the south. Thank you, that was heart warming.

I think fuel is added to the fire by tptb for the most part. I could dig up sermons by black preachers that tell blacks not to sell out and be like whites. They are on youtube. If we all got along what would Jessie Jackson do for a living?

I live in the north and things are somewhat different here. We have white trash and we have black trash. Black people feel the same way about black trash as white people feel about white trash. The neighborhoods are different too. Black people have upper scale neighborhoods and so do white people. There is also a blend of upper scale neighborhoods. I do upholstery and have been in some very very nice homes owned by Black people and they were well educated and affluent. I think these black people would be the ones who "sold out" but as far as I am concerned they are just decent people who take care of their homes and raise nice families. My church is mixed too and we all love each other. I don't think of us and them and culture clashes. I just think of us all as people.

I don't care for trashy people. I have no use for them. I don't care what color they are.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:11 PM
link   
I feel for your story, I know that there are a lot of them out there, but people are not always willing to listen. Now with that said, Ive realized a lot about race just recently.

I am Hispanic, born and raised in the NYC, (The Bronx), and now live in the country in the mid-west. All I ever knew about white people was that they lived in Manhattan, and had good jobs, I never really knew any white people in NY, and those that I did, didn't act white, they acted like New Yorkers.

Living in a diverse place like NY, you see boroughs, not race. When I moved to the mid-west, I was very surprised how I was immediately avoided, snared at, I had informed the person I bought my house from, when I was coming, and he immediately told everyone. So I was already subjected to racism, before I got here.

I had never seen a trailer, and all that I knew of poor white people was what I saw on Jerry Springer (thats not a joke), but I never came here with preconceived notions. Since Ive been here I have been treated and called an illegal immigrant, and since then have approached my feelings toward other races as I never had before.

Now I have to be careful who I speak with, or the act they put on when around me, and I have kind of closed myself off from many people. Now as for the black people that I have come in contact with, they seem very subservient towards white people, they get called all types of names, and say nothing, and if I say hey, why did you except that, their response is, what am I going to do?

I feel this has a lot to do with not only what people see, but how people are raised, the black people here are taught "their place", as if equality has and will never exist no matter how nice your house is, or the job you have. It hurts me to think that I have to tell my children to be "careful" with the girls around here, because I know that this might bring lots of problems for them.

We cant deal with the problems that we discuss even here on ATS when we cant even deal with each other. I would hate to think that it would take something serious to bring us all together, instead of us doing it ourselves.


Peace to you...



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:17 PM
link   
reply to post by seeashrink
 


I'd have to say it's alot of things. Lets see, the MSM and them constantly stirring up trouble, the ACLU, the SLPC, the NAACP, the KKK, the Black Panthers, school cirriculum, professional extortionists ala Jessie, al, et all. The usual......will it get better, not in this life time, I truely feel it's gonna end in tradgedy as it will come to a head. when good people have had enough. When enough people are victimized and nothing is done I do believe it will finally errupt into a race war like never seen before.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:22 PM
link   
reply to post by seeashrink
 


Interesting read.. I personally think the mentality of Forcing people to like each-other and get along never works.. and in fact adds fuel to the fire. I too came from a town where "busing" as it was called, took place. They'd ship poor black kids to white schools, and poor white kids to black schools (notice the I say poor, the more affluent communities seemed immune to busing). but anyways, forcing some kids from their neighborhoods into communities that they are suspicious of, are treated differently in, and have little experience in, only aids their resentment to that community. I see the same thing with "affirmative action" hiring under-qualified "minorities" to fill quotas only hurts the reputation of those "minorities" that get their positions through skill alone, and breeds resentment among those passed over.

But most of all I believe racism, true hatred of different races or ethnicity, comes from education about races. I went to a Catholic school that never really focused on race, and of the few black kids in our grade no one ever really thought of them as different. Not until public schools and every book in English class was about how horrible whites were to blacks, and in history where the chapters on the Revolution, Civil War and civil Rights were all about race and nothing more. I'm not saying we should forget our past.. but when you tell two kids of different colors that they are indeed different colors and thus socially different as well .. only then do they attach those stigmas to themselves and each-other .. our parents and our schools, and our media is to blame for racism. We don't naturally hate people of different colors, it has to be taught.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 09:47 PM
link   
reply to post by seeashrink
 


First of all, no I do not think the fact your parents hired a black lady to do the cleaning and looking after were in any way racist. It could have been racism that pushed that lady to be in that kind of work, but hiring her was not. She offered her services, your parents hired her, she was like part of the family and there was respect.

Now I must disagree with you over this idea that there are well defined differences between blacks and whites that should be respected. I oppose forced integration, I feel that for us to combat racism we must come to an understanding between each other and it is something the government cannot force and influence upon us. It is personal beliefs, personal ideals that lead us to think, divide, oppose as we do and it is something that we cannot change through government. However, and this is where I felt you missed out in your post, neither do we or the government have any right to stop individuals from mixing or freely moving. If a woman and man wish to live together and marry, we have no right to stop them from doing that. If one person wishes to socialize with another, we have no right to stop them from doing that. Americans are constitutionally in their right to move freely through this nation without being divided.

You argue that we should respect these differences equally and I disagree with you on that idea. We may be different but at the end of the day we are all americans. I will respect that there are still differences between the white and black community in certain parts of America but respect does not come with respect of public enforced division. If white parents wish to prevent their kids from mixing with black kids, we cannot force the government to change the mindsets of those parents, neither can we force the government to respect the wishes of those parents. They can keep their kids away from the black kids, but they cannot prevent black americans from sending their children to the same public school as they do. Same for marriage, same for public establishments, same for towns. It goes both ways. If White and black americans wish to form their own private schools or groups for racial reasons, thats their right, but when it comes to public land, public schools, when it comes to two individuals mixing, neither side have the right to enforce their beliefs upon these individuals.

So I agree with you over understanding the rights of americans to divide themsleves, but I will not agree with you over any understanding or respect for americans to divide themselves by law, or to prevent their fellow american from freely moving through public area. It goes both ways you know? We can respect the fact that people have a right to be racist, but we will not respect people to enforce their racial ideals onto the public.

Interms of these differences between blacks and whites, the years of segregation between blacks and whites have heavily influenced these differences between us. It was not as if since slavery whites and blacks never mixed. There was always a government and public enforcement of law that prevented any mixing or any free integration and that is what caused these differences. It was just over 40 years ago that constitutional rights were restored to all americans to move freely, 40 years out of what was 350years of public enforced segregation, 350 years of propaganda that we should never mix. 40 years is certainly not long enough for blacks and whites to fully integrate and overcome these differences. So while there are evident differences between blacks and whites, they did not arise from physical or genetic differences that influences the mind, they arose from the public promotion of these ideals and it will take much longer than 40 years for white and black americans to realize that they are just Americans.

Most of my friends are many races and ethnicities and I rarely ever take notice of this fact especially when I am socializing with them. At the end of the day they are my friends, they are like family, I do not see any 'differences' where I feel I should respect or acknowledge in any way, I just do not care and neither do they.

[edit on 9-7-2010 by Southern Guardian]



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Southern Guardian
 

Thank you for an outstanding reply. Let me clarify a couple of things.
I an not against segregation or interacial marriage. My youngest daughter is married to a Mexican and I could care less as long as he treats her like I would expect any man to treat her. I am not against blacks, or anyone else. I was commenting on things as I see them in my area and how I feel that the relationship among the races in the south would be different today had civil rights been based on mutual respect and acceptance.
Seeashrink



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 10:25 PM
link   
reply to post by adifferentbreed
 


I agree. I feel that racism is again on the rise and may result in serious problems in the future. It looks like some of history may repeat it's self.
Seeashrink



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:09 AM
link   
Touching and very well said, seeashrink. You've clearly given this a lot of thought, and your words make so much sense. I think you're right on the mark...if we had focused on mutual respect rather than equal rights, it probably would have made the world of difference. Maybe it still can. Thanks for bringing it to light in such a real and positive way.

My view on why there is still racism sort of dovetails into this. It's very hard for me to try to explain, but here goes.

Racism exists because it is fueled, but I believe what most people don't realize is that it can be fueled by those who mean well as well as those who don't. This sounds strange to say, but as a society, we encourage and propagate racism simply by acknowledging it.

When any race or equal-rights related issue is brought forward or exposed, for whatever reason...out of love or hate or pride or the search for validation or justice...there are two inherent dangers.

The first is that we infect people who I call the non-aware, those who might have never even noticed that there even was an issue become exposed to it and aware of it. Think of children and how they never even notice that there even is a difference until someone points it out to them. The danger in making them aware is that some subset of these people will take it in a negative light, and you have just infected them and added to the pool of racism where it was empty before.

The second danger is that people who already have preconceived notions, those fighting for equal rights, the separatists, the plain ignorant, the haters, the good and the bad, are inspired or incited by the subject, and so they give it even more attention, and this in turn propagates the cycle, inciting those with preconceived ideas or infecting the non-aware. It gives racism life, and so the pool of racism gets even fuller.

This cycle is what has hounded us all for generations. It just won't quit. What we try to fix it seems to make it even worse. So what do we do about it? We have to retrain a society.

To our society's credit, very few individuals or organization actually come forward and discuss race outright, for good or for bad. Yet, when they do, they typically, by design, attract and cause a lot of attention. rebuttals, debates, discussions, fights, or even simple fuming internalized resentment.

But think what might happen if we simply ignored them...the ones thinking they are doing good and the ones doing bad. If we flat out refused to acknowledge racism on any level short of physical harm, it would have to stop.

If individuals and society didn't acknowledge these individuals and organizations, simply paid them no mind, they would shrivel up and die. If no one is listening, why make noise? Just STOP talking about and calling attention to race altogether. Refuse to.

Instead, instill a sense of pride and self-worth into our kids and our families and our friends without bringing race or gender or even sexual persuasion into it. Outright refuse to discuss race with others. Change the conversation instead and focus on real human issues and find common ground with them. Respect differences in opinion and lifestyle and culture and learn from them.

Don't call it black-on-black* crime or black-on-white crime or white-on-black crime or a hate crime. call it a crime. Don't say that Hispanic woman in accounting, look up and say her name. Don't say the black kid playing shortstop, say the shortstop. Just stop and think and take a little more time to stay on the human level.

A shift like this would take a lot of discipline and might take a few generations to achieve, but it just might work. It's akin to the principle of not acknowledging a bully or a troll. What we've tried doing so far sure hasn't. If there's another way out of this spiral, I honestly don't see it. It really is all about respect and compassion.

(*You may substitute the words Hispanic, Asian, or any other race for either black or white in the previous sentence, and it still applies. Substitute them with gay or straight or female or male as well and entire the point becomes even broader.)

[edit on 7/10/2010 by ~Lucidity]



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 12:53 AM
link   
reply to post by seeashrink
 

Thanks so much for your reply and your kind words. I have tried some of the things that you are speaking of. For example, it is common when transporting a person in your patrol car to call dispatch and say "I am transporting a black or white male". I simply tell them I am transporting a male, I don't see how race plays into the picture.
You called the situation a spiral and you are correct. I don't know how to stop it. I don't believe that it will happen in my life time. I can try to improve upon it in my little corner of the world but, even that is like peeing in the ocean and checking to see if the sea level rose.

I just don't know what the answer is.
Seeashrink

Edit to say: I must have hit the wrong button. This is a reply to Lucidity...sorry about that.

[edit on 10-7-2010 by seeashrink]



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:07 AM
link   
reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Didja ever notice that those that are most emphatic about forcing people together never actually live amongst those that they force past their individual comfort zones?

If freedom of expression includes living where and how you want as best you can afford then, whats up with being forced to do what you dont want by people who associate only as a job and then go home to live among their own?



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:24 AM
link   
I think racism will always be with us as long as we see each other as different; we are not.

A couple of years ago I walked into a fast food establishment and I noticed a Chinese couple sitting at one of the tables. I knew immediately that they were Americans. Their mannerisms and their gestures while communicating gave them away.

I purchased my lunch and deliberately chose a table close to the couple and, indeed, if I had been blind I would never have known that they came from Chinese heritage.

I interact with Americans every day from all walks of life and of many colors. There is no obvious cultural difference. We are all Americans struggling to get by.

I am not saying that what you have observed is untrue. I am saying that this is not true everywhere and sometimes some of the differences you observe may not be cultural but personal.

I think that each individual is responsible for their own actions and to blame anyone else is just plain wrong and one of the biggest contributions to racism.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:40 AM
link   
reply to post by seeashrink
 


All we can be responsible for is our little corner, I guess. Teach our kids and try to influence those we come into contact with by example and hope they do the same.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 04:53 PM
link   
Very well articulated. I can associate with it quite a bit. My parents were but kind people and I'm a military brat/veteran. When I was still a baby we lived overseas and they had a housekeeper, which they treated with kindness and dignity. I was also a kid in DC when the whole bussing thing went on, and it was very upsetting to many people. Sending kids across town to a school further away just so the board members could pat themselves on the back for their 'cultural diversity'. I know the new kids were uncomfortable, but I tried to make them feel welcome, but this is DC we're talking about, in the late 60's. Learning is difficult when tensions are so high.
Yet even to this day I still believe in the words of MLK as he cited that people 'not be judged by the color of their skin, but of the content of their character'.
In my eyes, racism is the effect of some hateful party instigating conflict between two otherwise innocent people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sex.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 05:44 PM
link   
Allow me to poke the hornets nest a bit and posit that there is in fact no such thing as racism if a single universally accepted definition cant be found.
Food for though, that, the undefinable cannot by definition exist.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by adifferentbreed
reply to post by seeashrink
 


I'd have to say it's alot of things. Lets see, the MSM and them constantly stirring up trouble, the ACLU, the SLPC, the NAACP, the KKK, the Black Panthers, school cirriculum, professional extortionists ala Jessie, al, et all. The usual......will it get better, not in this life time, I truely feel it's gonna end in tradgedy as it will come to a head. when good people have had enough. When enough people are victimized and nothing is done I do believe it will finally errupt into a race war like never seen before.


I actually believe that this is the desire for TPTB here in the States. "...Divided we fall". If it isn't race that is promulgated with divisiveness by our beloved pols than it is North vs. South; Catholic vs. Protestant vs. Jew; employee vs. employer; Dem vs. GOP, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Keep the citizenry fighting amongst themselves and the bad guys retain the power and the wealth. All too simple, no? If we, the people, ever collectively catch on to the game their gooses would be cooked.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:11 PM
link   
Racism is a complex topic and there are many reasons behind it.

I think part of the problem is that there are so many taboos about the topic. People feel like they have to "watch what they say" very carefully whenever they talk about it.

Notice every serious converversation on racism comes with mountains of disclaimers ("I'm not saying X, but sometimes Y....of course there are exceptions, but..."). Its almost like the kind of language you see in legal documents. Which is not a coincidence because in modern society, discussion about racial topics has become so sensitive and taboo that it can lead to serious legal reprecussons: loss of job for saying the wrong thing, court cases, careers and lives ruined, etc.

I believe that if people feel open, relaxed, and comfortable about discussing any given topic in a sincere, exploratory way, truth will eventually emerge, or at least a kind of balance that everyone can live wth. Instead, starting at a very young age in school and continuing thorough professional and adult life, the topic of race is riddled with fear, taboo, verbal minefileds, and so on. It's a shame because it leads to a dark, repressive state of mind where questions are not answered and ignorance and real hate can blossom like evil toadstools.

Let in the light, remove the verbal taboos, start trying to see people's inner intentions rather than jumping all over them for using this or that word, etc. Then, maybe, honest discssion and rational exploration of the topic will lead to a more comfort with each other as human beings of whatever race.



posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 06:12 PM
link   
reply to post by mordant1
 

I'm pretty sure there's only one definition? I may have missed something? This is pretty much the definition I use...



rac·ism Pronunciation: \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\ Function: noun Date: 1933 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination



posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 10:03 AM
link   

Originally posted by ~Lucidity
reply to post by mordant1
 

I'm pretty sure there's only one definition? I may have missed something? This is pretty much the definition I use...



rac·ism Pronunciation: \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\ Function: noun Date: 1933 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination



D'uh! That's the white, conservative book definition, sure. If you think that works in real life, just try making it stick in the real world applied to everyone equally, then get back to me.






posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 10:04 AM
link   
reply to post by mordant1
 

No. That's the definition for everyone.




top topics



 
7
<<   2 >>

log in

join