Author Topic: Racism and Privilege  (Read 15027 times)

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Offline Harmony

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Racism and Privilege
« on: June 09, 2020, 09:48:58 AM »
I wanted to splinter off the police brutality thread - hope the mods won't mind.

On that thread, I asked a question and this was one of the replies:
Is it unwoke of me to ask if anyone posting here with any regularity is a person of color?

Not sure if it counts, but I am Hispanic, most of my life I've been in a predominantly Black/Hispanic community.

This reply really stuck with me.  Because of course it counts!  Now I realize that this board and progressive music as a whole is mighty white and mighty male - so maybe this isn't the right place for me to post this topic.  Maybe it isn't my place.

But then I thought, maybe it is the place.  Why shouldn't we have these discussions?  Why shouldn't we make an effort to listen to POC here and out there *gestures wildly in all directions*?

Has anyone heard this yet?  Kimberly Latrice Jones is her name.  I thought this might be a good place to start.  If you are going to comment, please watch the entire thing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLDmB0ve62s
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 06:22:38 PM by Harmony »
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Racism
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 09:51:24 AM »
Nothing substantive to add yet, but just to chime in on the "appropriateness" of the thread, since you asked:  No problem with it whatsoever.  As far as I'm concerned, this precisely fits what the P/R forum is designed for.  As with any other subject, provided the discussion remains respectful, have at it!
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Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Racism
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 12:24:27 PM »
Really strong Video Harmony.

I saw this yesterday. It's Neil deGrasse Tyson talking. The video it's a bit long but well worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK0p0DzZVzI

Offline Harmony

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Re: Racism
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 05:03:47 PM »
Yeah, I thought so too, Vmadera00.  I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.  Which I find curious considering the lively discussion going on in the other thread a few days back.  That said, I'm hoping the silence is = listening.

I actually read a transcript of that NDT clip.  It was long!  Even though his spoken word reading sounds like he's reading a story to his nephew, I prefer it.  Thanks for adding it. 
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: Racism
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 05:19:48 PM »
isn't it messed that first time I ever heard of the Tulsa massacre was when I watched the first episode of Watchmen on HBO last october where they reenacted part of it?    And now Rosewood, I just had to go to wikipedia because I had never heard of that either.

Offline RuRoRul

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Re: Racism
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 05:49:03 PM »
Yeah, I thought so too, Vmadera00.  I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.  Which I find curious considering the lively discussion going on in the other thread a few days back.  That said, I'm hoping the silence is = listening.
I'm an infrequent poster but still read P/R here semi-regularly as it's a good source of some respectful discussion in a relatively chilled out atmosphere, so I suppose I can vouch for not posting in a thread doesn't mean I'm not interested in following.

For this thread though, I don't know if it's a factor at all but I'll weigh in and say that I was unsure *exactly* what sort of thread you were going for from the OP The title and the idea of spinning off from police brutality suggest it being a good general thread for any discussion the issue of racism. But the note that this forum skews white and male (which I believe is true) and the part about making an effort to hear from POC here made me think it was maybe intended more as a springboard mainly for people with a different perspective and perhaps more direct impact of racism in their life to share their experiences. Plus "ensure you've watched this entire video before posting" seems like a high barrier to entry further suggesting maybe it's not intended for just any old post about the topic of racism.

Just to be clear, I think both threads ("Catch-all thread for any discussion on the issue of racism" or "Place to share personal experience of how racism has impacted you") would be good ideas. But I wasn't 100% sure which one you intended it to be, and if it was the latter then the same crew of P/R regulars immediately posting their thoughts and continuing the discussion from there might sort of turn it into the former. I can't speak for anyone else so maybe that's not even a factor, but just a thought I had viewing this thread that it wouldn't surprise me if people were hanging back waiting for others to sort of set the tone of the thread before weighing in.

Edit: I saw the video in the OP before, it was very powerful and certainly helps get across some of the perspective on those very involved in the protests and the significance of the history on why these issues get the reaction they do. Also I found the part about the social contract and why the brutality at the hands of the police merits such a strong reaction (more so than perhaps boiling it down to "how many people are really killed a year?" might suggest) very interesting, but to be hoenst that part of the discussion is more about the specifics of police brutality and these current protests than about the general subject of racism.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 06:06:19 PM by RuRoRul »

Offline Harmony

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Re: Racism
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 06:22:13 PM »
isn't it messed that first time I ever heard of the Tulsa massacre was when I watched the first episode of Watchmen on HBO last october where they reenacted part of it?    And now Rosewood, I just had to go to wikipedia because I had never heard of that either.

Yes.  Same here.  I know many people don't read the comments on links and youtubes, but if you happened to read any of the comments on the youtube thread, this same thing was being said over and over.  "You mean I had to learn about Mesopotamia but I never even heard about Rosewood?" 



For this thread though, I don't know if it's a factor at all but I'll weigh in and say that I was unsure *exactly* what sort of thread you were going for from the OP The title and the idea of spinning off from police brutality suggest it being a good general thread for any discussion the issue of racism. But the note that this forum skews white and male (which I believe is true) and the part about making an effort to hear from POC here made me think it was maybe intended more as a springboard mainly for people with a different perspective and perhaps more direct impact of racism in their life to share their experiences. Plus "ensure you've watched this entire video before posting" seems like a high barrier to entry further suggesting maybe it's not intended for just any old post about the topic of racism.

Thanks for weighing in and you make good points.  I don't really want to limit this thread in any way and had (maybe erroneously) assumed most would've been reading the Police Brutality thread and seen the posts touching on the need for a discussion about privilege and/or racism.  That's what I wanted this to be.  I guess I should retitle it a bit for clarity.

I only wanted the clip to be viewed on entirely before posting about the clip and what she said.  I literally just read a discussion on another platform where people turned this clip off halfway through thinking it was about the looting and vandalism.  And while it touched on that, it was about much more.  So turning off halfway through would've missed the point - like the one Xe mentioned up above.  I've also seen (not here) comments along the line of, "Why is she so angry?  Why can't she just calmly discuss?" and I think these comments may also miss the point and IMO would be a form of microaggression that many black people are sick and tired of, frankly.

I honestly wish we had more of a diverse culture here.  I want nothing more than to have POC on this board speak up and participate.  But we are here, who we are.  So my ambivalence around making the thread is because I honestly feel like it isn't my place to talk about something that I personally don't experience.  But NOT talking about it doesn't seem to be the answer either.

So let's just talk about it and see where it will go.

FTR, Ms. Jones' passionate words make me think about racism differently than I ever have before.  Her words may in fact be the most profound words I've ever heard on the subject ever.  I mean, I have what I now see as a basic understanding of racism.  But it's more basic than I'd care to admit.   :-\
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 06:35:16 PM »
I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.
I just saw this thread and watched the video, but here's why I likely won't be participating much here. I simply don't know what to say. The woman made some very powerful points and drove home how the deck has been stacked against black people for hundreds of years. I can't argue with that. I cannot even fathom what we can do from here. Give black people a wad of cash? Buy them all homes? I've heard plenty of ideas tossed around over the years and none of them seem like they'd really change anything in the long run. People are notoriously bad at managing a sudden inflow of money.

I'm tempted to nitpick a few things she said that I don't agree with, but I know that's part of the problem with things like this. We throw out the whole argument because we disagree with 10% of it. So I'm not going to go there.

I'll follow the thread and chime in when it seems appropriate, but I have no idea what substance I can add.

Offline Harmony

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2020, 06:49:53 PM »
I appreciate your honesty.  And I also don't know what to do from here and that's frustrating.  The discussion on reparations alone could probably take up pages.

So what can we do?  We can vote, sure.  What else?

Have you ever been in a group of people and heard racists labels or jokes?  I know I have.  Have I always stood up and said anything?  No.  But that is one very small thing that I will be doing.  Calling it out.  And before someone helpfully admonishes me about free speech, I'm not saying that people can't tell jokes or use racist words.  I'm saying I will speak up and then I will walk away.  People can talk shit all they want.  I don't have to be around them or it going forward.  Family members included.  And they will be made to know exactly why I will no longer be having any kind of relationship with them.  If they wish to change, I'll reconsider.  If they don't, I'm out.

It is fucking 2020.  It's time to make a stand.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2020, 07:08:44 PM »
I appreciate your honesty.  And I also don't know what to do from here and that's frustrating.  The discussion on reparations alone could probably take up pages.

So what can we do?  We can vote, sure.  What else?
I honestly don't know who to vote for that would help. I'm initially tempted to think that Democrats in general are better for black Americans, but I'm not so sure anymore. I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat. I want to give black Americans a hand up out of poverty so they can then maintain their own level of success, not just continually keep them on welfare. Democrats haven't been able to achieve that on a large scale. So voting doesn't really help me feel all that much better either.

Have you ever been in a group of people and heard racists labels or jokes?  I know I have.  Have I always stood up and said anything?  No.  But that is one very small thing that I will be doing.  Calling it out.  And before someone helpfully admonishes me about free speech, I'm not saying that people can't tell jokes or use racist words.  I'm saying I will speak up and then I will walk away.  People can talk shit all they want.  I don't have to be around them or it going forward.  Family members included.  And they will be made to know exactly why I will no longer be having any kind of relationship with them.  If they wish to change, I'll reconsider.  If they don't, I'm out.

It is fucking 2020.  It's time to make a stand.
This is a good point. Standing up to casual racism is a start.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 07:18:34 PM by lordxizor »

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Racism
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2020, 07:29:29 PM »
I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.
I just saw this thread and watched the video, but here's why I likely won't be participating much here. I simply don't know what to say. The woman made some very powerful points and drove home how the deck has been stacked against black people for hundreds of years. I can't argue with that. I cannot even fathom what we can do from here. Give black people a wad of cash? Buy them all homes? I've heard plenty of ideas tossed around over the years and none of them seem like they'd really change anything in the long run. People are notoriously bad at managing a sudden inflow of money.

I'm tempted to nitpick a few things she said that I don't agree with, but I know that's part of the problem with things like this. We throw out the whole argument because we disagree with 10% of it. So I'm not going to go there.

I'll follow the thread and chime in when it seems appropriate, but I have no idea what substance I can add.

This sums up my position as well, and you said it way better than I would have.

Offline RuRoRul

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2020, 08:50:25 PM »
Thanks for weighing in and you make good points.  I don't really want to limit this thread in any way and had (maybe erroneously) assumed most would've been reading the Police Brutality thread and seen the posts touching on the need for a discussion about privilege and/or racism.  That's what I wanted this to be.  I guess I should retitle it a bit for clarity.

I only wanted the clip to be viewed on entirely before posting about the clip and what she said.  I literally just read a discussion on another platform where people turned this clip off halfway through thinking it was about the looting and vandalism.  And while it touched on that, it was about much more.  So turning off halfway through would've missed the point - like the one Xe mentioned up above.  I've also seen (not here) comments along the line of, "Why is she so angry?  Why can't she just calmly discuss?" and I think these comments may also miss the point and IMO would be a form of microaggression that many black people are sick and tired of, frankly.

I honestly wish we had more of a diverse culture here.  I want nothing more than to have POC on this board speak up and participate.  But we are here, who we are.  So my ambivalence around making the thread is because I honestly feel like it isn't my place to talk about something that I personally don't experience.  But NOT talking about it doesn't seem to be the answer either.

So let's just talk about it and see where it will go.

FTR, Ms. Jones' passionate words make me think about racism differently than I ever have before.  Her words may in fact be the most profound words I've ever heard on the subject ever.  I mean, I have what I now see as a basic understanding of racism.  But it's more basic than I'd care to admit.   :-\
Yes, similarly I feel I'm probably not the best person to talk about racism. I am basically that stereotypical white male demographic of this forum and don't have much of the perspective of being a minority. My parents and grandparents and probably further back than that were all white natives to the (majority white) country I live in and were born probably within a couple of hour's drive of the city I live in now. And while racism can be a problem anywhere, and there are certainly issues with racism in my country, I daresay we don't have the same history and level of racial tension as in the USA or some other countries, so it does not really feel like such a significant part of the national conversation as it appears to be in some places. So while I have my thoughts - and don't get me wrong I'm not one of those who believe that I have "no right" to talk about anything just because I am not as affected by it -  they really are the thoughts of someone who has the privilege of being able to talk about racism mainly as an abstract, intellectual topic, rather than the many people who experience it much more viscerally every day.

But, as you said we are who we are here. And ironic as it might be to start a conversation about racism with "Let's first hear from... the white males!", I think within the context of this forum it's inevitable that we're going to get a bit of that if we really want to hear people's viewpoints. For myself, as described above I definitely don't have that much deep or personal experience with racism to draw from, but with that in mind there were a couple of general thoughts I had on racism and privilege over the past few weeks and in fact when reading hreads here.

First, on privilege. Or, let's say it - white privilege. It's a bit of a loaded term for many people now, and it's boiling down some very complex factors into a couple of words so of course there's lots you can pick apart. I think we all know the general gist of it. The video in the OP, while it was about black people's experience, gets across the idea of why there's a systematic benefit to white people in the US compared to black people, even once the laws say that they are ostensibly equal, that doesn't just erase the history that brought us to this point.

But, for those of us in the supposedly "privileged" categories - whether it's white, male, whatever - I think there's always that question of "OK, what are we supposed to do with that?" Or even just an instinctive pushback against the idea. "You're privileged." Who is really going to like being told that? Especially when everyone's individual experience is their own and they might not feel particularly privileged at all, or especially when it may feel like people are using it as an accusation against your success, your abilities, or your character. Your successes aren't fully your own, you didn't really get where you are on your own - what you've done, the obstacles you've overcome and things you've done with your life, are all partly due to the privilege of your race.

I'm in no way comparing being sometimes told "white privilege exists" to the oppression suffered by black people - this is not a "white people are the true victims!" rant. But, if we're going to have the conversation about the idea of privilege and understand it better, I think it's important that we acknowledge and understand why, in that conversation, the people being told about their supposed privilege might have a big fucking problem with it. I mean, I lean pretty heavily progressive (especially relative to the US) and am definitely in the category that would easily side with those fighting against systematic racism and inequality, but I can't say I could never sympathise with those who feel like they are being lectured about white privilege. No one handed me anything because I was white, not once did I feel like I got special treatment for being white, being white didn't help me get qualifications or a job. If I hadn't worked hard or used my abilities well I would have failed and being white wouldn't help me. And being white never helped the people I know worse off than me who don't have a decent job or are struggling to pay the bills. So what does that "privilege" really mean to me? If being "accepted" into the social movement means accepting that supposedly I am a lesser person because my achievements and happiness are down to white privilege, why should I bother?

Now I understand that's really not what the idea of privilege is supposed to be about. But believe me, I can certainly see how many people interpret it that way, and I know if I too can easily sympathise with their feelings it's going to be very easy for a lot more people to do so. Especially when in the modern world, there are millions of black people who have been successful in America, there are plenty of places for minorities in education, companies can't simply discriminate based on race, and there are lots of programs and initiatves specifically helping people who might be disadvantaged because of their race. I think a lot of people today will happily accept the idea that they'd have had it easier than others for being a white male - if they lived in the '50s. But insist that white privilege is just as big a deal today, insinuate that this privilege plays a significant role in their life, and you will lose them. And I think that conversation about privilege can often come across like that, rather than in a way that will actually make people stop and consider the complexity of the issue. Perhaps that's no surprise, after all people standing up against the very real racism that still exists today, as well as the systemic societal inequalities that linger from a history of racial injustice, they have bigger issues to worry about than whether their wording might make some white guy a bit grumpy because he feels he's being lectured or his achievements are being minimised.

But, I think while the word "privilege" feels a bit loaded when being thrown around, most of us probably can acknowledge and understand it. For me, when thinking of the idea of "my privilege", it makes sense to me that rather than being directly positive, it's more the absence of a negative - or even a potential negative. To me, it's basically what I was talking about at the beginning of this post - I don't have any real experience of suffering from racism. I've never had to worry much about it. I can't specifically point to a time being white or a native of the country I live in has earned me special treatment - and I suspect that's the same for 99% of the people in my position. But I also can't specifically point to a time where I was victimized or discriminated against because of my race. I'm able able to go about my life not thinking about racism unless I want to. Now, not having to think about racism as much doesn't pay the bills. Or help me with anything I need to get done in a day. But, I know that to some that idea of "not really having to worry much about racism" would seem like bliss. I have the privilege to be able to say "racism isn't that big a deal for me", when a lot of people don't have that option because they are forced to deal with it, from the most minor instance like an extra glance, to the most extreme like the possibility the colour of your skin might be a factor in you getting killed.

Of course, as with all important issues it's a bit more complicated. It's not as straight forward as "being black is a bit worse in every situation". We can easily identify scenarios where being black might be a positive or being white might be a negative. And no matter what race someone is they could still be the victim of racially motivated violence. But you only have to go back to what was discussed earlier, about the history of race in the USA and the effect that has had on the system as it stands today, to see that by and large it's black people and other minorities that don't have that privilege of not experiencing as much racism or systematic inequality. So many people of colour are able to share their experience of how racism has directly impacted them in their life - despite the word suggesting that it's something that puts someone in a really beneficial or advantageous position, I think that the "privilege" that some of us (including myself) have is just being hear those experiences and think "I'm glad I didn't have to deal with all that."
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 09:00:59 PM by RuRoRul »

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2020, 09:40:12 PM »
I watched the video. I don't want to pick out the parts I had problems with because I do not want that to overshadow the parts I do. But for sake of "having a conversation" I will submit for discussion:

1) In her breakdown of "three types of people: protesters, rioters, and looters" I would add there are subsets of looters a) the pissed off people she focused on b) the organized groups who seize the opportunity to systematically loot, and c) the individuals who want free stuff.

2) I heard a clip on the radio today of a woman of color talking about how her store was destroyed by looters. I did not get her name and cannot find it for reference, I apologize. The most moving part of what she said through her tears "We [her family] are trying to build something, and you [the looters] tore it down. I am trying to make something of myself and provide for my family. And what did you accomplish? Nothing but taking it all away from me."

I will push back a little bit on the notion that we are preventing people of color from obtaining anything thus they must take it by stealing. I don't think that is exactly what she said, and through her anger I cannot confirm that is exactly what she meant. But when it comes to looting, rarely do I see people walking out of stores carrying diapers, or bread and milk, because they are "food insecure." I cannot get fully get behind the notion that "the system is keeping me from earning enough to by that big TV I want, so I am just going to take it." She says she doesn't care about Target, and when talking about the company or the brand, I get it. But what about your brothers and sisters (both nationally, and culturally) who work there? Their jobs just got destroyed, their livelihoods in jeopardy. As the old lady from the clip I heard (but cannot locate) you don't build something by destroying it.

My wife and I talked about this a few days ago, and in a moment of frustration, she said she sometimes thinks I see myself as an "entitled white man." She took it back, and felt bad about saying it. In the context of the conversation, it didn't bother me, because we ended up at a better place than when we started. Days later, it did bug me, because for all my faults, and there are plenty, considering myself entitled wasn't something that had crossed my mind. I have been thinking a lot about it since, and haven't had the heart (and by heart I mean balls) to revisit it with her and ask her specifically what makes her think that.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2020, 05:47:44 AM »

2) I heard a clip on the radio today of a woman of color talking about how her store was destroyed by looters. I did not get her name and cannot find it for reference, I apologize. The most moving part of what she said through her tears "We [her family] are trying to build something, and you [the looters] tore it down. I am trying to make something of myself and provide for my family. And what did you accomplish? Nothing but taking it all away from me."


Have you ever seen this clip from the 1992 riots in LA? Reminds me a lot of that. Freaking sad, man. I'd be gutted if I saw so much of my life just stripped from me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxK8VzylOrQ


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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2020, 06:02:19 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2020, 06:18:05 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
It absolutely is. Whether the Democratic party is actually actively trying to keep black people poor, I can't say (and I kind of doubt), but there are people who think they are (conservatives of course). But it certainly helps the Democrats stay in power when more people are dependent on government aid.

Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2020, 06:21:02 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
It absolutely is. Whether the Democratic party is actually actively trying to keep black people poor, I can't say (and I kind of doubt), but there are people who think they are (conservatives of course).


 What are democrats doing that keeps black people poor, and what are the republicans doing to try and stop that?

Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2020, 06:24:33 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
It absolutely is. Whether the Democratic party is actually actively trying to keep black people poor, I can't say (and I kind of doubt), but there are people who think they are (conservatives of course).


 What are democrats doing that keeps black people poor, and what are the republicans doing to try and stop that?
I just said I doubt they're actively doing anything to keep them poor and never claimed Republicans are doing anything to stop it. You'd have to look for conservative opinions on the matter. But I know these opinions exist and it's not just a tiny fringe element that believes it.

Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2020, 06:28:29 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
It absolutely is. Whether the Democratic party is actually actively trying to keep black people poor, I can't say (and I kind of doubt), but there are people who think they are (conservatives of course).


 What are democrats doing that keeps black people poor, and what are the republicans doing to try and stop that?
I just said I doubt they're actively doing anything to keep them poor and never claimed Republicans are doing anything to stop it. You'd have to look for conservative opinions on the matter. But I know these opinions exist and it's not just a tiny fringe element that believes it.


My bad, I read "I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor" and thought something else.


Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2020, 06:29:50 AM »
I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor so they're dependent on the government and thus more likely to vote Democrat.

Is this really a thing?
It absolutely is. Whether the Democratic party is actually actively trying to keep black people poor, I can't say (and I kind of doubt), but there are people who think they are (conservatives of course).


 What are democrats doing that keeps black people poor, and what are the republicans doing to try and stop that?
I just said I doubt they're actively doing anything to keep them poor and never claimed Republicans are doing anything to stop it. You'd have to look for conservative opinions on the matter. But I know these opinions exist and it's not just a tiny fringe element that believes it.


My bad, I read "I think Democrats have a vested interest in keeping black people poor" and thought something else.



Perhaps my initial post was unclear... I believe that Democrats do better when more people are dependent on government aid, which a large chunk of POC are. I don't think this is a controversial opinion, since people in need will almost always vote for those who will keep or raise their aid. I didn't mean to imply from the beginning that Democrats are actively trying to keep black people poor, though there are many who do and have recently heard many people on Facebook commenting on the racial stuff about racist Democrats trying to keep blacks poor.

Offline Adami

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2020, 06:31:41 AM »
I dunno.

I do better when people have mental health issues, but I definitely don't have a vested interest in making sure people have mental health issues.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2020, 06:39:35 AM »
I dunno.

I do better when people have mental health issues, but I definitely don't have a vested interest in making sure people have mental health issues.
You do though. If no one had mental health issues, you wouldn't have a job. So you do have a vested interest in people having mental health issues. That doesn't mean you hope people have mental health issues or are going to somehow make people have mental heath issues. It just means you're personally financially better off if people do have mental health issues. You also have a vested interest in helping your patients overcome their issues, since they would in theory give your name to others having issues you could help with.

Offline Adami

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2020, 06:43:05 AM »
I dunno.

I do better when people have mental health issues, but I definitely don't have a vested interest in making sure people have mental health issues.
You do though. If no one had mental health issues, you wouldn't have a job. So you do have a vested interest in people having mental health issues. That doesn't mean you hope people have mental health issues or are going to somehow make people have mental heath issues. It just means you're personally financially better off if people do have mental health issues. You also have a vested interest in helping your patients overcome their issues, since they would in theory give your name to others having issues you could help with.

I have a vested interest in MAKING SURE PEOPLE HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?

I put the emphasized in caps. I have a financial stake in them already having them, but not in MAKING SURE THEY CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM.

There is a huge difference there.

Edit: Here's the difference in how I'm interpreting what you're saying. The world will ALWAYS have mental health issues, so I don't need a vested interest in making sure people have them. Similar to medical doctors. The world will always need them. They don't need to make sure people stay unhealthy at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most doctors, if given the choice, would rather find a new career in a world that no longer has health issues than make sure people still depend on them.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 06:48:45 AM by Adami »
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2020, 07:01:51 AM »
I dunno.

I do better when people have mental health issues, but I definitely don't have a vested interest in making sure people have mental health issues.
You do though. If no one had mental health issues, you wouldn't have a job. So you do have a vested interest in people having mental health issues. That doesn't mean you hope people have mental health issues or are going to somehow make people have mental heath issues. It just means you're personally financially better off if people do have mental health issues. You also have a vested interest in helping your patients overcome their issues, since they would in theory give your name to others having issues you could help with.

I have a vested interest in MAKING SURE PEOPLE HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?

I put the emphasized in caps. I have a financial stake in them already having them, but not in MAKING SURE THEY CONTINUE TO HAVE THEM.

There is a huge difference there.

Edit: Here's the difference in how I'm interpreting what you're saying. The world will ALWAYS have mental health issues, so I don't need a vested interest in making sure people have them. Similar to medical doctors. The world will always need them. They don't need to make sure people stay unhealthy at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most doctors, if given the choice, would rather find a new career in a world that no longer has health issues than make sure people still depend on them.
Maybe we're just interpreting the phrase "vested interest" differently. I believe, based on my understanding of the phrase, that you have a vested interest in mental health issues being prevalent since you are financially better off if they are. That in no way implies that you wouldn't push the magic "make all mental health issues go away" button if there was one. You seem like an honorable person and you would rather find a new career than continue to let people suffer (like the vast majority of doctors and therapists). But I don't interpret "vested interest" based on your moral character, just your financial reality. I have a vested interest in oil companies being successful, since I own stock in them through some of the index funds I own, yet I would rather they all went out of business because we found clean energy alternatives.

Anyway... I think we've drug this thread down long enough. I think you all get the point I was trying to make about the Democrats.... that they are more likely to gain or stay in power if there are more people dependent on government money to live since they are the party most likely to raise or keep benefits and the Republicans are more likely to cut them. And that there are people (not me) that think the Democrats deliberately keep people poor so that they stay on government benefits.

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2020, 08:33:21 AM »
Going to comment on 2 points made here. Not going to quote anyone to keep the post clean.

1) Re: what government (won't say democrats as I don't think they are fully responsible for this) does to keep poor communities poor. The main thing I can think of is education. I went to school for that and even got my certification to teach in NY state. There are a lot of issues with the education system, but the main one for me is the way funds are distributed. In short, the worst your school performs as a whole, the less funds you receive. The less funds you receive, the harder it is to provide proper education for kids. This was affecting mainly poor performing school, which were usually located in poor communities. This has caused a lot of school to do what some call "teach to the test", and if your student still fails, you find a way to pass them. The more students you graduate, the more money you will receive. Not sure if this is still the case, but when I was involved in education that's what was happening. I've seen kids today graduating high school with a GPA below 55. Now, I could go on and on about education and standards, but that would be a whole different thread.

2) Re: what Adami said. I agree with him. I currently work for a social service non-profit organization. We thrive because there is a demand for us in a low income community of The Bronx (We provide pantry, cooked food, mail service, showers (mainly for homeless people) and a couple of more services). Most of our clients would be considered  poor by national standards (making less than $12k a year). They need us for certain basic necessities. Even though it's great we can provide that, I would much rather we didn't have to. We are here because there IS a demand, but it would be much better if there wasn't.

Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2020, 08:40:25 AM »
Going to comment on 2 points made here. Not going to quote anyone to keep the post clean.

1) Re: what government (won't say democrats as I don't think they are fully responsible for this) does to keep poor communities poor. The main thing I can think of is education. I went to school for that and even got my certification to teach in NY state. There are a lot of issues with the education system, but the main one for me is the way funds are distributed. In short, the worst your school performs as a whole, the less funds you receive. The less funds you receive, the harder it is to provide proper education for kids. This was affecting mainly poor performing school, which were usually located in poor communities. This has caused a lot of school to do what some call "teach to the test", and if your student still fails, you find a way to pass them. The more students you graduate, the more money you will receive. Not sure if this is still the case, but when I was involved in education that's what was happening. I've seen kids today graduating high school with a GPA below 55. Now, I could go on and on about education and standards, but that would be a whole different thread.


That's not always the case.


https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/high-public-school-spending-dc-hasnt-produced-desired-outcomes

Quote
Spending by Washington, D.C., public schools can be difficult to pin down.

Estimates suggest spending is somewhere between $27,000 and $29,000 per child per year, which is roughly double the national average. Assuming $27,000 per student per year, D.C. taxpayers spend about $350,000 on a student from kindergarten through graduation. In eighth-grade math, for example, D.C. students scored 16 points below the national average. In reading, D.C. students were 19 points behind their peers across the country. Proficiency levels in reading and math also leave much to be desired. Among fourth-graders, 32 percent scored proficient or better in math, and 29 percent scored proficient in reading. Just 20 percent of eighth-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and just 21 percent in math.

Thatís right: Just two out of 10 eighth-graders in D.C. public schools can read or do math proficiently.


Sounds like the problem is in the home, not in the funding.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2020, 08:47:01 AM »
I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.
I just saw this thread and watched the video, but here's why I likely won't be participating much here. I simply don't know what to say. The woman made some very powerful points and drove home how the deck has been stacked against black people for hundreds of years. I can't argue with that. I cannot even fathom what we can do from here. Give black people a wad of cash? Buy them all homes? I've heard plenty of ideas tossed around over the years and none of them seem like they'd really change anything in the long run. People are notoriously bad at managing a sudden inflow of money.

I'm tempted to nitpick a few things she said that I don't agree with, but I know that's part of the problem with things like this. We throw out the whole argument because we disagree with 10% of it. So I'm not going to go there.

I'll follow the thread and chime in when it seems appropriate, but I have no idea what substance I can add.

This sums up my position as well, and you said it way better than I would have.

I'm in this boat, too.  It's not a lack of interest, it's that we've hit a dead end.   There's no "right" reply to the video. Sure it was powerful, and about as emotionally resonant as you can get.  But "emotionally resonant" doesn't automatically mean "objectively correct", and in fact, in most cases, they are inversely correlated.    You either accept it or be subject to judgement and scrutiny.  I know Harmony didn't mean it in this context, but it's a good word to make the point:  it's not a "discussion" when the standard reply is "you can't ever know", and the responses are judged as "microaggression".   Our perceptions - on either side, agreed upon or not - are either valid or they're not.   You can't unilaterally deem one side's perceptions more valid on their face and expect the subsequent discussion to be productive.

So I read, with interest, and move on. 

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Racism
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2020, 09:08:48 AM »
I guess others aren't wanting to touch it.
I just saw this thread and watched the video, but here's why I likely won't be participating much here. I simply don't know what to say. The woman made some very powerful points and drove home how the deck has been stacked against black people for hundreds of years. I can't argue with that. I cannot even fathom what we can do from here. Give black people a wad of cash? Buy them all homes? I've heard plenty of ideas tossed around over the years and none of them seem like they'd really change anything in the long run. People are notoriously bad at managing a sudden inflow of money.

I'm tempted to nitpick a few things she said that I don't agree with, but I know that's part of the problem with things like this. We throw out the whole argument because we disagree with 10% of it. So I'm not going to go there.

I'll follow the thread and chime in when it seems appropriate, but I have no idea what substance I can add.

This sums up my position as well, and you said it way better than I would have.

I'm in this boat, too.  It's not a lack of interest, it's that we've hit a dead end.   There's no "right" reply to the video. Sure it was powerful, and about as emotionally resonant as you can get.  But "emotionally resonant" doesn't automatically mean "objectively correct", and in fact, in most cases, they are inversely correlated.    You either accept it or be subject to judgement and scrutiny.  I know Harmony didn't mean it in this context, but it's a good word to make the point:  it's not a "discussion" when the standard reply is "you can't ever know", and the responses are judged as "microaggression".   Our perceptions - on either side, agreed upon or not - are either valid or they're not.   You can't unilaterally deem one side's perceptions more valid on their face and expect the subsequent discussion to be productive.


All of this.....and with attention to the bolded. I typed out a reply yesterday to the video and there's just no way to discuss the couple points I disagree with her about without coming off as a complete unsympathetic a$$hole so I'm just choosing not to discuss. lordxizor and Bill conveyed my general sentiment so, that'll be that.


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Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2020, 09:15:30 AM »
I dunno.

I do better when people have mental health issues, but I definitely don't have a vested interest in making sure people have mental health issues.
You do though. If no one had mental health issues, you wouldn't have a job. So you do have a vested interest in people having mental health issues. That doesn't mean you hope people have mental health issues or are going to somehow make people have mental heath issues. It just means you're personally financially better off if people do have mental health issues. You also have a vested interest in helping your patients overcome their issues, since they would in theory give your name to others having issues you could help with.

This is to both of you:  you might not ACTIVELY endeavor to have more people "poor"/"with mental health issues" (not in quotes as a direct quote, but a codification of ideas), but there's an element of "to a hammer, everything is a nail".   It's a concern with any identity politics issue; the focusing on the identity irreparably colors the subsequent analysis.  We don't KNOW for a fact that George died in whole or in part because he was black.   We know that he was black, that he died, and it was at the hands of a white man.  The presumption now is that it was a racially motivated "crime" (only in quotes to respect my profession; I may believe him guilty, but I don't get to say that until he pleads out or a jury of his peers finds him so), yet at the end of the day, we have no idea.  For all we know, if it wasn't George it was the next guy, white or black.  Or maybe George - when they were working security together - made a crack about "Asian women", or even Chauvin's wife specifically (she was a beauty pageant contestant/winner).  "Volume" makes for attention, and attention makes for action.  There needs to be a critical mass of events for this to get on the national conscience; we've seen that with guns, with #MeToo, with immigration...   there is a vested interest in having more "volume" to move the needle.

I was actually thinking about this earlier this week; I went to pick up my stepson at his dad's and saw a couple walking on the side of the road.  At this point, 48 hours later, I can't tell you what color shirt they were wearing or anything like that; I noticed they were of color and that's what I remember.  And I had a real crisis of emotion: on one hand, I saw them for who they are.  But on the other, I was conflicted.  Am I racist because I noticed they were of color, or that's all I remember?   Is it of benefit to them as people, as humans, as citizens, to have noted that?   Because that never used to be the case.  I didn't note their skin color because it mattered TO ME, I noted it because it seems to matter TO OTHERS.   Noting skin color used to be for me, like noting the color of someone's shirt, or the styling of their hair, one of many small variables, and we move on.  I don't remember Kim H--- from my dorm as "the black girl from the second floor".  I remember her as the kind woman that single-handedly got me through English (in exchange for help on math) and who was an average kisser.   Now, we seem to have forced this observation to the forefront.    I waved at that couple, as I always do (I'm a waver; drives my kids crazy. I'll even wave at cars that pass me of the same make and model).   But I felt self-conscious about it.  Do they view it as a threat? Patronizing? A human gesture?   Did they even give it a second thought? 

I realize this is all on me, individually, but that's the point.   Is that truly a better state of affairs?   Is that the intended outcome?  And INB4 the "entitlement"/"privilege" accusations; there's no "complaint" here; it's an observation only, and one that goes to the notion of some having a vested interest in there being a problem to solve. 

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2020, 09:31:17 AM »
"Experts" would say you have always noticed peoples' skin color, you were just not conscious of it.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2020, 09:36:10 AM »
Going to comment on 2 points made here. Not going to quote anyone to keep the post clean.

1) Re: what government (won't say democrats as I don't think they are fully responsible for this) does to keep poor communities poor. The main thing I can think of is education. I went to school for that and even got my certification to teach in NY state. There are a lot of issues with the education system, but the main one for me is the way funds are distributed. In short, the worst your school performs as a whole, the less funds you receive. The less funds you receive, the harder it is to provide proper education for kids. This was affecting mainly poor performing school, which were usually located in poor communities. This has caused a lot of school to do what some call "teach to the test", and if your student still fails, you find a way to pass them. The more students you graduate, the more money you will receive. Not sure if this is still the case, but when I was involved in education that's what was happening. I've seen kids today graduating high school with a GPA below 55. Now, I could go on and on about education and standards, but that would be a whole different thread.

2) Re: what Adami said. I agree with him. I currently work for a social service non-profit organization. We thrive because there is a demand for us in a low income community of The Bronx (We provide pantry, cooked food, mail service, showers (mainly for homeless people) and a couple of more services). Most of our clients would be considered  poor by national standards (making less than $12k a year). They need us for certain basic necessities. Even though it's great we can provide that, I would much rather we didn't have to. We are here because there IS a demand, but it would be much better if there wasn't.

Are you familiar with the book "Dumbing Down Our Kids", by Charles Sykes?  It's dated now, but it has some resonant ideas that I know for a fact are relevant today.  "Dollars spend" and "performance" is not really correlated in my experience.  I think Chino is on to something, though; education begins in the home.  Now, no doubt some of that is economically driven, but if there is an emphasis on education in the home it goes a long way to education results. 

Offline bosk1

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2020, 10:00:58 AM »
Have you ever been in a group of people and heard racists labels or jokes?  I know I have.  Have I always stood up and said anything?  No.  But that is one very small thing that I will be doing.  Calling it out.  And before someone helpfully admonishes me about free speech, I'm not saying that people can't tell jokes or use racist words.  I'm saying I will speak up and then I will walk away.  People can talk shit all they want.  I don't have to be around them or it going forward.  Family members included.  And they will be made to know exactly why I will no longer be having any kind of relationship with them.  If they wish to change, I'll reconsider.  If they don't, I'm out.

It is fucking 2020.  It's time to make a stand.

Serious question, Harmony:  Respectfully, is this the best approach for what you are trying to accomplish (referring primarily to the bolded).  Forgive me if I am misunderstanding, but here is how I read it:  "When I hear something I believe is racist, I will immediately call it out.  If I do not see an immediate change of heart, I will sever all ties [family, friend, acquaintance, whatever]."  I fully agree with, support, and commend for the first sentence.  But I am questioning whether the second is productive and effective.  To me, cutting ties ends all discussion.  And isn't discussion itself the most vitally important vehicle for the change you want to see?  Granted, not everyone will be willing to discuss at a level you would prefer, and of those that do, not everyone will see the need to make any changes.  But some might.  How does one win hearts and minds by severing the ties that might allow that dialog to occur in the first place?  And, in my experience, even if the immediate, outward message is "I'm not interested in discussing that," or "I'm not willing to change," or "I'm not willing to consider that point," when you have a relationship, you are in a position to discuss, and more often than not, things sink in that neither the speaker nor the hearer immediately recognize as sinking in. 

This isn't meant to call you out, but as a broader principle, I think the approach you mentioned is counterproductive and part of the problem in discussing big issues in general.  I think we have to get past that in order to solve problems.  When we shut down discussion, we hamstring the most powerful tool to progress: the ability to discuss and reach consensus.  A friend of mine recently made this observation [paraphrase]:  "Over the last couple of generations, we have taught and been taught that it is best to 'respect others' by avoiding political and religious discussion so as not to offend them.  This is a grave mistake.  Instead, we should have put more time and energy into teaching each other how to discuss sensitive topics with this we disagree with so that we can all better understand one another."  I think that is powerfully profound.

Anyhow, that's my two cents on the issue.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.  And maybe I completely misunderstood what you were trying to say.  But even if I did, I think it's always a good idea to put this idea out there anyway, just because there will always be people who disagree with us--some for good reason that we may or may not be able to see; some for bad reasons; some for neutral reasons.  In my opinion, if we cut ourselves off from those we disagree with, we can never find any common ground with them and function as a society, and we would then be undercutting the very foundations of diversity we as a society claim to be striving for. 
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2020, 10:04:44 AM »
thereís nothing wrong per se with what Bosk wrote, heís right that we should be open in that way.  The problem is that for black peopleís interactions with police itís literally a life or death situation and it canít be treated in such a detached philosophical way. 

Offline Harmony

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2020, 10:10:37 AM »
Serious question, Harmony:  Respectfully, is this the best approach for what you are trying to accomplish (referring primarily to the bolded).  Forgive me if I am misunderstanding, but here is how I read it:  "When I hear something I believe is racist, I will immediately call it out.  If I do not see an immediate change of heart, I will sever all ties [family, friend, acquaintance, whatever]."  I fully agree with, support, and commend for the first sentence.  But I am questioning whether the second is productive and effective. 

I'm in my 50s.  How many of these conversations do I need to have and get nowhere that would satisfy you?  With respect, you don't know my family and the years of having these conversations.  Years of trying to be an example.  Years of trying to be forgiving and understanding.

I'm not doing it any more.  I'm sorry if that doesn't meet your requirements.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2020, 10:22:08 AM »
Not sure why you made it personal.  It's not about "satisfying" ME.  To me, it's about...not sure how to best word it because it's a fuzzy concept...growing in a way that only comes from interacting with others, friend, enemy, and neutral alike.  When we interact with those we disagree with, even if (and, IMO, especially if) we disagree with them, it promotes growth.  Sometimes, that growth is with us, and we realize that WE were the ones whose perspective was somewhat off and can be adjusted.  Sometimes, that growth is by eventually having the other person come to that realization.  Other times, it is just from the mutual acknowledgement that other people look at the world differently than we do, and even if they are wrong, that's ok.

And you're right--I don't know your family or situation.  But do I need to in order to discuss the point?  Not saying it isn't important to stand in your shoes.  I feel your frustration.  I'm just posing my own thoughts on what you posted.

I'll just conclude with this:  "How many of these conversations do I need to have and get nowhere . . . ?"  I'm in my 50s too.  And my answer is still:  "As many as I can until my last dying breath."  In my opinion and observation, we don't truly know when and how much progress is being made, even when it looks like we may be getting nowhere. 
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