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Racism? Yes, please-- both institutionalized and personal.
innocenceNonus Posted: Fri Nov 3 05:17:21 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Questions:

How would you define racism and how do you see it manifested today?

How would you say institutionalized racism works within your life?



The reason I ask these questions [I know, i know... everyone hates the R word...] is because about a year ago, I took a class at my college called DOC- dimensions of culture. Yes it was full of liberal doctrine and severe left-wing ideas [i can imagine Hif having a seizure at one of these classes], but one of the things we learned about was institutionalized racism.

And the more I think about it and the more time goes on, the more i think that theory is true. it's everywhere and so many people i know fall victim to it.

anyway, all of this culminated at about this past week--

On Facebook [hahahaha], there's this group called "Don't mess with us; we're from the EC." EC is short for East Cobb, a wealthy, pre-dominately white Southern neighborhood from GA [notorious for being stuck-up [Addi, do you already know all this? I dont remember what area you're from.]].

Well, I joined and was content until I started reading the board. People were fighting over what was considered East Cobb and what was not. And to my horror, they called one school "knowing diversity" even though the school's 70 percent white, 10 percent asian, a little under 10 percent black, and less than 5 percent hispanic. [Note: rounded figures]. Also, everyone and their mom in the area calls this school [and i kid you not] "ghetto."

So, all this plus the racism i have witnessed PLUS institutionalized racism... I just thought it was ridiculous. Who would really WANT to be a part of this area SO badly?

And I wrote a post [overblown and satirical/ sarcastic] to incite some thought.

Ended up inciting rage... Apparently, telling kids they grow up racist because of their environment is... wrong?? upsetting? Right.

Anyway, most of the kids didn't even bother thinking about why i would say that. they just wrote me off as wrong [though i find it funny that most of them are the majority]. and i just wanted to know y'alls thoughts on racism and how you see it.

should racism only be limited to person or should be definition be expanded to institutionalized racism [can be looked up on wikipedia]? what's ethical/ right vs. what's the truth?




as a side note: i'm no longer picking fights/ debates with staunch conservatives that fail to make good arguments and don't want the other side heard. it's too frustrating and painful.

i just want to find the truth.


 
FN Posted: Fri Nov 3 08:03:07 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Everybody's a racist, wether you like it or not. It's human nature.

How you cope with racism is a different matter, but saying that you approach a person of a different race the same as one of your own when you don't know him/her is complete bullshit. (If it is somebody you've known for long I know that can change if they become friends and you kind of see past it but the "sensitivities" always remain no matter how you look at it.)

Institutionalized racism? I can only talk about my own country, but if there's any racism going on it's against the "white opressor and destroyer of the rainbow coloured world" and positive discrimination to people of "african or middle eastern origin", in other words the ones that cause the trouble. Strange that when, here at least, you talk about racism nobody thinks you dislike asians for example. Why? Because almost nobody does (again, talking about my own sphere of living and from what I experience), so you ask yourself, why is it this way.

Also pointing out that with a racist people automaticly think about either white trash, rest assured that it is not always the case, at all. Granted, you always hear about the marginal ones expressing their "opinions" because they're the ones who yell the loudest, but the majority of racists, the rational and cultural racists if you will, don't run around with swastika's tattood on their ass.

Do you think the ghetto gangsta niggers aren't racists?


Also as a final note to all the "free thinkers" : hell hath no fury like a "tolerant person" hearing another opinion.




More to come no doubt, but I have other stuff to do at this point in time.


 
FN Posted: Fri Nov 3 08:05:03 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Also pointing out that with a racist people automaticly think about either white trash

*or the uneducated,

>rest assured that it is not always the case, at all. Granted, you always hear about the marginal ones expressing their "opinions" because they're the ones who yell the loudest, but the majority of racists, the rational and cultural racists if you will, don't run around with swastika's tattood on their ass.
>
>Do you think the ghetto gangsta niggers aren't racists?
>
>
>Also as a final note to all the "free thinkers" : hell hath no fury like a "tolerant person" hearing another opinion.
>
>
>
>
>More to come no doubt, but I have other stuff to do at this point in time.


 
beetlebum Posted: Fri Nov 3 09:31:59 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  First of all, what truth are you looking for? I guess I'm wondering what question you are really asking.

So far as racism goes, I'd simply define it as one person discriminating against a group (groups), and institutionalized racism as a load of people discriminating against a group (or groups).

Where do I see it today?

Uh, I grew up in a "desegregated school" in St. Louis, one of the last surviving deseg programs from the Civil Rights Movement in the US. In other words, I grew up in a white upper class neighbourhood where the median value of a home was at least $500,000, where kids got BMWs and Jags for their sixteenth, and where "no" was never the answer to a question beginning with "can i have...?"

Imagine bussing in kids (read: "those city kids") from St. Louis City proper, recently ranked the most dangerous city in America, from neighbourhoods where the median value of a home is well below $100,000, where crack is the predominantly abused drug, where gang warfare is the norm, and where families subsist just at or below the poverty level.


Really, the situation couldn't have been any more fucked up.

If there's anything I learned, the best way to breed racism is to take two racially distinct groups from two radically distinct socio-economic backgrounds who share a fairly sordid cultural history, throw them in school together, and watch how well they "desegregate." While there certainly was not any open animosity or overt racism, walking into the cafeteria it became fairly evident how the social experiment had played out.

Black kids sat on one side; white kids on the other. There wasn't any spoken rule; white kids could've sat with black kids and nobody would've been angry, but at the end of the day, the huge gap in life experience was not easily closed by simply shoving both groups in close proximity. I always felt bad for black kids growing up in the County, because they always seemed to feel guilty about their socio-economic status in relationship to their race (and two actually said as much to me). That's so very sad and ridiculous.

More than that, racism *and* reverse racism were certainly institutionalized at my school. As a white kid, you were not allowed to start fights- if you did, you were suspended. As a black kid, you weren't held to the same standards of behaviour the majority of the time.

This phenomenon can be attributed to two ways of thinking on the part of the school administrators (in my opinion), as their all too acute awareness of the evils of racism blinded them to their swing in the opposite direction:

the first assumption: the (dumbass) assumption that African American culture is "just loud and obnoxious, and there is nothing we (read: "polite" white people) can/should do."

(I actually heard that line of reasoning from an administrator at my school upon receiving complaints that a group comprised predominantly of African Americans were gathering in front of the stairs and not letting other students who were predominantly white through);

the second assumption: that "they had it hard at home and deserved a little slack; we just need to get them through school as best we can." I heard that reasoning as well, a reasoning I am probably more sympathetic towards while simultaneously recognizing the detrimental psychological consequences of a comparitively lower set of expectations for one group.


But really, this is racism with many dimensions and consequences for either group, right?

Because on the one hand, African Americans were, for the most part, being let off for what would be considered serious offenses had a white person perpetrated them, and thus reverse discrimination seemingly occured, leaving some County kids (white kids) fairly bitter.

But on the other hand, the constant lowering of expectations could be considered racist *against* African Americans, as the assumption that they couldn't and shouldn't be held to the same higher standards as white kids speaks loads about what school administrators thought they were capable of achieving, whether they (white and blacks) realized it or not. I'm sure administrators partially felt trapped by the pressure from the State to have the kids "succeed" in their educational institution, no matter the cost.

This different set of expectations, by the way, started at a very early age. I remember in Kindergarten and girl named Clarice (black) was stealing my snack at school, probably legitimately because she was hungry and didn't get enough to eat at home, and/or because her mother didn't pack her a snack. I caught her doing it numerous times and told the teacher that Clarice was blatantly stealing my snack leaving me somewhat hungry, but in doing so I got punished for tattle-taleing. I was, like, 5. To me, the whole thing just seemed unfair, so I cried to my mom, and instead of making a big deal of it, she just started sending two snacks. (haha. it's true.) I wasn't trying to be an insensitive jerk, but at age 5 the line between fair and unfair seems pretty clear, and to me, it was unfair that she got to steal and I got in trouble for it AND had to compensate for it.

I can still remember a similar thing happening at 6 years old, when an African American girl stole a bite out of my friend's donut, and when my friend confronted her, Sharese accused me, and instead of investigating the incident, I got sent to the Principal's office and had to sit in time-out for the rest of the day. I can still remember crying and pleading with the teacher that I didn't do it and that I didn't understand why I was in trouble and couldn't play. The teacher probably felt bad for Sharese, who also didn't get enough to eat at home and didn't want to embarrass her or, perhaps, call her mother. But to me, even though I can now recognize why the teacher did what she did (although I think the whole incident could've gone unpunished, but whatever), it just seemed like African Americans got in way less trouble than the white kids and for no good reason.

And I can tell you after sixth grade how much day to day interaction I had with city kids: um, pretty much none. Why? I was in all honors classes, and for whatever reason, students from the city were conspicuously absent at that level, demonstrating that the manifestation of the original idea of bussing in black kids-- in order to give them a better education and to help them achieve their potential-- fell way short of the mark in reality.


The point of this rant is that I have thought alot about this-- walking down the hallway at school and wondering what went wrong in America and why kids are being expensively bussed out to the County when city schools are *literally* falling apart, travelling in the South and eating at restaurants where there is a clearly marked area for whites to dine and an area for blacks (circa 1995), going to a small liberal arts college where Kappa Alphas display their Confederate Flags and where initiation costumes are disgustingly similar to that of the KKK, etc. I'm also astounded that following the Civil Rights movement of the '60s that America is once again aiding and abetting the formation of an underclass comprised of illegal alien Hispanics. I really thought America was more enlightened, but my generation will have some serious, serious problems to face in the next thirty years.

And after all of this, what do I think about racism? I have absolutely NO INSIGHT to offer anyone about why racism persists, but sometimes I think it's because society's expectations are so low for one group of people in an attempt to overcompensate for the evils of history that both sides are left feeling disenfranchised and alienated. I have no idea why there are "sides" in the first place, but I believe this can be attributed to both human nature in combination with historical circumstance and cultural heritage.


/worthless rant.


Anyway, I'd be glad for anyone to disagree with me or point out my flawed thinking or take me to task. I'm genuinely interested in what other's have to say, US-related or otherwise.







 
DanSRose Posted: Fri Nov 3 10:09:23 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  You want to see institutionalized racism? Watch the news. Your local news is liberal racist. The black stories, told in "That area of town" are reported by the black reporters. Asian stories by Asian correspondents. Hispanic stories by Latino reporters. There's a Chicago reporter who does interest pieces on the handicapped. Oh yeah- she's deaf (which if you can find any of these on YouTube, you'll see how I mean by liberal racist- it becomes an interruption of how rational functioning because people need to feeeeeel as if "everyone is okay!" *thumbs up!*)
Another, actual dangerous institutionalized racism is gerrymandering. "If those people with brown skin vote [insert the bad party, though it has been Republicans who do this to an extreme degree], the we'll lose power!" They'll take a jigsaw to the electoral map, cutting up The Community so a series of minority votes go to different predominant white electorate (or powerful- it doesn't have to be white; It's about power). It sometimes bounces back, as this lowers property values.....
I lost my train of thought.
Here's the nationwide district list
http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/congress.html#list
It's really awful in Texas, CA, and Georgia.

Oh. Another one. Sentencing. Punishment for crack cocaine, possesion and dealing, is much much more than regular old cocaine (I'm remembering it as a mandatory 7 years against 5 years, with time off for good behavior and that makes it less than a year with probation and community service).

And I lost my train of thought again. bleh


 
Posted: Fri Nov 3 10:40:55 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Awesome rant, beetlebum!


 
maybeitwillwork Posted: Sat Nov 4 18:54:32 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  i'm not racist i hate everone equally


 
Beep Posted: Sun Nov 5 19:01:37 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I am pretty sure I'm not racist.
I have lots of black friends through basketball, lots of white friends through school and lots of white friends who think they're black, through both school and basketball.
People from different backgrounds are different, and people from similar backgrounds tend to be similar.
Though all people tend to be similar and different as well..

A couple of weeks ago after a basketball match against birmingham university the team went back to the assistant coaches mums house, the house where he grew up in, in Brum.
Coach Douglas is a 40 year old black man. I met his mum sister and nephew, i was fed some proper soul food for the first time (rice and pea, chicken, red snapper fritters &c. &c.) and everyone got along fine.
My coach even commented 'I think there's a little dark in you' to me when I exclaimed how much chicken had been left on the bone by someone. this made me laugh, but thinking about it it's quite interesting, my blood is fairly mixed (1/4 polish, 1/4 italian, 1/2 irish) and in my house it's pretty the same as in coach Douglas' house in regards to food, family, religion and lots more. Of course there are differences, the fact i don't come from jamaica being a main one :P, but there are still lots of similarities.

When i walk through a rough area at night I'm just as wary of the white chavs/hoodies/whatever-you-call-them as the black ones as the chinese as the asian ones.
In Sneinton the area that I train in there is a huge asian community and I have to keep my eyes open on the bus to and from town, this isn't racist, it's common sense.

In my opinion the reason why people see 'racism' as existing is because groups of skin tone tend to live in the same area and people that live in the same area tend to act in a similar way. If the area is rough then those people will be more likely to be 'bad kids'. if the area was a perfect mix of black/white/blue/green then we would have 'racism' under a different name, because racism has very little to do with race.

How would GTers respond to the comment, 'everyone is a homophobe'?

An interesting question Beetlebum, were there any white kids who lived in the 'bussed in' area, and any black kids who lived in the upper class area? if so which group did they get put into by teachers?


 
FN Posted: Mon Nov 6 06:33:13 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Beep said:
>I am pretty sure I'm not racist.
>I have lots of black friends through basketball, lots of white friends through school and lots of white friends who think they're black, through both school and basketball.

All the above is in itself racist.

>My coach even commented 'I think there's a little dark in you' to me when I exclaimed how much chicken had been left on the bone by someone.

If you had said to his kid "it seems like you aren't as black as I thought you were" you'd be a racist.

>In Sneinton the area that I train in there is a huge asian community and I have to keep my eyes open on the bus to and from town, this isn't racist, it's common sense.

Who ever said that racism and common sense are mutually exclusive? Racism (when not taken to extremes, obivously) = common sense.

>if the area was a perfect mix of black/white/blue/green then we would have 'racism' under a different name, because racism has very little to do with race.

A perfect mix? The more "mixed" an area is the more seggragated the groups become.

>How would GTers respond to the comment, 'everyone is a homophobe'?

I'd say its not the same thing


 
Beep Posted: Mon Nov 6 15:01:51 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>All the above is in itself racist.

No it isn't? the fact that they have a different skin colour is a fact. me pointing it out doesn't make me a racist. define why it's racist.

>If you had said to his kid "it seems like you aren't as black as I thought you were" you'd be a racist.

Hmm, interesting. i can see what you mean by this. However, i didn't say that. He wasn't made any more or less 'black' by his actions, 'black' is not something you can measure..

>Who ever said that racism and common sense are mutually exclusive? Racism (when not taken to extremes, obivously) = common sense.

I don't agree. It's not common sense to act differently or have a different opinion towards someone because of the colour of their skin. a lot more common sense to act/have an opinion because of their actions or even the way they dress. The colour of your skin does not exclude you from being anything. 'good' or 'bad'.

>A perfect mix? The more "mixed" an area is the more seggragated the groups become.

This is only because race is an issue. If everyone was as racist as I was i don't think it'd be a problem.

I suppose it comes down to the idea of a stereotype, it seems to me that you think if you refer to a stereotype of a race then you're racist. you might be right. i'm unsure though..


 
FN Posted: Mon Nov 6 18:01:04 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Beep said:
>No it isn't? the fact that they have a different skin colour is a fact. me pointing it out doesn't make me a racist. define why it's racist.

Was a tongue in cheek thing, as it being very coincidental the black kids are known to you through basketball etc.

>>If you had said to his kid "it seems like you aren't as black as I thought you were" you'd be a racist.
>
>Hmm, interesting. i can see what you mean by this. However, i didn't say that. He wasn't made any more or less 'black' by his actions, 'black' is not something you can measure..

But apparantly it is and you seemed at least a bit black by yours it appears.

I know you didn't say that, but I wonder what the reaction would be if you had even though it's basicly the same thing as what he said to you. Actually I don't wonder.

>>Who ever said that racism and common sense are mutually exclusive? Racism (when not taken to extremes, obivously) = common sense.
>
>I don't agree. It's not common sense to act differently or have a different opinion towards someone because of the colour of their skin. a lot more common sense to act/have an opinion because of their actions or even the way they dress. The colour of your skin does not exclude you from being anything. 'good' or 'bad'.

Skin color usually denotes the cultural background, not always, but usually it does. When it comes down to it, even black americans will still see themselves as black and whites will do the same.

However, I know that's not the good thing to say, so allow me to bring out my big guns ;o) :

Let's put it this way:

In nature, most toxic things have flashy colours, think bees, think poisonous frogs, think certain types of fruits, to an extent where it even gets copied by other species that aren't harmful themselves.

Not all flashy coloured things in nature are therefor poisonous, but a percentage is.

So following from that, when you'd eat something in the wild or run into brightly coloured things, unknown to you like other people are unknown to you, common sense and the knowledge about how brightly coloured insects or fruits might be very dangerous would dictate that you'd approach with caution.

Would you therefor be a natural racist? (I crack myself up sometimes)

Same thing applies to human races. Wether you like it or not, violent crime is more common among black or middle eastern people than it is among whites, indians or asians. Just like it is more common in the lower social classes than in the higher. Those are simple facts which racism and or prejudice has nothing to do with, and even if you'd go all leftist on me and cry that 10% of those numbers are because of racist judges and law enforcement (which says more about your faith in the judicidary system and democracy than anything else), the numbers will still show the same.

The alledged reasons for these heightened violent tendencies have nothing to do with this part of the discussion by the way.

So, knowing that the mentioned groups of people are more prone to violent crime, how is it not common sense to take the possible heightened risks into account.

So I stick with my point, extremism isn't common sense, but racism is.

>This is only because race is an issue. If everyone was as racist as I was i don't think it'd be a problem.

If everybody was a communist it would work in theory is well. If my aunt had wheels and a bell she'd be an ice cream truck.

>I suppose it comes down to the idea of a stereotype, it seems to me that you think if you refer to a stereotype of a race then you're racist. you might be right. i'm unsure though..

That is what racism has been toned down to these days though. You should see the things I have to hear when I admit to being a racist in some circles. Funny at first, a bore after a while.

You don't have to assume that beind a racist is an inherently evil thing. You can be perfectly rational about it, and you can be a racist without wanting to erect concentration camps or commit genocide. If people would get that through their thick skulls, a lot of problems could be avoided, which now cannot be talked about and fester.


 
choke Posted: Mon Nov 6 20:11:01 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I'm pretty sure I'm racist, but it's more in a necessary I-can't-understand-what-you're-saying-because-asians-talk-real-fast way than an I-want-to-make-you-feel-bad-for-being-asian way. If that makes sense. It's kindof necessary to discriminate (well, for me) so I can make decisions that will avoid us both embaressment (eg. me asking them to repeat themselves 12 times.) But I don't think it's just race. If I see a scary black man walking towards me I'm going to get just as nervous as if it was a scary white man, the simple fact is that most black/maori people look scarier than white people (we're pretty small) and I have had more bad experiences with them than white people. So yes, I am affected by peoples race but it doesn't run deep enough that I refuse to talk to them, because I want to see for myself whether or not they are like the negative stereotypes in my head. And if they're not, we can be friends. Just as in my dealings with white people, if they are not idiots, we can be friends. So I guess I'm racist, but I don't necessarily think my own race is better. Just different. Bad for different reasons. Worse, even. But it doesn't really worry me. I try to be nice, but I don't feel like I have to explain or account for the actions of my race, just as other people don't have to account for theirs. Just as long as they can prove to me that they are okay.

I don't really know if this is relevant, it's one of my first real attempts on a political thread :)


 
beetlebum Posted: Tue Nov 7 06:18:12 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  choke, you should always say stuff on political threads! i'm loving the fact that both you and libra (separate threads, o' course) are showing addi and hif who really have the brains. ;o)


 
beetlebum Posted: Tue Nov 7 06:29:46 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Beep said:


>An interesting question Beetlebum, were there any white kids who lived in the 'bussed in' area, and any black kids who lived in the upper class area? if so which group did they get put into by teachers?

I'm sure there were white kids living in St. Louis City proper but I can't remember any of them being bussed in, There were many black kids who lives in my area, but, to be blunt, they participated in afterschool activities and their families were more active at school so they weren't often mistaken for city kids.

That said(!) there was a black family that lived on my street; I was neighbourhood friends with the little girl, Stacia. I was two years older, though, and in fifth grade I got pulled out of class and taken to the gym teacher who didn't believe Stacia when she said that she didn't need the activity bus for modern dance because she lived in the neighbourhood and could walk or her mom could pick her up. Mrs. Parker wouldn't believe her and so Stacia asked them to ask me, at which point I confirmed she was a neighbour and wasn't a city kid.

Oh man. That's a horrible memory (in that Mrs. Parker wouldn't believe that Stacia was from the County) but also pretty funny because Stacia's dad was a detective on the Major Case Squad (somebody you really wouldn't want to mess with. lol) and I'm pretty sure he shared a few choice words with the Principal.

And also, 80s modern dance was the best. RHYTHM IS A DANCER. and don't you forget it.




 
beetlebum Posted: Tue Nov 7 06:30:56 2006 Post | Quote in Reply  
  and not to divert the topic of the thread, but you know this is the hottest thing evar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkjcSVLDMhg


 



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