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Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on February 28, 2005, 15:23:
 
I have heard more than one person(even a friend I considered like-minded) refer to the Oscars and the big deal that was made about having 4 black nominess this year and about Jamie Foxx saying in his speech ,"Let's live this African-American dream", which prompted Oprah to stick her fist triumphantly in the air(and of course they then cut to Spike Lee, Morgan, etc). It was the same last year when Halle Berry said her award was for all the women of colour who can now break through, or something like that. People are asking, why does it always have to be a "Black thing?"

The press even asked Jamie about his comments and made him, in a way, justify them by saying he meant in the context of all the bad things going on in black culture that this was a positive thing.

My question: why are so many white people uncomfortable with this??


If you went to your high school reunion, and all the nerds who were picked on or ignored turned out to be millionaires or superstars, for example, and they all stood up and said,"Let's hear it for the nerds"-would anyone begrudge them the attention or say they were making it into "a nerd thing"?? no.

If a group of handicapped people were given awards for achievement in a certain field and said, "This is wonderful progress for the handicapped", would anyone find fault with that??


This is a nation who oppressed and owned African-Americans for years-many blacks my own age couldn't use a public bathroom or sit at the front of a bus when they were little. Why not acknowledge the fact that the entertainment industry has not always been supportive and accessible to everyone, either, and let them say, "Yes, this is a great moment for us."?


Is it the guilt we feel as whites, or is it perceived subconsciously as some threat to us? I don't get it.
 
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on February 28, 2005, 16:05:
 
Snupy,

I have found some of the rigamarole over the "black" thing annoying.

Whites and black both look at the world as an us and them. Every one seems to ignore the fact that there are more races than them, like politics. And I have felt this new reaction of "PC"ness has gone too far. A black man can make fun of a white man. A white man cannot. hmm.

And then everyone can make fun of asians and middle-easterners. That is fsckd up too. No one ever seems to bother to mention that.

Blah, I hate everyone. No one is safe from my scorn. [devil wand]

edit: I am glad that blacks are now actually played by blacks. Not by some white guy in crappy makeup. And that the parts that blacks play are no longer just "Huggy Bear" characters. I just wish that people would admit we have a lot further to go. For every race.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on February 28, 2005, 16:15:
 
Well, to me America seems like a very polarised place, especially these days.

Black or White
With us, or agin us
Red state or Blue state
North or South
Rich or Poor
Pepsi or Coke [Wink]

For a country that claims to be a 'melting pot' it has a lot of work to do that is for sure.

Canada seems to do quiet well with multiculturalism, it isn't perfect but compare Toronto to LA or New York. Similar size cities but race is viewed (or not) very differently. From what I recall of visiting London 20 odd years ago ethnic groups seemed to be flourishing as well.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on February 28, 2005, 16:41:
 
What's wrong with New York?! It's the backwoods you have to worry about. :-/ There are some scary close-minded people there...
 
Posted by n4dmx (Member # 3177) on February 28, 2005, 16:51:
 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
Snupy,

I have found some of the rigamarole over the "black" thing annoying.

Whites and black both look at the world as an us and them. Every one seems to ignore the fact that there are more races than them, like politics. And I have felt this new reaction of "PC"ness has gone too far. A black man can make fun of a white man. A white man cannot. hmm.

And then everyone can make fun of asians and middle-easterners. That is fsckd up too. No one ever seems to bother to mention that.

Blah, I hate everyone. No one is safe from my scorn. [devil wand]

edit: I am glad that blacks are now actually played by blacks. Not by some white guy in crappy makeup. And that the parts that blacks play are no longer just "Huggy Bear" characters. I just wish that people would admit we have a lot further to go. For every race.

I completely agree with you, Commander.

The nerds, handicapped, etc. are exempt from this because these groups can contain individuals from any race. However, when a group of individuals single out an accomplishment as a victory for their entire race, it naturally arouses a feeling of exclusion from other races.

Suppose someone were to say "Let's hear it for the whites!"? [Eek!]

We ALL have a very long way to go before true racial equality is achieved, if ever. [Beard of Peter Gabriel!]
 
Posted by TMBWITW,PB (Member # 1734) on February 28, 2005, 16:58:
 
Cap'n, slightly OT: I recently learned that the United States is no longer trying to show itself as a "melting pot". Apparantly the new metaphor we are supposed to use is the "salad bowl". It's supposed to show how each individual retains their own culture and identity but still come together to create a beautiful new thing. What I want to know is a)Who decided it needed to be changed? b)How much did they get paid to think up this new thing? and c)Who on earth had to do that marketing campaign?

quote:
Is it the guilt we feel as whites, or is it perceived subconsciously as some threat to us? I don't get it.

I don't know. My guess would be that it is a little of each. We all have prejudices built into us from childhood and they can come out at strange times. After moving to Richmond, a city with a much greater minority population than my old home, I discovered some uncomfortable things about myself that I am now working on. [ohwell] Maybe a little of it is jealousy, because no one could get away with saying, "This is so great for the white people." (Why would someone feel the need to say that? I have no idea.)

And there are people who would find fault with the nerds or handicapped folks giving themselves a hand, too. The sad part is, the justification for not letting them do it sounds good. "Let's just let people be people and not separate ourselves into groups." That argument doesn't last long once people begin to look at it. There was a measure on the ballot a couple of years ago in California to keep any state agency from collecting ethnic data. On the surface it looked like it was a bid for equality, but it was overwhelmingly defeated because people realized that it could just as easily be "racial discrimination without a paper trail*."

*-Ariana Huffington, Gubernatorial debate
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on February 28, 2005, 17:02:
 
The fact is, until not too long ago, black actors got to play criminals, bell-boys, peasant farmers, or domestic servants.

And things haven't changed all that much.

"Desperate Housewives" recently started playing over here. Last night we had what I'm pretty sure was the first appearance of a black person, she was a street hooker.

How many black characters in 'Friends', or 'Seinfeld' ?

The fact that actors like Halle Berry now get to play the same kind of roles whites have been playing all along is cause for celebration.
 
Posted by jordanv (Member # 3189) on February 28, 2005, 17:19:
 
Not every black person is African-American..

just a point I think should be made clear.

American racial politics is certainly interesting in the way everything is turned into a racial issue by the press/political figures (unfortunately in most cases correctly eg KKK highway etc).

Here in Australia it isn't so black and white (pardon the atrocious pun).

The relative youth of Australia as a nation has seen an interesting development - each stage of migration brings with it mainstream acceptance of the previous generation of migrants.

To explain:

The first proper wave of post-ww2 migration: mainly polish and other slavs of the soviet region. High levels of racism against them by the Anglo-saxon migrants(a contentious status..).

next wave - the arrival of Southern Europeans..Greeks,Italians, Albanians etc.

Here we have a situation where the slavs have been accepted by a majority as "Australian enough". The slavic migrants were in fact the most vicious racists towards the "New Australians".

Another generation passes, a new wave of migration : The Semites and Asians.

Now we have everyone ganging up on them. Note: by semites we mean mainly ethnic Lebanese, Persians and from memory Egyptians.

Every generation spews forth the same arguments against the 'New Australians' - they are vicious animals, they smell funny, they don't speak English, they live amongst themselves and they are all stealing our jobs.

Then ten years pass and all of a sudden you are taking your family out to Italian restaraunts, watching Japanese films and listening to belly dancing music and they don't seem so bad anymore.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on February 28, 2005, 17:46:
 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
Cap'n, slightly OT: I recently learned that the United States is no longer trying to show itself as a "melting pot". Apparantly the new metaphor we are supposed to use is the "salad bowl".

Now I'm confused as to the meaning of having one's 'salad tossed' Something to do with ethnic cleansing I suppose [Wink]
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on February 28, 2005, 18:14:
 
quote:
Originally posted by n4dmx:

The nerds, handicapped, etc. are exempt from this because these groups can contain individuals from any race. However, when a group of individuals single out an accomplishment as a victory for their entire race, it naturally arouses a feeling of exclusion from other races.

Suppose someone were to say "Let's hear it for the whites!"? [Eek!]


I used that comparison to illustrate the similar collective experience they all share. One of exclusion and being largely ignored.

Until recently, handicapped people were limited to certain restaurants, public restrooms, and many public places until laws were in order to make them accessible, as well as making it illegal to discriminate against them. You're right-no similarity there, huh??
 
Posted by ZorroTheFox (Member # 917) on February 28, 2005, 18:32:
 
out of curiosity, what are black called in countries outside the us. Are they african-canadian in canada, and are they african-british in the UK? Why doesn't anyone just want to be american here in america? It seems everyone in the US wants to be some kind of hyphenated-american. And don't think I'm picking on the blacks either, they have plenty of company in that respect. Asian-American, Irish-American, etc.... I'm really insulted by the lack of solidarity here in the states. If people are so insecure about being simply american, they why even bother using the word american to describe themselves. Perhaps it should be just African, Asian, Irish, or whatever place people would rather be associated with. Maybe it's because I have so many different nationalities in my bloodline that I really don't see people as different races. As far as I'm concerned we are all simply humans, and our nationality should not be used as a description of race but rather as a description of our allegiance to the country of our birth. To me, the only people who should be hyphenated are people with dual citizenship. Reguardless of our race, we were all spawned from the same origin. In the end we are all related and there really shouldn't be such drive to seperate one's self from another based simply on their roots. If the origin of man was really in africa as some scholars believe, then are not all americans technically african-american. Sure our skin might not be the same hue, but should we really be dividing ourselves into communities by appearance. I do not have the luxury of picking one of the many bloodlines that makes up my being. If I chose one then I'd be denying the others. I realize that not having a heritage to call my own probably doesn't make me qualified to rant about this but I'm tired of being labeled simply by the color of my skin and the origin of my family tree. I've dated from just about every group I can think of and I haven't noticed much difference in the races. FYI, I've found the South East Asian girls to be the most pleasant and easiest to get along with, but that's another story. If a few whites are threatened by the success of a few blacks then that's just too bad. Obviously they haven't evolved yet, but that's something that may never go away. Racism and bigotry will never go away. Whether it be physical differences or religious ones, hatred will be fully exorcised from this planet without killing off those who that that keep the hatred alive. Black thing, white thing, it's all insignificant to me. I'm still looking forward to the day I can walk up to any man of any race and know that we see each other as brothers.
 
Posted by jordanv (Member # 3189) on February 28, 2005, 18:40:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ZorroTheFox:
I'm still looking forward to the day I can walk up to any man of any race and know that we see each other as brothers.

I for one wouldn't be looking forward to discovering that my father was also my brother... [Eek!]

but seriously, good sentiments. This last sentence I picked out - what about women? Do you not think they are equal? I'm sure you do - but no good complaining about race when you unconsciously (I hope) sexually discriminate.
 
Posted by magefile (Member # 2918) on February 28, 2005, 19:43:
 
You used disabled folks in your example, snupy. I thought that was particularly interesting because, wel ... As a disabled person (with the caveat that I am otherwise not a minority, i.e., white suburban male), my feelings, and the feelings of most of the disabled from what I've seen, is that being singled out as "ooh, a disabled person did X" makes us somewhat uncomfortable. It draws a distinction - is it supposed to be *more* impressive because I was *disabled*?

I've been told at times by well-meaning people that one or another of my accomplishments is particularly impressive given my disability. At times, this makes sense, but most of the time, it only serves to remind me that, yes, I am *different*, and there are still people who fall all along the spectrum from not noticing or caring, to noticing but attempting to act like they don't (which is better than nothing) to outright prejudice. Even if I have overcome some obstacle, well, we all have crap to deal with, this just happens to be my particular issue.

At least, that's my take on it. It doesn't apply to all disabled people (I can think of several exceptions right now), but it does apply to most.

quote:
If a group of handicapped people were given awards for achievement in a certain field and said, "This is wonderful progress for the handicapped", would anyone find fault with that??
So ... yes. There's a good chance I and many others would. It's one thing if it's a measure like high political office (first ___ president shows that America accepts ____ people). But for other measures, I would likely roll my eyes and sigh.
 
Posted by ewomack (Member # 3225) on February 28, 2005, 20:33:
 
TV likes to reinforce stereotypes. So when the "black thing" speech happened at the Oscars the network leapt into stereotype mode; this reinforced to all the whites safe in their homes that this wasn't something for "them" but for those "other people". In one way that episode, especially how it was produced and portrayed, put a gulf between the whites watching and the blacks celebrating on screen. It was a mini-segregation, a reiteration of the "other", almost as though a producer said "Ok, let them have their moment and then we'll get back to the status quo". This is the crap that still exists in the US mainstream. And it's everywhere. We're still being segregated in very subtle (not to mention the unsubtle) ways.

My city (I live in the northern United States) is EXTREMELY segregated. Shockingly so. When I travel to places like St. Louis or Kansas City I'm always struck by how many black people I see. In my city I see almost NONE whatsoever. It's really sad. De facto segregation is alive and well where I live not to mention in the airwaves coming into my very segregated condo.

So why can we not make fun of blacks but we can make fun of others? The 1960s pretty much defined that - the civil rights movement more or less shouted "we are human beings: stop portraying us as babbling fools". We're still in the shadow of that, and a balance hasn't been found (it's hard to take some 200 years of imbalance and turn it around in a few decades). Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" explores this subject extremely well. There's a lot of history on this subject, and without some knowledge of it it's easy to think PCism is "too rigid" (though in some ways it is, true). For many many years the US mainstream pretty much spewed offensive hatred for black people. North America was an apartheid. I think it was a lot worse than many today realize (though I didn't live through it either). Check out some of the history at this site: http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on February 28, 2005, 20:50:
 
>>>It was a mini-segregation, a reiteration of the "other", almost as though a producer said "Ok, let them have their moment and then we'll get back to the status quo".


Very good point-I couldn't quite put that into words.
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on February 28, 2005, 20:55:
 
"So ... yes. There's a good chance I and many others would. It's one thing if it's a measure like high political office (first ___ president shows that America accepts ____ people). But for other measures, I would likely roll my eyes and sigh."


I see your point, magefile, however, what I said was, if the people themselves pointed it out as an achievement for their particular group, NOT other people. That would be condescending and comparable to the white stars saying, "Oh, how nice for the African-Americans".

That is certainly not what I said or meant.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on February 28, 2005, 21:03:
 
magefile: Rock on, man! I have recently gotten pissed off at such prejudice lately. I was really annoyed by someone with a very thick point of view who just "doesn't get it." Both times such things have come up I have argued it tooth and nail with her, as I'm blown away by this mindset of 'disability.' Having one disability does not turn a person into a blob of flesh and blood that can't do anything.

One thing we argued about was keyboards. Long story short, when it came up about a keyboard for a blind person, she held that it must be a 'different' keyboard, /naturally/ with extra dimples or other stuff to help with typing. I called Bullsh*t big time on that - pointing out that a blind person would be a natural touch-typist, and be completely able to type without any extra hints (beyond the regular F&J dimples [also unnecessary, but nice.]) I pointed out that I am a touch typist, and never look at the keys, so why would a blind person be any different. Hell, when I make typos, as I did in the previous sentence, mid-composition, as well as in this one, I realize it mentally, and know exactly how many keys off I am (most of the time), and fix it, often without even looking at the screen. Screen readers takes care of the rest. I've subsequently worked with a few [completely] blind people computing, and guess what? I was right - of course the keyboard is no different - except for the ones who have some vision, who have very large letters on the keys. I, the lover of keyboard shortcuts, even picked up one trick from a blind person - WinKey+D for Show Desktop. I know I saw it a document ages ago, but never really saw how useful it is.

Another more recent thing between us was about someone with a mobility impairment - someone who has difficulty walking, as well as rather poor eyesight. The person was inquiring about having a simple external USB peripheral hooked up to her machine. The general consensus was that this person was just being lazy and wanted someone to do it for them, and that was definitely my take. But no.../someone/ argued that maybe she couldn't do it. Again, I called BS! I've worked with this person before, and know she's far from incapable. To say she can't take something out of the box, and plug it in, just doesn't sit right with me. I don't even buy the potential argument that she might not be able to do the installer, because I imagine she's using her computer without too much difficulty for the most part, and it should just be a matter of clicking "Yes" a bunch of times. *sigh*

I like to say that I am "Equal Opportunity Prejudiced." [Smile] I don't care what race, creed, nationality, ethnicity, religious, ancestry, etc. that you 'are'/have - if you're pointedly ignorant, refusing to use your brain, and opening your mind to possibilties outside your preconceived notions of the world, then I reserve the right to have nothing to do with you, mock you, greatly dislike/despise you, and/or anything else determined at a later date and time. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Spiderman (Member # 1609) on February 28, 2005, 21:09:
 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
...I like to say that I am "Equal Opportunity Prejudiced." [Smile] I don't care what race, creed, nationality, ethnicity, religious, ancestry, etc. that you 'are'/have - if you're pointedly ignorant, refusing to use your brain, and opening your mind to possibilties outside your preconceived notions of the world, then I reserve the right to have nothing to do with you, mock you, greatly dislike/despise you, and/or anything else determined at a later date and time. [Big Grin]

/me nominates dragonman97 for "Best Post" award [Smile]

Very well said. [thumbsup]

Edit: Removed additional content due to the fact I couldn't figure what I was trying to say due to the current half-asleep state of my brain as you'll probably notice by this lovely run-on sentence that probably makes even less sense than what I originally set out to say which as I mentioned, I decided to give up on... [Wink] [Razz]
 
Posted by spungo (Member # 1089) on March 01, 2005, 02:59:
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
How many black characters in 'Friends', or 'Seinfeld' ?

The fact that actors like Halle Berry now get to play the same kind of roles whites have been playing all along is cause for celebration.

Ah - but... her role in Monster's Ball was specifically for a black woman - that was part of the story, so you could argue that it isn't progress until such a role exists such that the race of the actress isn't pertinent to the plot.

Folks who make movies/TV shows have it tough - they often get accused of tokenism when they do feature a diverse cast. What about LoTR - that was a dodgy one - the only non-white actors were the orcs - i.e. the baddies - but it was supposed to be an ancient northern Europe - difficult to see how you could make it otherwise without fiddling with the story.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on March 01, 2005, 03:23:
 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
What about LoTR - that was a dodgy one - the only non-white actors were the orcs - i.e. the baddies - but it was supposed to be an ancient northern Europe - difficult to see how you could make it otherwise without fiddling with the story.

Plus LOTR makes a lot of the light=good, dark=evil thing in it's worldview(which sprung from Tolkien's Christian world view, no doubt). Since it's a fantasy world, that's probably OK, I'm sure that Tolkien wasn't making any racial illusions to the real world. Incidentally, wasn't the Haradrim driver in ROTK dark skinned, too (but also a baddie, obviously)?

Anyway, I'd like to see a world where what race someone is is treated with the same level of importance as their natural hair colour. That's going to involve change in nearly everyone's viewpoints, since the policitical correctness rebuff against the mistreatment of certain races in the past has way overcompensated(balance is good, but things have overbalanced, in some ways). It's like that skit by some comedian, where someone's trying to discreetly point out someone in a crowd and describing every characteristic except that he's black.
 
Posted by spungo (Member # 1089) on March 01, 2005, 03:42:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
It's like that skit by some comedian, where someone's trying to discreetly point out someone in a crowd and describing every characteristic except that he's black.

There's a fantastic show called "Goodness Gracious Me" (one of my all-time faves) that pokes fun at such things - like the chap who proudly insists that everything from Western culture is, in fact, Indian.

"Superman? Indian! Cheap suit, bad glasses - Indian! Runs faster than a train - where else but India can you run faster than the trains? Holds down two jobs - Indian! All superheroes are Indian! Batman, Spiderman, Catman . . ."
 
Posted by magefile (Member # 2918) on March 01, 2005, 06:18:
 
While snupy is right in that I'm talking about external recognition of some achievement, internal recognition is very similar, because it sends the message that such recognition is OK or even desired, and thus encourages external recognition.

I second Spidey's nomination of dman for best post/phrase: "Equal Opportunity Prejudice".
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on March 01, 2005, 07:21:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:

Anyway, I'd like to see a world where what race someone is is treated with the same level of importance as their natural hair colour. That's going to involve change in nearly everyone's viewpoints, since the policitical correctness rebuff against the mistreatment of certain races in the past has way overcompensated(balance is good, but things have overbalanced, in some ways).

Read some LeGuin. Most of her people are not white, and while she mades that choice vry deliberately she doesn't really make a big deal about it beyond character descriptions in her writing...most of the time. In one of her books the white people are kept as slaves.

This is why I refused to watch the bastardization of the Earthsea Trilogy the Scifi channel put together. I'm sorry, but Ged and most of his friends and enemies are NOT white.
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on March 01, 2005, 07:55:
 
posted by spungo:

>>Ah - but... her role in Monster's Ball was specifically for a black woman - that was part of the story, so you could argue that it isn't progress until such a role exists such that the race of the actress isn't pertinent to the plot.


I heard Morgan Freeman say that his role in Shawshank Redemption(in the book, I think) was originally white.
 
Posted by spungo (Member # 1089) on March 01, 2005, 08:00:
 
quote:
Originally posted by snupy:
I heard Morgan Freeman say that his role in Shawshank Redemption(in the book, I think) was originally white.

Yes, you're right - that's why the character's called 'Red'.
 
Posted by Too Cool To Quit (Member # 2217) on March 01, 2005, 11:04:
 
quote:
Originally posted by snupy:
If a group of handicapped people were given awards for achievement in a certain field and said, "This is wonderful progress for the handicapped", would anyone find fault with that??

Are you saying black people are handicapped?

[no offense meant, disclaimers and winking smiley]
 
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on March 01, 2005, 11:09:
 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
Cap'n, slightly OT: I recently learned that the United States is no longer trying to show itself as a "melting pot". Apparantly the new metaphor we are supposed to use is the "salad bowl". It's supposed to show how each individual retains their own culture and identity but still come together to create a beautiful new thing. What I want to know is a)Who decided it needed to be changed? b)How much did they get paid to think up this new thing? and c)Who on earth had to do that marketing campaign?

And who gets to play the croutons? Those bastards sog up real bad and lose all of their good qualities in no time in a salad! [Razz]

More on topic though, I think part of the problem people who are annoyed with this "black power" thing (at least for me), is that much of the striking down of every non-white race was done generations ago.. slavery, concentration camps, segregation, etc.

I'm not suggesting that it's all better -- it's far from it -- but we must look back on how far humans as a species have come fighting and doing away with racism. People in their teens, twenties, thirties, and even forties (for the most part) didn't commit any racist or indecent acts against anyone because of their race. They don't understand.

Much like those 20 year old black rappers out there rapping about racism. I mean, yes, I'm sure they've experienced it, but I'm also sure their 80 year old grandparents would like to slap the hell out of them because they dont "know what racism is".

I think I might be getting off-track, and perhaps even might be digging myself a hole here.

The whole point I'm making is we're all getting this, "black power" thing all over the TV, and for the most part, we don't understand why it's necessary, because most of us, for the most part, were brought up to know that a black person is black, and a white person is white, and that's where the differences end.

It's like me going, "6' tall people power!" .. I'd be looked at like I was retarded because it's not necessary.

.. I hope people understand my point, because that turned into a lot of drivel [Big Grin]
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on March 01, 2005, 12:55:
 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
[QUOTE]I think part of the problem people who are annoyed with this "black power" thing (at least for me), is that much of the striking down of every non-white race was done generations ago.. slavery, concentration camps, segregation, etc.

<yorkshire>
Yoong peepl t'day ....
</yorkshire>

Black people my age went to segregated schools in the US.
They grew up in a society where attempting to vote was a crime punishable by death.
Where sitting in the front of the bus was a crime punishable by death.
Where using a public toilet, or drinking from the public drinking fountain was a crime punishable by death.
Where looking with desire at a white woman was a crime punishable by death.

quote:
I'm not suggesting that it's all better -- it's far from it -- but we must look back on how far humans as a species have come fighting and doing away with racism. People in their teens, twenties, thirties, and even forties (for the most part) didn't commit any racist or indecent acts against anyone because of their race. They don't understand.

I think you underestimate how deeply ingrained racism is in the US.

While travelling through Georgia, we stopped in a small country town to buy some groceries. Going up and down the aisles of the supermarket, I noticed several people staring at me strangely, but couldn't figure out why (I actually checked my fly, just in case). It wasn't until we went back out to the car, and looked up and down the street that I twigged - we were the only whites in the entire town. It was officially a blacks-only town back in the 60s, and it still is, unofficially. White folks just don't go there.

And it's not just rural Georgia where segregation lives on. In Washington DC, we had lunch in a little park full of picnic tables, there would have been 20 or more tables, about half were occupied by groups of white office workers, the rest had groups of black office workers. Not a single table was mixed race.
 
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on March 01, 2005, 13:48:
 
Then please forgive me ignorance, it just seems to me that in any urban setting -- where the vast majority of the population is, remember -- this sort of thing seems odd and out of the ordinary.

That, and I'm Canadian, and we (as far as I've seen) are a lot better about multiculturalism than the United States.
 
Posted by ZorroTheFox (Member # 917) on March 01, 2005, 16:18:
 
quote:
Originally posted by jordanv:
quote:
Originally posted by ZorroTheFox:
I'm still looking forward to the day I can walk up to any man of any race and know that we see each other as brothers.

I for one wouldn't be looking forward to discovering that my father was also my brother... [Eek!]

but seriously, good sentiments. This last sentence I picked out - what about women? Do you not think they are equal? I'm sure you do - but no good complaining about race when you unconsciously (I hope) sexually discriminate.

I just didn't want it to get too wordy, as if it already weren't, by trying to appease both sexes. People are people reguardless of gender or sexual orientation. I'm not sure if I can call someone my sister without having the image of Joe Dirt running through my head, but I didn't mean for my commentary to be interpreted as having a gender bias. That said, it is generally then males of the species that are the cause of most problems. I have a feeling that if the men can get along, then the women will follow suit. [Wink]
 
Posted by CrawGator (Member # 392) on March 01, 2005, 16:32:
 
The only problem I have with the whole "Black thing" is that it still has to exist. Prejudice or the lack thereof is taught. When parents everywhere stop teaching their children prejudice, maybe by the time their grandchildren have children, we can finally and correctly say their is one human race.
 
Posted by supergoo (Member # 2280) on March 03, 2005, 15:35:
 
quote:
I think you underestimate how deeply ingrained racism is in the US.

I go to a public school in NC which is about 60% white but is basically voluntarily segregated. Whites and Asians on one side, Blacks and Mexicans ("Mexican" being a general term for anyone from central/south america) on the other side. Sure there are inter-racial friends and lovers, but people of one race mostly stick to their race. There isn't a whole lot of blatant hatred towards other races, it's just that the people in your neighborhood and the people you hang out with tend to be people of your own race. White kids go to white parties, black kids go to black parties.

Despite what people might say, there really is a stigma against black and/or hispanic students who do well academically. It isn't just from peers who might accuse a person of being "white" for doing well in school--teachers often expect less from black students, and when people expect less of you, you expect less of yourself. Even when really bright black or hispanic students do well, the general attitude is that "Oh wow, it's especially surprising that he's doing so well because he's a minority."

Of course I'd like to end racism and have race just be another feature like hair color, of course we've come a long way in making America a truly equal-opportunity place, but America is still a very racist nation, especially in the south.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on March 03, 2005, 17:11:
 
quote:
Originally posted by supergoo:
Even when really bright black or hispanic students do well, the general attitude is that "Oh wow, it's especially surprising that he's doing so well because he's a minority."

Story in the press recently, a school in the US which had traditionally awarded the title 'Valedictorian' to the student with the highest academic scores. For the first time, that student was a black kid, so, for the first time, they had 3 valedictorians, the black kid, and 2 white kids who'd got lower scores.
 
Posted by garlicguy (Member # 3166) on March 03, 2005, 21:41:
 
I wasn't going to say anything, but here goes:

1) I hate that this thread carries its current title. What the hell...

2) It seems that what is being discussed is widespread bigotry, with special emphasis on the racial variety practiced in the USA

3) While the problems here (USA) are huge and not to be ignored, bigotry exists in every country and culture on this planet - much of it tied to outwardly visible, genetically carried differences that we refer to as 'race' and including skin, hair and eye color with a myriad of other things thrown in.

4) The real fascination in this subject for me comes from the "ethnic cleansings" taking place *within* the same race or culture or whatever. I'm thinking of the messes going on in Ireland, Africa, the Baltic States and Middle East *without* even mentioning other countries' involvements - the internal strife, mayhem, insurrection amoung peoples of like histories, backgrounds, traditions. What the hell?

5) I've been studying Native American culture for a while and two concepts come back again and again: Deep, abiding respect for all life and true, self-sacrificing humility. With just these two virtues intact, people can co-exist without having to resort to killing one another, or causing hatred and grief.

Let's start another thread, with a different title to continue the discussion.

Sorry for the rant. It's one of those 'touchy' topics for me. No I am not black, so no worries there.
 
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on March 04, 2005, 11:14:
 
O.K. this is in truly poor taste. But ah hell I am doin it anyway.

[evil]  -
 
Posted by garlicguy (Member # 3166) on March 04, 2005, 12:21:
 
Actually, I think it tells the story rather succinctly, Commander. [Wink]
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on March 04, 2005, 13:57:
 
Shroom

That isn't bad taste, that makes the point perfectly...

Like the "equal opportunity prejudice" earlier which is a bit of a retread of the UK club comedian's favourite "Prejudiced, me? I'm not prejudiced! I hate everyone regardless of their race, colour, creed, sex or sexual orientation... Yah fsckers...

[Big Grin]
 
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on March 04, 2005, 14:53:
 
In all honesty it wasn't my first choice. I had a "moment of clarity" and decided to go with that instead of this one. Do not click if you are sensitive to racial slurs and NSFW!!!11!!

I guess it is safe to say the clarity has left me.
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on March 04, 2005, 17:25:
 
Nope,

That one is, shall we say "iffy" (aka in poor taste). The first one is much better (although like my tired old gag they all tread the same path...

As in why can't we just "get over it" and treat skin colour/ethnic background/whatever in the same way we worry about blonde or brunette? Big breasts or small? Are brown or pink nipples more common/arrousing? Is circumcised or uncut best?

As in "LIKE, WHATEVER"

BTW - "Goodness Gracious Me..." I thought it was hilarious but possibly had too many jokes that only "middle class white viewers" would find amusing. However my friend Moses (a dual citizenship British/Malaysian with parents of Indian origin) also found it hilarious but was concerned that there were too many jokes that only a British Asian with sub continental family roots would really find amusing...

Overall when we discussed it the skits we both found funniest were also the ones we most felt the other would least "like/find amusing" - Why was that?

We decided that it was because the funniest skits were also the most scathing regarding the way people behave. And in a perverse reverse kind of PC sense he was most worried by skits where "white" attitudes were visciously "sent up" which he found very funny but was afraid might anger certain elements of WASP society and I was most worried about skits where Asian culture was lampooned (even though by other Asians) that I found hilarious but which I felt might upset some Indian/Asian people...

Overall the best skits were the ones where the stupid sterotypes from both sides were inverted and then lampooned for their own stupidity... And yes i think we both learned something from that evening's discussion - stupid is stupid - and pointing it out is FUNNY regardless of which side of the (nominal) fence you stand as long as it is done without malice...

For those of You not familiar with it - keep an eye out on the comedy channels (Kumars at No. 42 is a spin off based on a couple of characters from that show)

Sorry, gone wildly off topic...

Never mind...

It's Friday... I'll have double egg and chips with four bread rolls on the side thanks.... (see above)


[Big Grin]
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on March 04, 2005, 19:39:
 
Originally posted by spungo:
quote:
Yes, you're right -

Ahhh...and in front of all these witnesses [Happytears] . Glad you finally see the light(it's not like I didn't tell you enough times. [Razz] )!
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on March 04, 2005, 19:42:
 
Garlic Guy:

The title of this thread was not meant to be offensive. If you read it again, my post was meant to point out the ridiculousness of the phrase itself. Perhaps it was the wrong choice.
 
Posted by garlicguy (Member # 3166) on March 04, 2005, 20:53:
 
After I made my little rant, I realized that you, Snupy, as the originator of the thread, might think it aimed in your direction. For that I apologize, and I should have made myself clear at the time. What troubles me is when we limit this topic to one minority or another or the conflict between only two or three groups. The fact is it is a global issue and involves virtually every identifiable people group that can be named, at least on some level.

My real issue is this, (loosely phrased, but sincere): Why in this world can we not learn to respect others, all others, as equals and when are we going to grow up and quit being self-absorbed naughty little name-calling brats? Moreover, I would like to suggest that the "brain trust" here, on GC Forums, might well lend some thought to solving this problem in a real, tangible and meaningful way.

Sounds kinda 'pie-in-the-sky' now that I type it out, but that is my genuine sentiment on the topic of racism, bigotry and equality.

Ah, ... er.... I guess that was either another rant or a preach so perhaps I should add an Amen to that stream above... [Wink]

PS: I registered here while you were mostly not posting, as you're undoubtedly aware. I looked at your picture in the gallery. You are the near twin of an old friend from back in the MidWest.
FWIW
 
Posted by ewomack (Member # 3225) on March 04, 2005, 22:52:
 
As long as societies are structured hierarchically (which they almost always have been) there's going to be hatred between the haves and have-nots (or between whoever the haves consider as a threat to their dominance). Typically the haves build the society in their image and the have-nots have to assimilate or become lost in the quagmires of the hegemonic culture. Unfortunately, some societies have turned hatred into profit. One example: the USA probably wouldn't be where it is today without hundreds of years of slavery (which justified free labor based on bigotry). Some argue (can't remember the references right now) that slavery was and is all about profit and nothing more. Racism was the 'propoganda' that allowed it to continue. Of course this can easily turn into a "chicken or the egg" type of debate: did profit beget slavery or did slavery beget profit? But the tie is there regardless of the chronology. Most of the nasty stuff we do to each other (and have done throughout history) can be traced to personal or societal gain for a particular type of person or people. Intolerance and hatred are byproducts of this human, all too human behavior.
 
Posted by spungo (Member # 1089) on March 05, 2005, 03:05:
 
quote:
Originally posted by snupy:
Originally posted by spungo:
quote:
Yes, you're right -

Ahhh...and in front of all these witnesses [Happytears] . Glad you finally see the light(it's not like I didn't tell you enough times. [Razz] )!
Is it too late to recant? [Wink]
 
Posted by snupy (Member # 1211) on March 05, 2005, 11:48:
 
yes. It's already framed on the wall. [Wink]
 
Posted by Brother Dysk (Member # 3777) on April 04, 2005, 04:13:
 
One thing that really bugs me is that every term that I can concivably use to describe black/dark/coloured people (ie that list) is no longer politically correct. What is?

African American. But this phrase is completely and utterly useless - I live in Asia. We don't get many black people from America here. So what, do I call them African-Asians? Africans? What if they're from the West Indies, though, or Southern India? Then they have nothing to do with Africa at all.

In short, PC is nothing but a hindrance. Let us say black, just as we say white - it isn't meant as an offence, merely as a description. "African-American" or whatever, to me, is inconvenient, and worse yet, sounds like you're trying too hard to be nice to the person, just because of their race.
 


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