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Author Topic:   Are You Racist?
PaulK
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Posts: 17009
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 16 of 30 (888741)
10-02-2021 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Percy
10-02-2021 2:33 PM


quote:
Yes, racism in America traces back to slavery, but slavery ended 150 years ago. What perpetuates racism?

The end of slavery hardly ended the attitudes related to it. Let’s not forget the Jim Crow laws, segregation and the Civil Rights movement - nor the brutal and violent opposition to ending segregation.

I’ve no doubt that the attitudes are passed on. How could they not be? And I’ve no doubt that general xenophobia reinforces it. Or that there are some on the right encouraging racism, and growing in influence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Percy, posted 10-02-2021 2:33 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 10-02-2021 4:32 PM PaulK has responded

  
Percy
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Posts: 20334
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 17 of 30 (888743)
10-02-2021 3:45 PM


The Atlantic Chimes In
A review of White Fragility appeared in The Atlantic in July of last year: The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility. The author, John McWhorter, a professor at Columbia, is black. I'm reading through it and will comment as I go:

quote:
I am not convinced. Rather, I have learned that one of America’s favorite advice books of the moment is actually a racist tract. Despite the sincere intentions of its author, the book diminishes Black people in the name of dignifying us. This is unintentional, of course, like the racism DiAngelo sees in all whites. Still, the book is pernicious because of the authority that its author has been granted over the way innocent readers think.

Wow!

Before reading on I wonder if I can guess why he thinks it's a racist tract? I did think that some of it was condescending, so is that why? And I would agree that its proposed solution is impractical because it requires that white people constantly walk on eggshells for fear of offending while at the same time maintaining awareness that they will inevitably offend and then have to apologize. But being impractical (because only a tiny percentage of white people will ever go to such lengths) doesn't make it wrong. But the impracticality why he calls it racist?

As I read on I see one way in which he misunderstands DiAngelo's book, and it's a misunderstanding that none of the racist comments I quoted earlier make:

quote:
She operates from the now-familiar concern with white privilege, aware of the unintentional racism ever lurking inside of her that was inculcated from birth by the white supremacy on which America was founded. To atone for this original sin, she is devoted to endlessly exploring, acknowledging, and seeking to undo whites’ “complicity with and investment in” racism. To DiAngelo, any failure to do this “work,” as adherents of this paradigm often put it, renders one racist.

That last sentence misstates DiAngelo's position. It isn't failing to commit to this "work" that makes one racist. To DiAngelo, simply being white raised in our racist society makes one racist. Being conscious of your racism neither removes it nor atones for it. I'll read on now, but I wonder if this misunderstanding of her work underpins what he goes on to say.

quote:
Later in the book, DiAngelo insinuates that, when white women cry upon being called racists, Black people are reminded of white women crying as they lied about being raped by Black men eons ago. But how would she know? Where is the evidence for this presumptuous claim?

McWhorter is dead right on this one. I, too, found it weird. Why would a black woman feel victimized by a white woman crying after hearing extremely distressing stories of racial abuse, such as 14-year-old Emmett Till being lynched in 1955, which is sad enough all by itself. But even more sad is that he was lynched after a white woman accused him of menacing her and behaving in a sexually crude manner toward her, but she recanted just a few years ago, saying none of it was true. Her lie fed white hatred of uppity blacks. Not crying and maintaining stoicism in the face of such stories could be interpreted as being unfeeling toward the plight of blacks. By defining the context as completely catch-22 in nature DiAngelo is revealed as having no solution at all.

Here's McWhorter misunderstand DiAngelo again, which is hard to fathom because her points aren't subtle or ambiguous:

quote:
We must consider what is required to pass muster as a non-fragile white person. Refer to a “bad neighborhood,” and you’re using code for Black; call it a “Black neighborhood,” and you’re a racist; by DiAngelo’s logic, you are not to describe such neighborhoods at all, even in your own head.

DiAngelo's actual point is that white vocabulary has gone underground. White's no longer refer to "black neighborhoods" but to "bad neighborhoods," not because they're actually bad but because that's how whites refer to black neighborhoods today when trying to avoid appearing racist. Instead of saying, "You don't want to live there there because it's a *black* neighborhood," because that would sound racist, they instead say, "You don't want to live there there because it's a *bad* neighborhood."

And here he misunderstands DiAngelo yet again:

quote:
Remember also that you are not to express yourself except to say Amen. Namely, thou shalt not utter:

I know people of color.
I marched in the sixties.
You are judging me.
etc...(this is the same list I provided in a previous message)

But DiAngelo was very clear on more than one occasion that these are examples of white defensiveness exhibited when their racism is brought to their attention. A common emotional reaction at her seminars is apparently, "How dare you call attention to my unconscious racism at a seminar devoted to helping people become aware of their unconscious racism." She's not telling people not to say them. She's saying that using these denials of racism only puts their racism on display.

To me this reveals McWhorter delusional:

quote:
In my life, racism has affected me now and then at the margins, in very occasional social ways, but has had no effect on my access to societal resources; if anything, it has made them more available to me than they would have been otherwise. Nor should anyone dismiss me as a rara avis. Being middle class, upwardly mobile, and Black has been quite common during my existence since the mid-1960s, and to deny this is to assert that affirmative action for Black people did not work.

Really? Racism has only affected him "now and then at the margins"? That is very hard to believe. He's never been the only black at a swimming pool or beach and drawn stares? He's never been denied membership in a club? Colleagues at Columbia have never left him off the invitation list for a university dinner or event? He's never been pulled over by a white cop just for driving? He's never experienced anything like Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard being arrested for trying to enter his own home (see Harvard Professor Jailed; Officer Is Accused of Bias (Published 2009))?

Many more examples could be provided, but McWhorter's claim of having experienced only inconsequential racism rings completely false. I wish he had led with this, because then I would have ignored his article. He may be black, but he's inexplicably completely incompetent to comment on racism.

--Percy


  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20334
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 18 of 30 (888744)
10-02-2021 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by PaulK
10-02-2021 3:06 PM


PaulK writes:

The end of slavery hardly ended the attitudes related to it. Let’s not forget the Jim Crow laws, segregation and the Civil Rights movement - nor the brutal and violent opposition to ending segregation.

Sure, but what kept white resentment alive? After Lincoln's assassination Johnson gave back much of what had been won in the war. Grant tried to repair the damage, such as by outlawing the KKK, but by then it was too late and southern states were already beginning to pass Jim Crow laws that codified segregation.

But as the era of slavery receded into the past, why didn't white resentment of blacks diminish? It instead seemed to strengthen and harden with Jim Crow laws becoming more broad and strict and the KKK beginning again in the early 20th century. How did white hatred and resentment of blacks maintain itself in the face of segregation's very visible ability to force blacks into lives of misery? Why wasn't that enough to change attitudes from hatred to pity and a desire to improve their lives, or at least stop making them worse.

I’ve no doubt that the attitudes are passed on.

Me either, but for 150 years across at least six generations without weakening?

And I’ve no doubt that general xenophobia reinforces it.

Enough to explain why racism is still so entrenched?

Or that there are some on the right encouraging racism, and growing in influence.

I think only that they're "on the right" is new. The racists have always been there regardless of political affiliation. Maybe they're growing in influence, I don't know, but it could also be that they no longer feel they have to veil their racism, making them much more conspicuous.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by PaulK, posted 10-02-2021 3:06 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 10-02-2021 5:00 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20334
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 19 of 30 (888745)
10-02-2021 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Son Goku
10-02-2021 3:00 PM


Son Goku writes:

Well I would say that one shouldn't be surprised that events 150 years ago have ongoing effects.

Yes, historical events ripple across time. What perplexes me is why prejudice against blacks appears to be as strong today as it was 150 years ago. Tons of societal and cultural attitudes have changed immensely in that time, but not racial prejudice. That seems to be a constant, and I'm wondering why.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Son Goku, posted 10-02-2021 3:00 PM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
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Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1181
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 20 of 30 (888747)
10-02-2021 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
10-02-2021 4:38 PM


Well we've had massive shifts in culture and attitudes and yet Traveller prejudice is just as strong, if not stronger, as it was 150 years ago. All it requires is such shifts not affecting how people are raised to view that group. It's fairly clear to me that "White" people in America have a received way of interacting with "Black" people and that has simply being consistently maintained in the culture, with just the average expression moving away from the most egregious racism.

The only African-American I've ever worked with specifically said to me that "you guys don't really act white" and specifically mentioned how we made tactile contact with him, such as back patting, nudging during a joke etc. It seems to me there's definitely norms of interaction maintaining this stuff.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 10-02-2021 4:38 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17009
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 21 of 30 (888748)
10-02-2021 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Percy
10-02-2021 4:32 PM


quote:
Sure, but what kept white resentment alive?

Resentment of what ?

As you point out a racist system was put in place and that would largely maintain the same sort of attitudes as slavery did. I don’t think we need go beyond that to explain why the end of slavery didn’t make an awful lot of difference.

Then there’s the fear of those seen as “inferior” rising up and competing and even winning. That may well be an attitude that made the Tulsa race massacre as bad as it was.

I think that racism - at least in the more severe cases we’re talking about - is largely about a desire to feel superior. (I don’t think it’s true in the very mild cases - they’re more xenophobia).

Also it’s about justifying the way of things as natural and right. In a racist system many will justify it by adopting racist beliefs,

Some will see it as wrong - I’m sure some did - but many will not.

quote:
Me either, but for 150 years across at least six generations without weakening?

The figure of 150 years is clearly wrong. Replacing slavery with a grossly racist system did not create anything like a clean slate.

quote:
Enough to explain why racism is still so entrenched?

I never claimed it was. Nor does it need to be since racism was so thoroughly ingrained into the society.

quote:
I think only that they're "on the right" is new

I think the recent increase in racist rhetoric is notable (even if it is not “new” in an absolute sense) and the increasing influence is something that should be of concern.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 10-02-2021 4:32 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6032
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 22 of 30 (888750)
10-02-2021 5:55 PM


I'm thinking a major social difference between European and American experiences with race/slavery/prejudice is the fact that Europe gave up slavery voluntarily and could do so because the economic disruptions were minimal.

Not so in the USofA. We had to fight an especially bloody war to break the economic hold slavery had on the culture of half our nation. The old wounds (great loss of wealth, power, blood) still haunt our prejudices.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 5810
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.0


(1)
Message 23 of 30 (888751)
10-02-2021 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
10-02-2021 4:38 PM


What perplexes me is why prejudice against blacks appears to be as strong today as it was 150 years ago.

It isn't as strong today. It is still strong with some people, but they are now a smaller part of the population.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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PaulK
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Posts: 17009
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 24 of 30 (888752)
10-03-2021 3:32 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by AZPaul3
10-02-2021 5:55 PM


There’s some nuance to that. In Britain most of the slavery was off in the colonies - slavery in Britain itself had a rather dubious legal basis (it had no statute law authorising it). It was economically important (wealth from the colonies and the slave trade), so I don’t think that economics is that decisive a point.

So, in Britain it was, I think largely a case of “out of sight, out of mind” - until the abolitionists spread word of the horrors. In the American South the whole thing was right there. Racism tends to focus on the visible minorities.


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Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1181
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 25 of 30 (888753)
10-03-2021 4:39 AM


At a simpler level there's also European countries that weren't really involved in slavery.

  
LamarkNewAge
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Posts: 1970
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 26 of 30 (888757)
10-03-2021 10:46 AM


A Fascinating Map of the World's Least and Most Racially Tolerant Countries t
Washington Post
May 15, 2013
Max Fisher

It used the question surrounding individual preferences for a neighbor of a certain race as the barometer.

I am sorry to say India is the most ****** country, by this metric. I have gotten lots of pushback, by literally 100 different people (about 70 different conversations) when I say India is probably the most enlightened country in the world. And about 65 of the 70 conversations, that gave me the pushback, were from African Americans who quickly bring up the cast system.

(I will skip my response to the attacks on India as ******, but I have lots of arguments that show why Ghandi and India are the most tolerant of freedom for people of all races to live anywhere they want)

I want to get back to the thread title:

I always tell people that I am hypothetically ******, and it has to do with my fringe belief in rapid evolution, for one thing. The ethical vegetarians are more ethical than the rest, and once a population of vegetarians grows, in one concentrated place, then their geographic race is on the path to superiority over the places that have barely begun the transformation. And I do feel that there is a biological thing going on. But heredity at the mind level comes first, and I am not sure if there is a non biological function going on. And I dont mean social transmission.

(I have never gotten pushback from African Americans on this view, so it seems to bother them little. But there is an understanding that the fact of evolutionary forces operating ensures there are going to be many, more minor, racial differences that clearly go beyond simply being a "social construct")

Christopher Hitchens, in Hitch-22, ridiculed many liberal professors who said, "You know, race is really just a social construct". He quickly dismissed them with a few choice lines.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20334
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 27 of 30 (888758)
10-03-2021 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by LamarkNewAge
10-03-2021 10:46 AM


Re: A Fascinating Map of the World's Least and Most Racially Tolerant Countries t
The article you reference in your title can be found here: A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries. Here's the map:

The US is in the "most tolerant" category because Americans are experienced at veiling their racism. Probably at least a good 30% of the country don't want blacks living next door.

--Percy


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ringo
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Posts: 19260
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 4.4


(2)
Message 28 of 30 (888759)
10-03-2021 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Son Goku
10-02-2021 4:58 PM


Son Goku writes:

... how we made tactile contact with him, such as back patting, nudging during a joke etc.


My cousin's husband told a story about when he was hitchhiking through Louisiana in the old hippie days:

He stopped at a laundromat to do some laundry and was well under way before he realized that he was the only white person in the place. (I probably would have noticed as soon as I opened the door and I would have quietly gone on my way. But he was very innocent in some ways - I honestly can't remember him ever having a bad word to say about anybody.)

One of the black women came over and showed him a shirt and asked if he'd like to try it on. It was a nice shirt, so he gladly tried it on. He realized only later that the lady had been testing him because a lot of white people wouldn't want to touch anything that a black person had worn.


"I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!"
-- Lucky Ned Pepper

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Percy
Member
Posts: 20334
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 29 of 30 (888765)
10-03-2021 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by ringo
10-03-2021 11:38 AM


In the early 1980's my not-yet-wife and I drove from New Hampshire where we lived down to Florida, camping all along the way. We built up quite a load of dirty laundry and while we were driving through Jacksonville we noticed a laundromat just off the highway, easy-off, easy-on.

New Hampshire is a very white state and we were both completely unconscious of race. The laundromat was filled with cheerful, friendly black women full of helpful advice that we were happy to receive since we were unfamiliar with laundromats. That we were the only white people there escaped our notice at the time. We had to wait for our laundry to finish, of course, and enjoyed conversing with everyone there.

In later years as we became more conscious of race we've wondered if we misinterpreted how the black women felt about two white people walking into their neighborhood laundromat.

--Percy


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15652
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 30 of 30 (888862)
10-14-2021 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Percy
10-03-2021 1:23 PM


At My Store The Majority Of Shoplifters Are Black.
I don't think that you can label the feelings of a group of people of color collectively. Some of the women were no doubt a bit surprised yet amicable towards you. Not everyone is prejudiced. It is based on our individual experiences with other races don't you think? I must admit to being prejudiced due to the behavior that I observe over and over and over again.

We have a lot of blatant shoplifters. They come in with their empty bags and light backpacks and stuff them full...I mean FULL of products obviously intended for resale on the street. Our employees get irritated by this, though I will say that (likely due to the neighborhood our store is in) MOST of our known shoplifters are black. This does not mean that blacks steal more than other races, but it does indicate that most poor(er) people are black (at least in the neighborhood our store is in)

I find myself saying "its not fair" over and over again in my mind. My prejudice is due to my perception (which may or may not be correct) that many shoplifters seem to be Blaise about their crime and in fact, feel entitled to repeatedly do it. I'm not sure why it makes me so angry, but I feel a misplaced sense of entitlement and a curious lack of guilt or responsibility among the ones (the same ones) that we see day in and day out....always leaving with full bags and backpacks that were clearly empty when they came in. Am I wrong for feeling prejudice?

I keep finding myself nearly shouting at God for this entitlement that I perceive as going against me. (An employee who gets his livelihood from the pilfered company)


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


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