White Supremacy

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  • Continuing the discussion of how this is being discussed: Two things.

    1. Someone up thread said every time we had this discussion institutional racism, "had to be explained." There's a lot of this sighing and having to explain things, which assumes that the person who disagrees simply doesn't get it and needs to hear the same explanation over and over. I can go to more conservative boards and have sighing people patiently explain to me why there's no such thing as climate change and why Trump is a great president over and over. I can hear the frustration of those trying to explain these things to me -- and still not agree. Sometimes we have to face the fact that it's not that we don't understand the other's point. It's that we understand it and think its wrong. You might even have to stop and ask yourself if your position requires so much explaining, understanding of code words, and making assumptions about other's people's subconscious maybe it's not such a valid position in the first place.


    2. Lilbuddha said in Styx:
    The people freaking out on the White Supremacy thread are white people. They are not the vulnerable in this situation, not as a group.
    While clearly black people are the victims of white supremacy,
    I think, on this particular thread, white people are the vulnerable ones. Having no actual Neo-Nazis on this largely liberal board the term seems to have broadened to include any white person who is suspected of having a racist thought, goes to an all white church, isn't working to fight racism, or any white person who claims to have Cherokee ancestors but has not lived the life (timidly raises hand.) So it sure looks like we whites are the ones under attack here.

    The blame seems to have come around, as usual, to the subconscious minds of certain shipmates. You don't want to go into my subconscious. I don't want to go there myself. Last night I dreamed my house was covered in roaches and I accidentally sprayed my husband with Raid.

    There are the usual white shipmates who always demonstrate how woke they are by admitting they are racist after looking under their mental rocks for tiny worms of proof and I know that's an attitude much admired. While that sort of introspection does no harm to nice people like Gramps and Simon I don't think it benefits everyone.

    That's just not what I think is the best way forward to ultimately end racism, on the contrary I think it increases bad feelings and division on both sides. We've been after doing that for the last 30 years and I don't see much improvement.

    Just as I believe teaching difficult subjects like the history of slavery and racism, while necessary, should not be taught to little children who are still too young to be able to distance themselves from what happened to people in the past and are instead likely to take it all too deeply into their own identity. I think the average hard core racist is one who feels very inferior and defensive. Increasing their self-hatred wont fix them.

    What I'm saying is millage varies on this. It's not just a matter splaining.



  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Do you believe structural inequality is real ?
  • No mention of slavery or racism until high school? American history classes will get a lot shorter - or a lot more "creative".

    If someone asked what happened to the people who were here before the Europeans arrived, or how black people got here, what would the teacher be expected to say?
  • Ruth wrote: »
    Third: You're casting yourself as the only disadvantaged person in this conversation,
    Absolutely not. The personal anecdote was to show context. I am speaking about how people in general are treated, and that includes LC's family, both Indian and Asian.
    Ruth wrote: »
    when if you've read much of what Lamb Chopped has posted here over the years, you know that's just not the case. Navigating how Americans treat interracial marriage is not for the faint of heart.
    I remember it and referenced it and it is exactly why I do not understand why she does not understand.
    Ruth wrote: »
    Second, this is a discussion forum where unrest is supposed to be a key. No, we cannot force people to either discuss with thought or be unrestful, but it is not unreasonable to expect a bit of that.

    The implied accusation is that your interlocutors aren't thinking. Yet you expect them to keep listening to you!
    The implied accusation is they are not listening in a critical way. Not quite the same thing.

    Ruth wrote: »
    You said only one person heard what you were saying, so I took that to mean that you thought no one else understood you. I thought it went off the rails when you said "Fuck me for being polite."
    I said that, and probably should not have let exasperation rule at the moment. However, if you'll notice, I didn't stay rude after that post. The rudeness began before that, with the accusation of bad intent. Twice. To me, appears to indicate that listening had ended. And the responses were a bit strange to my mind.
    The problem with your teaching analogy is that not everyone is failing to understand, the few that are are being vocal. But, I do not think I am the perfect communicator, so I am willing to learn.
    How would you have answered LC? How would you respond if you were quickly being accused of operating with bad intent?
    Ruth wrote: »
    Depends on how much I care about the conversation and whether I care about preserving some kind of relationship with the other person.
    I care very much about the conversation.Though I doubt there was any relationship to preserve with either of them, I continue for those who might actually hear.

    Ruth wrote: »
    But there were things you could have done. You could have given them the benefit of the doubt yourself, set aside the possibility that they assumed dishonest intent on your part and thought about whether there was some other reason they arrived at their apparent misunderstanding of what you said. You could have decided that if they didn't understand your words, you could try different words. You could have backed off for a while and sat back to see if someone else would take up your line of argument.
    How? I was accused of bad intent, of shuffling the conversation, there was an attempt to play the "You are not American so you cannot comment" card, accused of dismissing and denying experience, of avoiding questions and the list goes on.
    Someone else? When someone else chimed in who was counter to LC and Ross' narrative, but not jumping on my bandwagon either, they ignored it.
    But this is not supposed to be about me, this is supposed to be about White Supremacy and the related issues.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Which is why everyone thinks of Barack O'Bama as Irish, right? (Obligatory song) I'm not sure your premise reflects actual reality.
    The title and the refrain as There's no one as Irish as Barack Omama and the lyric "Barack's as Irish as was JFK" both have much truth in America. Anyone who claims to be Irish, is Irish in America, no matter their actual knowledge or experience.
    Especially after his much publicised trip to Ireland to his family's home town, I'm as sure as you are that Irish is the first thing people see in Obama. And them they see the other, European ancestry, right?
  • Leo Varadka is quite Irish.
  • Leo Varadka is quite Irish.
    Varadkar was born in Ireland of an Irish mother, he is Irish in every way. Whilst Ireland is not the US or UK, I do wonder how he'd be accepted though if, instead of looking like this, his father looked like this?
    And Ireland is not America. In America, much was done to try to frame Obama as not even American.
    I wonder why?
  • I was going for understatement.

    That aside, are you going to tell me Leo Varadkar has white privilege ?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    ...Someone else? When someone else chimed in who was counter to LC and Ross' narrative, but not jumping on my bandwagon either, they ignored it. ...
    <sigh> No. The tone, the attitude, the assumptions were different. No one else sneered. I did listen to what you were saying; it's just that I disagreed with your premise and how you presented it.

    And it takes a special kind of person to accuse someone with terminal cancer of "febrile delusion," as you did in the Styx. My physical problems are getting worse as it advances, of course, but I don't have a fever, and my mind is still functioning just fine, thank you.


  • I was going for understatement.

    That aside, are you going to tell me Leo Varadkar has white privilege ?
    Leo possibly benefits from not being as dark as an Indian can be. Why would that be controversial in a very white country like Ireland?
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    And it takes a special kind of person to accuse someone with terminal cancer of "febrile delusion," as you did in the Styx. My physical problems are getting worse as it advances, of course, but I don't have a fever, and my mind is still functioning just fine, thank you.
    I am treating you just as I would treat anyone else. I've treated terminally ill friends and family as I normally treat them. It does people a disservice to treat them as anything less than fully functionality persons, excepting obvious catering to physical issues, of course.
  • Oh. Dear. God.

    Seriously?

    And shall I reveal to you my medical issues so that you may insult me more accurately?
  • Dave W wrote: »
    No mention of slavery or racism until high school? American history classes will get a lot shorter - or a lot more "creative".

    If someone asked what happened to the people who were here before the Europeans arrived, or how black people got here, what would the teacher be expected to say?
    The problem with waiting that long is that attitudes are already established in people's minds long before this.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    I am treating you just as I would treat anyone else. ...
    Which is to say, nastily. No surprises there. Thanks for clarifying that.



  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    I was going for understatement.

    That aside, are you going to tell me Leo Varadkar has white privilege ?
    Leo possibly benefits from not being as dark as an Indian can be. Why would that be controversial in a very white country like Ireland?

    In a very white country, he is more likely to be read as non-white. And being gay as well, can not have been easy in Ireland.

  • You know, let's be done with it. Lilbuddha, I am calling you to Hell. BACK to Hell, since you have a dedicated thread. Hosts, my apologies for my heated post of above--it's going where the temperature will suit better.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Continuing the discussion of how this is being discussed: Two things.

    You might even have to stop and ask yourself if your position requires so much explaining, understanding of code words, and making assumptions about other's people's subconscious maybe it's not such a valid position in the first place.
    Or maybe that it is deeply embedded and that it challenges people's view of themselves. After all, it took 100 years from the end of the Civil War to the Civil Rights Act. It has been 55 years since that and black people still receive greater punishment for the same crimes. Black children are still told to straighten their natural hair.
    Twilight wrote: »
    I think, on this particular thread, white people are the vulnerable ones. Having no actual Neo-Nazis on this largely liberal board the term seems to have broadened to include any white person who is suspected of having a racist thought, goes to an all white church, isn't working to fight racism, or any white person who claims to have Cherokee ancestors but has not lived the life (timidly raises hand.) So it sure looks like we whites are the ones under attack here.
    O.M.G. I can't even.
    I will try, though. Including those who might be brown and being generous, I doubt I'd need all the fingers on one hand to count everyone who is not white. So I'm not sure who white people are disadvantaged here.
    Members of groups in power do not need to see all the problems, so many do not. In this case, we are talking about white people. Works the same for men. They often do not see inherent misogyny.
    Twilight wrote: »
    That's just not what I think is the best way forward to ultimately end racism, on the contrary I think it increases bad feelings and division on both sides. We've been after doing that for the last 30 years and I don't see much improvement.
    That is not accurate. The past 30 years have not been addressing the subtler aspects of racism. Those have largely been ignored, especially because the larger issues are not solved.
    Twilight wrote: »
    Just as I believe teaching difficult subjects like the history of slavery and racism, while necessary, should not be taught to little children who are still too young to be able to distance themselves from what happened to people in the past and are instead likely to take it all too deeply into their own identity. I think the average hard core racist is one who feels very inferior and defensive. Increasing their self-hatred wont fix them.
    Children are not naturally racist. They need to be taught, and much is taught before they reach whatever age you think is appropriate to learn.

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Ireland is not America.

    Yes. Something to bear in mind perhaps, when you're tempted to present your American experiences as a universal truth about white people and black people ?

    On the other hand, there are 4m Irish people in Ireland and reportedly 40m people of Irish extraction in America, so there may well be similarities.

    (Not sure if that statistic includes O'Bama, whom the Irish are happy to claim...)
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    No mention of slavery or racism until high school? American history classes will get a lot shorter - or a lot more "creative".

    If someone asked what happened to the people who were here before the Europeans arrived, or how black people got here, what would the teacher be expected to say?
    The problem with waiting that long is that attitudes are already established in people's minds long before this.

    See that's why I think we should wait. I did say "little kids." Like under ten, when I don't really remember much beyond, "some people came over on the Mayflower and met the Native Americans and we all had Thanksgiving together, here's how to draw a turkey with your hand."

    Our first real history class was in Middle School at age 12.

    Before that age I think the attitude that should be established first is "these are the other kids in my class, I like the nice ones, (or the ones that want to play the games I like.) Not," these are the kids in my class, the ones who have the same skin color as I do have a shared history of enmity with the other color."

    I saw some of this in action with my son whose very best, joined at the hip, played together from sun-up to sun-down friend from age five, was black. At middle school age they learned all that history you think is so important and my son's best friend (which means even more to an only child) dropped him like a hot potato and in the future only wanted to hang out with other black kids. There's that attitude you're so anxious to establish.

    Do you believe structural inequality is real ?
    Oh, yes.

  • Twilight wrote: »
    I saw some of this in action with my son whose very best, joined at the hip, played together from sun-up to sun-down friend from age five, was black. At middle school age they learned all that history you think is so important and my son's best friend (which means even more to an only child) dropped him like a hot potato and in the future only wanted to hang out with other black kids. There's that attitude you're so anxious to establish.
    No. That is the subject taught poorly. As I've mentioned before, my early childhood was spent in a very mixed group where colour of skin was no different to colour of eye or length of hair. I had a very rude awakening when interfacing with the real world. It was tempting to think most white people were horrible, but I was taught better than that.


  • lilbuddha wrote
    O.M.G. I can't even.
    I will try, though. Including those who might be brown and being generous, I doubt I'd need all the fingers on one hand to count everyone who is not white. So I'm not sure who white people are disadvantaged here.
    Wasn't it you that was just saying it seemed like all the anger on this thread was coming from white people? I tried to answer that and now its O.M.G. almost everyone here is white.

    I'm losing the plot.

    Twilight -- shutting down for the day to allow Croesos time to fact check me.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote
    O.M.G. I can't even.
    I will try, though. Including those who might be brown and being generous, I doubt I'd need all the fingers on one hand to count everyone who is not white. So I'm not sure who white people are disadvantaged here.
    Wasn't it you that was just saying it seemed like all the anger on this thread was coming from white people?

    I tried to answer that and now its O.M.G. almost everyone here is white.
    The anger, to my knowledge, was just a few people.
    People feel threatened when their beliefs are challenged because it threatens their identity.
    A white member of an all white church is not guaranteed to be racist. I am just saying that not having contact with people of colour makes one more susceptible to being racist. Though it might well be the non-hate type. It is just how people work.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    I was going for understatement.

    That aside, are you going to tell me Leo Varadkar has white privilege ?
    Leo possibly benefits from not being as dark as an Indian can be. Why would that be controversial in a very white country like Ireland?

    In a very white country, he is more likely to be read as non-white. And being gay as well, can not have been easy in Ireland.
    So, I'm not seeing your point, then. Unless it is that the Irish are less racist than the Americans or British. Not a high bar, that.

  • My point, is that identity both claimed and attributed, is more complex than you seem to be describing on this thread - and oppression is not simply graduated by depth of skin tone. Intersectionality matters, context matters both social and national.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    A white member of an all white church is not guaranteed to be racist. I am just saying that not having contact with people of colour makes one more susceptible to being racist. Though it might well be the non-hate type. It is just how people work.
    Does this statement generalise?
    A mono-racial member of a mono-racial church is not guaranteed to be racist… not having contact with people of another colour makes one more susceptible to being racist.
  • @Twilight
    Last night I dreamed my house was covered in roaches and I accidentally sprayed my husband with Raid.

    :lol: :lol:

    Also, I'm more sweary than Gramps :trollface:

    I wish the temperature of this discussion was a little lower.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    As regards the rest of the discussion I would say:
    • Intention matters
    • Structural inequality exists
    • Whitenormative assumptions are common, and reinforce structural inequality
    • White supremacist thought is evil
    • Ignorance and hatred are not equivalent
    • It is true that lower exposure to multiple ethnicities probably results in both more prejudice and more ignorance
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    People feel threatened when their beliefs are challenged because it threatens their identity.

    Except that's not what's happening here. People are upset (not 'feel threatened') when they are accused of something horrible (not 'their beliefs are challenged') because they are fundamentally decent human beings (not 'threatens their identity').

    If you think your narrative is correct in this instance, then you're fundamentally misreading the situation. Not for the first time, not everything is a nail.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    See that's why I think we should wait. I did say "little kids." Like under ten, when I don't really remember much beyond, "some people came over on the Mayflower and met the Native Americans and we all had Thanksgiving together, here's how to draw a turkey with your hand."

    Now you see, I think that description encapsulates quite a lot of whitenormative assumptions, and it does so early. It is not a neutral description.

    It’s a bit like me describing a seminal moment in British history as, in 1066 King William came over and then he wrote the doomsday book - let’s look and see if our village is written in it.
  • My point, is that identity both claimed and attributed, is more complex than you seem to be describing on this thread - and oppression is not simply graduated by depth of skin tone. Intersectionality matters, context matters both social and national.
    Not more complex than I think it is. For much of the thread, we've had very loud people who do not appear to grasp, or at least accept, the basic principle. Just like maths, adding complexity too soon causes confusion.
    SO one starts with the basics. Arithmetic before calculus, Newton before Einstein. We have not left the arithmetic stage on this thread yet.
    And you didn't answer my question. Do you think Leo would have been as easily accepted if he had much darker skin? Lighter skin was certainly part of the reason Obama was elected.

  • As regards the rest of the discussion I would say:
    • Intention matters
    • Structural inequality exists
    • Whitenormative assumptions are common, and reinforce structural inequality
    • White supremacist thought is evil
    • Ignorance and hatred are not equivalent
    • It is true that lower exposure to multiple ethnicities probably results in both more prejudice and more ignorance
    Intention matters, but it does grant complete innocence because of whitenormative assumptions. And whitenormative assumptions do more than reinforce structural inequality, they tacitly support the more direct forms of racism.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Not more complex than I think it is. For much of the thread, we've had very loud people who do not appear to grasp, or at least accept, the basic principle. Just like maths, adding complexity too soon causes confusion.
    SO one starts with the basics. Arithmetic before calculus, Newton before Einstein. We have not left the arithmetic stage on this thread yet.

    I thought this was a discussion forum, not a lecture one.
  • What to do with an errant discussion forum?
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    People feel threatened when their beliefs are challenged because it threatens their identity.

    Except that's not what's happening here. People are upset (not 'feel threatened') when they are accused of something horrible (not 'their beliefs are challenged') because they are fundamentally decent human beings (not 'threatens their identity').

    There's a book by a white American writer called "White Fragility" that I want to read because I read a fascinating review of it in The New Yorker . From the review:
    In DiAngelo’s almost epidemiological vision of white racism, our minds and bodies play host to a pathogen that seeks to replicate itself, sickening us in the process. Like a mutating virus, racism shape-shifts in order to stay alive; when its explicit expression becomes taboo, it hides in coded language. Nor does prejudice disappear when people decide that they will no longer tolerate it. It just looks for ways to avoid detection. “The most effective adaptation of racism over time,” DiAngelo claims, “is the idea that racism is conscious bias held by mean people.” This “good/bad binary,” positing a world of evil racists and compassionate non-racists, is itself a racist construct, eliding systemic injustice and imbuing racism with such shattering moral meaning that white people, especially progressives, cannot bear to face their collusion in it. (Pause on that, white reader. You may have subconsciously developed your strong negative feelings about racism in order to escape having to help dismantle it.)

    I think this good/bad binary is evident on this thread (and when Doublethink tried to break it up with proposing that we have language that distinguishes between different formats of racism, lilbuddha wasn't having any, which I found hilarious). I don't have a conscious bias against people of color because I'm not a bad person! But as a white person in the US, the chance that I've rooted out every unconscious bias against people of color is vanishing slim. It's a lot of hard work, and it's not work I have to do -- my life will stay okay if I don't. It might get better if I do that work, but it might just be different. I'd be a better person, but, well, becoming a better person is not something I wake up and decide to do every morning. Doublethink says a few posts up that whitenormative assumptions are common and reinforce structural inequality -- and I'd add that white people can be blind to those assumptions because they don't hinder our lives in the least and because they are so ingrained in our culture. I think we need to reject or get beyond this good/bad binary, stop thinking we're either racists or we're not, and look at the gradations of things that we think and do and how those things variously support or dismantle the myths that keep whiteness as the hidden center of our society, that make it such an organizing principle that we take so for granted that it's hard to even see it.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    And you didn't answer my question. Do you think Leo would have been as easily accepted if he had much darker skin? Lighter skin was certainly part of the reason Obama was elected.

    I don’t know, but I doubt it made much difference in his case, given he already had the double whammy of being gay and non-white. To those unhappy about it, I don’t think the exact gradation of his skin tone would have made much, if any, difference - his surname already strongly signalled non-Celt heritage as well, he’d not be read as white.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    See that's why I think we should wait. I did say "little kids." Like under ten, when I don't really remember much beyond, "some people came over on the Mayflower and met the Native Americans and we all had Thanksgiving together, here's how to draw a turkey with your hand."

    Now you see, I think that description encapsulates quite a lot of whitenormative assumptions, and it does so early. It is not a neutral description.

    It’s a bit like me describing a seminal moment in British history as, in 1066 King William came over and then he wrote the doomsday book - let’s look and see if our village is written in it.

    @Twilight also, I meant to ask in my original reply, because I really don’t know - at what point do US kids get taught precolonial American history, and from what sort of time period ? I dimly recall in primary school we started at some point in the first millennium, before the Romans invaded.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited September 2019
    Absolutely.
    I don't have a conscious bias against people of color because I'm not a bad person! But as a white person in the US, the chance that I've rooted out every unconscious bias against people of color is vanishing slim.

    The same goes for the UK. I've lived in very white areas for almost all my life (where the few immigrants are often white, too), and currently reside in an area that is 95% white British, and again, the most visible non-'British' community is Jewish (who are also British, but they are Jewish too). We also have a worrying number of fascists - as in actual fascists - who seem intent on stirring up as much trouble as possible against the few brown and black faces that we do have. Inevitably, the people opposing the fascists are also almost exclusively white.

    I appreciate that it isn't an either/or thing, but opposing the far right is at the top of my list of priorities. I'll also consider challenging the police protection of fascist rallies as part of my remit, too, but I don't have enough spoons to worry about why more black or brown people don't come to the church in my almost entirely white community. (To note, yes we do have some black people in our church).
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    People feel threatened when their beliefs are challenged because it threatens their identity.

    Except that's not what's happening here. People are upset (not 'feel threatened') when they are accused of something horrible (not 'their beliefs are challenged') because they are fundamentally decent human beings (not 'threatens their identity').

    If you think your narrative is correct in this instance, then you're fundamentally misreading the situation. Not for the first time, not everything is a nail.
    When people's mental picture of themselves, whether you call it belief or whatever, is challenged, the flight or flight mechanisms kick in. The same areas of the brain light up as during a physical threat.
    If people see themselves as fundamentally good people, and yet what they do is described as less than good, the defences come up. Some will work through this, many will deny or rationalise.
    You can play semantics all you want, it is the same thing.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Not more complex than I think it is. For much of the thread, we've had very loud people who do not appear to grasp, or at least accept, the basic principle. Just like maths, adding complexity too soon causes confusion.
    SO one starts with the basics. Arithmetic before calculus, Newton before Einstein. We have not left the arithmetic stage on this thread yet.

    I thought this was a discussion forum, not a lecture one.
    Wow, it is like analogies don't exist. Was there a worldwide blackout and who got hit by a bus?
  • Unsurprisingly, I can interpret your thinly-veiled analogy, and see that you are pressing the point that you are the teacher, and we are to learn from you. Perhaps you'd like to engage with us as equals. That would be lovely.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    People feel threatened when their beliefs are challenged because it threatens their identity.

    Except that's not what's happening here. People are upset (not 'feel threatened') when they are accused of something horrible (not 'their beliefs are challenged') because they are fundamentally decent human beings (not 'threatens their identity').

    There's a book by a white American writer called "White Fragility" that I want to read because I read a fascinating review of it in The New Yorker . From the review:
    In DiAngelo’s almost epidemiological vision of white racism, our minds and bodies play host to a pathogen that seeks to replicate itself, sickening us in the process. Like a mutating virus, racism shape-shifts in order to stay alive; when its explicit expression becomes taboo, it hides in coded language. Nor does prejudice disappear when people decide that they will no longer tolerate it. It just looks for ways to avoid detection. “The most effective adaptation of racism over time,” DiAngelo claims, “is the idea that racism is conscious bias held by mean people.” This “good/bad binary,” positing a world of evil racists and compassionate non-racists, is itself a racist construct, eliding systemic injustice and imbuing racism with such shattering moral meaning that white people, especially progressives, cannot bear to face their collusion in it. (Pause on that, white reader. You may have subconsciously developed your strong negative feelings about racism in order to escape having to help dismantle it.)

    I think this good/bad binary is evident on this thread (and when Doublethink tried to break it up with proposing that we have language that distinguishes between different formats of racism, lilbuddha wasn't having any, which I found hilarious).
    There has been more nuanced discussion over the course of this thread. Even by, shock gasp, me.
    We are back to more binary because of a recent refusal to see/accept.
  • Just name names, why don't you? All your coy "recent refusals" and such--"certain white people on this thread"--"recent angry posters" and the like--give me a freaking break. You can say "Lamb Chopped" and "Rossweisse" and whoever the heck else you want to name. Don't be coy.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    Unsurprisingly, I can interpret your thinly-veiled analogy, and see that you are pressing the point that you are the teacher, and we are to learn from you. Perhaps you'd like to engage with us as equals. That would be lovely.
    We are not all equals. Not in terms of this discussion.
    We do not have the same experiences. As I replied to Ruth, the discussion has had more nuance at times. More recent interaction has necessitated less lately.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    More recent interaction has necessitated less lately.

    Nothing necessitates rudeness and hurtful words on a Purg thread. Nothing.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    See that's why I think we should wait. I did say "little kids." Like under ten, when I don't really remember much beyond, "some people came over on the Mayflower and met the Native Americans and we all had Thanksgiving together, here's how to draw a turkey with your hand."

    Now you see, I think that description encapsulates quite a lot of whitenormative assumptions, and it does so early. It is not a neutral description.

    ....

    Exactly. The curriculum advocated by Twilight is equivalent to teaching mythology first and teaching history later, after the kids' attitudes and preconceptions have already been established on the basis of that mythology. Thus pretty much guaranteeing maximum resistance to the truth when it is finally presented. It's challenging to teach history if it is necessary to unteach a whole bunch of stuff first - and that stuff that was taught and repeated by trusted adults. "Welcome to History 12. Hey kids, we're finally going to talk about genocide, slavery, and colonialism! Surprise! Lots of famous historical figures were racist monsters!"
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Continuing the discussion of how this is being discussed: Two things.

    1. Someone up thread said every time we had this discussion institutional racism, "had to be explained."

    Because every time a thread on racism comes up you make it about how you and your family are personally nice to black people, so you can't possibly be part of the problem. Nice is great! I'm not saying stop being nice to black people! But your niceness to them doesn't mean they're any less likely to get shot by the cops or denied a mortgage or their kids sent to a crappy school.

    Every time we have a thread on racism we end up mostly talking about how to change the hearts of racists. In my comments here I am following the lead of Gene Demby and Nikole Hannah-Jones, two black journalists whose work I often read. Gene in particular stresses that the feelings of individual white people are his least urgent concern - we have it backwards if we're trying to change racists' hearts first and hope social change will follow. In fact it works better if the social change is imposed first, even against the will of the majority, and then people tend to adjust their opinions to it after the fact. That's what happened with integration in the South - social science research shows that kids who attended integrated schools (like thoroughly, evenly integrated throughout the school system, not just busing ten black kids into an all-white school) have less racist opinions than kids raised in segregated schools. And integration never would have happened if the feds hadn't forced us to it. Northern cities haven't integrated properly even almost 70 years after Brown v. Board, because their politicians brokered deals with the federal government to be left alone.

    That is my problem, is the focus on addressing whites' feelings first. You can't reason somebody out of an emotion. When the conversation constantly comes back around to trying to cure racism by fixing white emotions it means the most urgent problems will never even be looked at.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Lighter skin was certainly part of the reason Obama was elected.

    Do you have any evidence for this assertion?
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    That is my problem, is the focus on addressing whites' feelings first. You can't reason somebody out of an emotion. When the conversation constantly comes back around to trying to cure racism by fixing white emotions it means the most urgent problems will never even be looked at.

    At a church convention, a First Nations speaker told the mostly-white crowd, and repeated a few times: "It's not the Guilt and Shame Commission, it's the Truth and Reconciliation Commission." Because feelings of guilt and shame over conditions they had no direct hand in creating kept becoming the focus for a few people. Feelings of guilt and shame challenged their identity of being good people.

    I don't think anyone on this thread is a bad person. I do think there's a lot of frustration all around. I think we are poorly equipped, by our language, habits of thought, and political structures, to grasp and deal with issues of racialized injustice. We are by and large good people who don't know what to do.

    Facts, reason, and action plans help. While it's true that you can't reason somebody out of a position that they weren't reasoned into, you can point out enough facts for them to choose to think differently and then to feel differently.

    I am grateful that we have had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, led by now-Senator Murray Sinclair, who brought to the task the discernment of Solomon and the patience of Job. In that report were facts, which led people to reason, which helps make the action plans make sense.

    One fact that leapt out at me from the report was the fact - supported with documentation - that First Nations children in residential schools were given exactly half the budget for food and medicine as that given to white residential schools. It is not reasonable to believe that they needed half as much food and medicine as white children. Many First Nations children died at school, also a fact supported by documentation. Therefore it is reasonable to direct money toward programs that alleviate the poor health conditions caused by what was clearly a racist and cruel policy.

    None of that involves my feelings. I may feel some type of way about the historical facts and the action plan. But feelings really don't matter as much as we think they do. If my roof is leaking, I may feel some type of way about it, but my feelings matter way less than fixing the problem.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    ... Lighter skin was certainly part of the reason Obama was elected.
    Can you support that statement with something other than supposition?

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    ...We are back to more binary because of a recent refusal to see/accept.
    Who gets to decide that?

This discussion has been closed.