Racism in the United States

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Hung Muscle, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    I don't know why but lately I've been thinking a lot about this subject.

    Despite the fact that the US has seen sweeping progress in civil rights laws -- and their enforcement -- in the last 50 years, there is still tremendous overt and systemic racism in this country. Even more pernicious is the deep-seated racism many Americans carry with them, even those who would like to believe they have rid themselves of many stereotypical prejudices.

    The same is true for Europe and frankly most regions of the world.

    Without resorting to name-calling and attacking each other, what do you all think about this? Is it solvable on a personal let alone country-wide basis, or will we always be burdened by inherent prejudices toward people of other races and ethnicities?

    Are they in fact burdens?
     
  2. Webster

    Webster New Member

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  3. Lex

    Lex
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    I don't know that we'll ever really get there. Xenophobia is an outgrowth of the human condition. Different is bad. Acceptance (past tolerance) threatens the status quo.

    Everyone has to be willing to give up some of his/her position in order to level the field and eliminate ignorance.

    In a society founded on and driven by a comparative paradigm--of haves and have nots and of measuring who you are by how you stack up with the person in front and behind you--I don't know if I believe it possible.
     
  4. Lex

    Lex
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    I hear you, Webster.

    I feel the same way when someone assumes that I am not as smart as they are because I am black; that I got where I am because of Affirmative Action; that I am a thug becasue I am black and male; or that, when they see how educated I am and hear me speak, they believe that I must not have grown up in a poor urban area (I did).

    It sucks all the way around and in all forms. Thanks for sharing that.
     
  5. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I've recently begun to believe it's, in fact, not solvable. Emotions run too high on all sides for rational thinking to preside and with respect to novice's post on another thread about the "trading places" family- it makes a pretty clear case for that sentiment.
     
  6. Lex

    Lex
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    It's heavy lifting and I think we have to eventually be willing to push past the high emotions to get there. I have some hope left, but not much.
     
  7. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    To some extent, isn't interracial marriage helping overcome this issue by producing a growing cohort of multiracial children?

    Maybe not.
     
  8. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    Shh... No one is supposed to notice me. I'm still flying under the radar.
     
  9. mindseye

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    I was reading an article recently on an interesting effect of Brown vs. Board of Education. I'm paraphrasing, but I think I've got the gist of it. It's not a solution to the problem you bring up, but it might shed some light into the source of it.

    Prior to Brown, black children and white children were generally isolated from each other -- they lived at home with their siblings, went to a separate-and-unequal school, and may have attended a church which was not likely to be integrated (even in 2006, integration in churches has a long way to go!)

    These black children may have experienced racism from adults, but their interaction with white peers was minimal. Brown changed all of that, and the first generation of black students to attend integrated schools experienced a form of prejudice that their parents were sheltered from -- hatred and rejection from other people their own age. Brown had an effect on white children as well. More gullible than adults, they tended to internalize every superstition they heard about their black classmates, including beliefs about athletic ability, sexual prowess, and penis size. Threatened and jealous, their cruelty often became even more pronounced.

    The parents of these children -- both black and white -- had never experienced the same kind of day-to-day desegregation, and were therefore, not fully prepared to mentor their children when it came to race relations. The first generation of students attending desegregated school post-Brown are all grown up now, and the consequences for these pioneers include some early emotional wounds that never fully healed. As a result, race relations are more volatile, and the friction more overt than in any previous generation.

    None of this is meant to imply that Brown vs. Board of Education was a bad decision for the country; indeed, it's a decision that came far too late in our country's history, and even once decided, took far too long to implement. But the social transition that it caused is bumpy, and its repercussions are still being felt.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex
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    In my estimation, MOST African Americans are already multi-racial by default and as an outgrowth of slavery, rape, and open realtionships with Native Americans.

    I have White, Native American and African American roots, as does my wife. Although we are both brown, our son looks like the average German with no tan.

    I think a lot of African Americans sometimes forget how interracial we already are.
     
  11. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    That, alone, is possibly the only hope. Good point.
     
  12. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Alright, I am going to say something. It is going to sound bad. I apoligise ahead of time.

    I am not a racist I believe. I have a handful of black friends and a cousin who is half black, half caucasian. I challenge anyone to say I don't love and respect each of them fully. I would protect them with my last breath if need be.

    Having said that, I also know that part of me gets scared when I see one or two black men huddled somewhere, and I am walking alone, or with a friend.
    At some point, I became concerned with gangs and violence. I am not saying that all Black men are looking to attack me, I am just noting the fact that, I feel that way sometimes.

    Now before people jump on me, calling me racist, I want to state that I think the reason I fear is due to media (not solely, but partially) Watch the news, you hear "local man shot and killed by black gang member". Movies now like ATL or others like it, are attempting to show the life of black people and their struggles etc, but at the same time are depicting their lives as bullet ridden and violent. As just an normal guy, with limited experience in the "real world", these movies paint a picture for me that makes me think that violence is connected.

    I KNOW that media also depicts white people, as well as asians and hispanics in violent situations, but I am just pointing out that Society fears what is "unknown" to them. In a predominantly Caucasian environment, I am not 100% familiar with black culture. I would like to be, so I have been trying to learn as much as I can. I dont' like the fact that I am afraid of the unknown.

    By learning, we eliminate fear, and possibly racism. Hell, why stop there? I am also learning about Homosexuality, Different Religions, and other cultures.

    Sorry, I got off topic. My main point is that people are racist because they fear what they don't know. Stereotypes just add to the problem as well. There is always going to be that person who is racist, or that person who is homophobic. Getting people to learn and understand things they don't...will help racism stop.

    God, I sound like Saturday morning cartoons...:rolleyes:
     
  13. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    You're gonna jump on me, too, but here it is:

    Furthering Jeff's example, I know plenty of Black cabbies in Washington who tell me that they will not stop for Black passengers or drive into certain neighborhoods. The situation became so dire in DC that a law was passed a decade ago obliging cab drivers to pick up passengers and drive them wherever they want to go.

    Is that black-on-black racism? Or is it something else?
     
  14. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    No you don't. You sound human. Seldom have I seen you be more eloquent and deliberate with your feelings. I read and understood every word of what you said and I applaud your courage for saying it.

    R.
     
  15. Lex

    Lex
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    First, Jeff--let me echo Stronzo's sentiments above--excellent and courageous post.

    Hung--I myself have to fight this. Sometimes I get in my car and forget to lock the windows/doors. As I drive into the city, the same city where I grew up, I have to consciously resist the urge to lock the doors when I stop at a light where there are guys hanging on the corner.

    See, I remember being a young high schooler/college kid and standing on the bus stop. And I remember how shitty if felt to watch passenger after passenger look at me and then lock their doors as I stood their, on my way to school or work. That felt awful. It made me feel small. I knew I was not the type of youngster they believed me to be--but at that moment, all my education and good will meant nothing.

    Like Jeff--I understand the role that fear plays in our mass marketing, comsumption patterns, and media socialization. My urge to lock the doors when I see those guys? That is fear talking. Socialized fear.

    Notice how the news will never tell you exactly where an incident occurs? They won't say: "Today at the corner of Smith and Hawkin.." or I am here at "25th and North Avenue."

    No, they say, "Today in East Baltimore..." And after hearing that for 20 times in a year, you start to think that all of East Baltimore is an awful place (even though you are talking about HALF of the city. a CITY.

    Its all SO convoluted. If I kept watching the news I'd eventually be afraid of my own reflection: Tall, male and black. UGH.
     
  16. SpeedoGuy

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    My wife is latina but has very white skin, red hair and freckles. Without hearing her speak rapid fire Spanish, you might guess her ethnicity was Irish, not Mexican.

    There have been a disappointingly high number of times we've been among groups of white middle class people and been confronted with some racist comment about Mexicans. The comment probably never would have been uttered had an acutal brown skinned person been present, but the speaker felt safe to say it since only "white" people were around.

    Racism? Yup, just a bit better hidden now.
     
  17. Dr. Dilznick

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    Good thread, Hung Muscle.

    I'll tell you what I think about racism. I would guess that between 10% and 20% of white Americans are racist enough that it would be fair to label them as white supremacists. Probably closer to 20%. I would guess that another 70% or 80% are racist in a less blatant way--people who have subtly racist ideas about race and crime, race and intelligence, race and work ethic, etc. A lot of minorities subscribe to this belief as well. Now I'm not a racist; I'm a realist. I want social security and the 40 acres the Devil took from us.
     
  18. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east &#039;neath the willow tree? Sex
    i don't see how it could have any effect either way. if someone has a problem with different skin tones, they're not gonna differentiate between degrees of ancestry.

    buy a gun
     
  19. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    how is that gonna help. I can't go shooting everyone I fear Rock.
     
  20. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    Why is it that black people only see racism in white people?? There are black racist too!!
     
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