Author Topic: Racism and Privilege  (Read 14999 times)

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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2020, 06:57:14 PM »
Isn't it Aunt Jemima they're going after and not Mean Butterworth?

Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2020, 08:10:53 PM »
Also I'll add - I can only imagine that the fear of being called racist pales in comparison to what a lot of people of color fear, and what they've faced over the years.  We've probably all done or said things that someone considers racist, and probably some of the time, we actually were.  Maybe, most likely, completely unintentionally.  And sometimes we've probably been accused when we didn't deserve it.  But why let that stop us from trying to help right a very serious wrong?

Why make that comparison, though?  To the person in the moment, the perception is what matters. There are a lot of things I can't imagine, and other things that I've experienced that others can't image.  How can we possibly find any standard by which that's a productive conversation?  If you want to ascribe "objective" moralities to things, well, there's a lot of cases of racism (and "MeToo", and homophobia) that were probably not that big a deal in the big picture.  That guy in Colorado; was the world going to end if THAT guy didn't get THAT wedding cake from THAT cake maker?  And yet, we don't diminish that man's experience, and we allow him his day in court.

I don't diminish that man's experience, and apparently neither do you, but a lot of people do, and did.  There are a lot of things one will never really understand until it happens to them.  But with most of those things, people at least acknowledge it.  Someone loses a parent/child/sibling.  Someone loses their job.  Has to put down their pet.  People who have been lucky enough not to experience that yet don't really get it.  But they don't make light of the situation, they don't tell them to just get over it, they don't tell them it's all in their head or doesn't exist. 

I'm making the comparison because you seem to be saying (and I apologise if I've misinterpreted you) that you may not want to help, to participate, because someone in "the movement" has or may in the future call you racist.  What about the vast majority who haven't done that?  Maybe your actions might help the person who called you racist, but if it also helps a lot more, then so what?

Respectfully, you don't have it quite right; I don't see a space - yet - to help or participate, because the options available right now (it will change) are nostly those that I don't agree with.  And I worry that by not agreeing with the tactics that some DO consider me a racist.   I'm worried about being called a racist because a) I know what's in my heart, and b) it's a difficult thing to come back from.  I know for a fact if anyone got any reasonable feeling that I was I would lose my job.   I may lose my license (I'm in a rather blue state, one whose previous governor had a "thing" called "Connecticut Fair", which basically was the Democrat identity politics platform, no judgment).  It doesn't bother me on a practical level, because a), but it bothers me deeply on a philosophical level because it implicitly governs thought, and I really have a problem with that.

Stadler, we've talked about the Colorado cake lots and lots on the MP forum and I don't really want to revisit that at this moment.  Maybe at some point, I don't know, but it isn't really the issue that I'm trying to discuss here.  Neither is Chris Murphy. 

So I'll just weigh in on the quoted paragraphs.  You don't have to engage in any tactics you don't agree with, or support something you don't believe in.  Nothing that I've suggested is something that would get you fired.  Some of what I'm suggesting is just listening and reading.  So there definitely is room to get involved somehow.  It doesn't have to be big and grand.  And just to be clear, I didn't post this with you (or any one specific person) in mind.

Quote
Never say never, but in my mind, pointing out facts and data is never ultimately a bad thing.   It might be insensitive in the moment, but to say it's "not helping", well, I can't get my arms around that.   

Two points:  one, the "quotes" aren't to completely dismiss the entire concept of white privilege - it exists in some forms.   It is, though, to point out that just because someone says it doesn't make it so.   It's not automatic, and it's not a failsafe.  I apologize, but I don't see me stopping that, at least here, because it IS a card at times, to be thrown when the rest of the argument fails.   The fact of the matter is, we are all HUMANS at heart.  Imperfect, fallible and prone to mistakes and failures.   Just like not every single person that voted for Trump is a white nationalist racist, or an honest American looking for a new fresh face, so not every single kid dealing drugs in Father Panik Village is a budding Rhodes scholar, or a hopeless cracked out degenerate.   So each set of circumstances should be at least superficially assessed on its merits.   It's why I have zero problem with any of those police facing charges; they will have their day in court, with due process and a fair chance of appeal.

Yes, we're all human, we all make mistakes, etc etc.  None of that has much to do with my posts.
By using the quotes and constantly bringing up what people have done to you, or accused you of, you're being dismissive of the bigger picture.  There will always be people who'll take advantage of whatever they can for their own gain.  Someone who knows that you aren't being racist but knows that they will gain by making it seem as though you are. But the number of people who engage in that kind of malicious behavior is a drop in the bucket compared to people who actually have to deal with racism.  Using the quotes and focusing on how someone might possibly harm you in some way loses sight of larger problem.

I'm saying - let's take a step back right now and listen.  I had a call at work just today where employees of color were talking about George Floyd and what they face in general.  From regular individual contributors to executives.  What they face time and time again is more than I think most of us realize.  There were a couple white parents who talked about how they didn't realize or think about all this stuff until they saw how their mixed race kids were getting treated.  People talking about what they don't do or let their kids do that I don't think twice about doing.

Maybe we're not all going to agree on the solutions to these problems, but we've got to be able to see they exist in the first place.  And see that these race issues aren't just about the obvious over the top bigots, but that there are systemic and structural issues that are as much of a problem - probably more of a problem.

Offline TAC

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2020, 08:30:48 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2020, 09:01:05 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"
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Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #74 on: June 19, 2020, 05:49:35 AM »

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

I'm up in the air with this one. If someone's family was able to amass a fortune off of slave trading/work so big that they still benefit from that wealth generations later, I think it'd be nice if that person acknowledged that and in some way helped the community that's still in the shitter because of their ancestors.

That's entirely up to the individual though. I'm not advocating for any kind of mandate or a 'you right the wrong tax'.

Offline jammindude

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2020, 05:49:48 AM »
Isn't it Aunt Jemima they're going after and not Mean Butterworth?

Yes, but in the wake of that decision, other brands are following suit. Uncle Ben’s rice, the Cream of Wheat mascot, and Mrs Butterworth was on the list.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2020, 08:59:12 AM »
Stadler, we've talked about the Colorado cake lots and lots on the MP forum and I don't really want to revisit that at this moment.  Maybe at some point, I don't know, but it isn't really the issue that I'm trying to discuss here.  Neither is Chris Murphy. 

So I'll just weigh in on the quoted paragraphs.  You don't have to engage in any tactics you don't agree with, or support something you don't believe in.  Nothing that I've suggested is something that would get you fired.  Some of what I'm suggesting is just listening and reading.  So there definitely is room to get involved somehow.  It doesn't have to be big and grand.  And just to be clear, I didn't post this with you (or any one specific person) in mind.

I will be honest with you; respectful, but honest: I would say that I need not do ANYTHING to prove my bona fides in terms of my ideals and principles, but if you ONLY mean "reading and listening", I'm all in and I have been for most of my life.  I do not come to my position from ignorance.  I'm aware of Tulsa, I've read authors like Zinn, Coates and others that have a... less than "white privileged" viewpoint on things.   Fundamental to my points, though, is a threshold question: are we going to work within the system or not?   Are we okay with the general premise set forth by T.J., Johnny Boy, Benny and Alex (et. al) back in the late 1700's, or are we looking to revamp the entire footprint of the country?  I work on the assumption that we're good with the basic structure.  If you're not, this is a VERY different conversation. 

As for the first paragraph, I believe them inseparable.   It's painfully obvious that to many, the message and the medium are the same (or at least interrelated).  Emotional pleas with little or no factual substance have traction on both sides, out of proportion to their ultimate efficiency or effectiveness as solutions.  What is FUNDAMENTALLY different between throwing a brick through a window to be heard - then playing on moral obligations to excuse the behavior and elicit support - and standing in front of a crew of moms and dads that lost their toddlers, crying, and playing on moral obligations to excuse the behavior and elicit support?   

Quote
Yes, we're all human, we all make mistakes, etc etc.  None of that has much to do with my posts.
By using the quotes and constantly bringing up what people have done to you, or accused you of, you're being dismissive of the bigger picture.  There will always be people who'll take advantage of whatever they can for their own gain.  Someone who knows that you aren't being racist but knows that they will gain by making it seem as though you are. But the number of people who engage in that kind of malicious behavior is a drop in the bucket compared to people who actually have to deal with racism.  Using the quotes and focusing on how someone might possibly harm you in some way loses sight of larger problem.

I disagree.  Respectfully, I disagree.  I don't bring it up because of "me", I bring it up as exemplar of the bigger discussion.  If you'd prefer I'll use examples from Don Lemon, and others, that make the same argument on the regular.   I see little danger of "losing sight of the larger problem"; just the opposite.  I see it as clarifying and crystalizing the larger problem. 

Quote
I'm saying - let's take a step back right now and listen.  I had a call at work just today where employees of color were talking about George Floyd and what they face in general.  From regular individual contributors to executives.  What they face time and time again is more than I think most of us realize.  There were a couple white parents who talked about how they didn't realize or think about all this stuff until they saw how their mixed race kids were getting treated.  People talking about what they don't do or let their kids do that I don't think twice about doing.

Maybe we're not all going to agree on the solutions to these problems, but we've got to be able to see they exist in the first place.  And see that these race issues aren't just about the obvious over the top bigots, but that there are systemic and structural issues that are as much of a problem - probably more of a problem.

I think you're blurring lines.  I can listen, I can input, I can "realize", I can do all those things ("I" used broadly), but that's simply not enough for most folks.   And you say it's enough for you, but the "whoa, I didn't realize!" part just smacks of "well, the BLM movement is 100% correct and it's just a matter of educating those ignorant white folk and we'll be fine!".  It's almost begging the question, because of the way it expects the answer.  Who says I don't see the problems?  I have a friend - a close friend; I've known him since I was 17, and while I'm too old for "best friends", if I had one phone call, he's probably it - who has a police record because, in my opinion, when the girl on the dance floor felt that (unwanted) hand on her ass, he was the closest black man to her.   This is a man with a master's degree, served his country in the Navy, and lives in a relatively affluent and "blue" section of a very blue state (and is a pretty fine opera singer to boot), and yet...  So there's my token "story".   I go back to something I've said a number of times in the Trump/Election threads.  The trick to getting minds changed is to NOT lead with "you're stupid/ignorant/racist/I'm going to kill you".    I've posted the links to research that is leaning towards INCLUSIVENESS as a solution to these problems.  But we can't GET to inclusiveness if the argument is still "if you don't agree with me, it's on YOU because you clearly do not understand."

It's possible that not all of the "problems faced" are inherently because they are African American.  How do you parse out what is?   More importantly, how do you have the conversation about that, when the framework assumes that one side doesn't "realize"?  I know people that have put bullets in their head because they can't make ends meet financially for their family (not an exaggeration; my friend's brother committed suicide in the wake of the 2008 crash).   I lost my job in that fiasco and it took me almost a year to find a job, and the one I took required me to drive about 500 miles a week, roundtrip, to do it.  At one point I had sent out something like 250 resumes.  How do I parse out which of those were because I was fat, or male, or over 40, or whatever?   For the people we're talking about, at what point does "race" become the dominant factor in someone else's problems?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 09:11:29 AM by Stadler »

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2020, 09:12:11 AM »
I'm not advocating for any kind of mandate or a 'you right the wrong tax'.


At this point in our country, every legislative measure that could be taken has been taken to make things 'equal'. I don't think there's anything else you can add to the mix that 'evens' the playing field.....in fact, I personally think (legislatively) that the playing field favors minorities. But the issue isn't legislative. Is personal. Racism cannot be legislated or mandated out of existence. It's a behavior that is learned and taught....plain and simple.

As far as what 'I' can do....I've been doing it. I'm an example to my kids on how you treat people.....not just black people.....but people and I hope that it sticks and then they teach their kids and so on.






Something that has frustrated me during this whole recent 'racism' movement is there is a heavily under toned suggestion that white people are the only racists in the game, which we know isn't true. The black community has just as big an issue being racist toward white people as white people do with the racism towards blacks. But, if you try to point that out...well....you're racist for doing so. You cannot use the defense of "well, if you had been treated the way they have you'd be racist also" because that's exactly the excuse white racists use when justifying why they don't like blacks. If you want an 'honest' discussion on racism.....you cannot leave the other half of the racism issue out of it.

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Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2020, 09:32:37 AM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

That last quote is kind of what I'm responding to more broadly with Lethean, and why I don't think "listen" is really what the many of the protestors have in mind.

There was a unit in one of my daughter's high school classes (I think it was English) and that idea came up re: "ancestors".   I don't know/remember how she phrased it, but this is not a confrontational person on any level).  Bear in mind this is an honor student at a very well regarded private school in Connecticut.   She asked how that can even be a meaningful thing, and she pointed out that, at least on my side, her entire family were residents of Europe at the turn of the 20th century, and in some cases (my grandmother's family) were fleeing their OWN persecution.  The administration wanted to "understand where this question was coming from".    WTF?   It's intellectual inquiry. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #79 on: June 19, 2020, 09:39:33 AM »
While it's not discussable outside of this forum, in here, is it reasonable to think that the descendants of slaves are better off now than they would have been? I totally get that we haven't treated them nearly as fairly as we should have, and they shouldn't have been brought here in the first place, but four generations later are they better or worse off than the Ivory Coasters, or the Angolish?
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #80 on: June 19, 2020, 09:49:44 AM »
While it's not discussable outside of this forum, in here, is it reasonable to think that the descendants of slaves are better off now than they would have been? I totally get that we haven't treated them nearly as fairly as we should have, and they shouldn't have been brought here in the first place, but four generations later are they better or worse off than the Ivory Coasters, or the Angolish?

I think since we are only a few generations past separation in schools, bathrooms restaurants, hotels that it's still taught not to trust and that works as well on the Caucasian side. It's something we all struggle with and who knows why?  I just try to see the good or bad, not by skin color.  Growing up hanging out in the projects as a kid helped but even now managing so many ethnicities helps. 

We all tend to hang with who we are comfortable with.  We should fight that feeling. 
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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #81 on: June 19, 2020, 10:27:25 AM »
While it's not discussable outside of this forum, in here, is it reasonable to think that the descendants of slaves are better off now than they would have been? I totally get that we haven't treated them nearly as fairly as we should have, and they shouldn't have been brought here in the first place, but four generations later are they better or worse off than the Ivory Coasters, or the Angolish?

At this point in time I’m history I don’t think there’s any other answer than ‘yes’. Certainly the ‘bad’ is in the spotlight right now but when compared across the board and a hard look is taken at all the ‘good’ (but it’s not in fashion to do that) I don’t see a solid argument that they aren’t?
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #82 on: June 19, 2020, 10:41:33 AM »
I'm not advocating for any kind of mandate or a 'you right the wrong tax'.


At this point in our country, every legislative measure that could be taken has been taken to make things 'equal'. I don't think there's anything else you can add to the mix that 'evens' the playing field.....in fact, I personally think (legislatively) that the playing field favors minorities. But the issue isn't legislative. Is personal. Racism cannot be legislated or mandated out of existence. It's a behavior that is learned and taught....plain and simple.

As far as what 'I' can do....I've been doing it. I'm an example to my kids on how you treat people.....not just black people.....but people and I hope that it sticks and then they teach their kids and so on.


Well, there's another angle to this, that sort of "bolsters" the notion that maybe not all of this is "racism".  There's a discussion to be had about equality.  Do we mean equal "starting points", equal "chance to improve" (i.e. opportunity), or equal "station in life" (i.e. outcome).   I think we can all agree that at any point in time at least up to the most recent present (and I am willing to agree not even now) there's not the same "starting point".  I don't know how if ever that can be changed; we cannot go back in time.    I think there's a real strong argument that "opportunities" are equalizing.  My daughter's high school (and the school before that, non-public) both have diversity rates that are consistent with the general population.   There is still work to be done - the police thing is part of this; African Americans are under-represented in Fortune 500 CEO spots - but it's moving in a positive direction.   The really tricky thing is "outcome".   And that's where the wheels fall off the cart.  At SOME point "black" isn't a variable anymore.   It's just not.  People get passed over for jobs, roles, promotions; restaurants close, businesses fail, and products don't sell.  This applies to bad things too: people get pulled over for little or no reason (it's happened to me), or get misidentified as a suspect.  Now, we can judge based on how these mistakes are handled, but at some point the mistake ITSELF isn't a RACE problem (even if it is another problem that still needs to be addressed). 

Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #83 on: June 19, 2020, 11:53:24 AM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

Um, why are you Mr Crabs? :)

It depends.  And I'm far from an expert in all of this - I'm still trying to figure out the extent of what I could be doing.  So in my view, in depends where you're starting from.  For someone who believes that racism is - not necessarily a thing of the past, but close to it. maybe that person just takes a step back and starts to consider that perhaps they don't have the whole picture.  It's been a while now since I've believed this way, but at one time I thought that while there were still racist individuals, that those individuals were wrong, that by now we all pretty much had equal chances in life.  And over the years, as I've been paying more attention, I've come to believe that that's far from true.   There is a history that goes beyond slavery and into the present day and there are so many pieces as to why things are as they are now.  There was segregation and housing discrimination and mass incarceration.  if you're someone who has said things like "the problem is with black culture" or "the black community has to fix their own problems" or believe that everyone just needs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, I would say start with just listening and reading and considering that you might be wrong.  Contest_Sanity years ago recommended The New Jim Crow (book) and 13th (Netflix documentary).  I haven't watched the documentary, but I've seen this recommendation elsewhere too.  I've recently seen a few recommendations for So You Want to Talk About Race and will probably read that shortly. 

Another thing I think one can "do" is not scoff, roll their eyes, or make snide remarks when people of color talk about their experience or when someone mentions things like implicit bias or microaggressions.  If someone talks about experiences they've had with racism, don't try to explain to them how they're wrong.  No, not every negative interaction a black person faces is because of racism; but if they're talking about something that happened to them, they were there and you weren't; they're more likely to have an idea of what's going on. 

These are what I consider the beginning; baby steps.  When you get to the stage and then you're wondering what you can do, it's definitely frustrating.  I'm not a politician, a community leader, etc; I'm just a person trying to live my life.  I don't have all the answers.  But actually the link that Cool Chris posted - https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234 - has some concrete things we can do.  A long long list.  You're not going to be able to do all of those things and you might not agree with everything on the list.  But I imagine there are a few things that you could do.

Donation is one of the recommendations and a lot of POC have been recommending donating to The Bail Project - https://bailproject.org/, which I believe is also on that list, among other things.  If that's something within your means, you might consider it a donation.  You might consider writing to legislators or local police, etc etc, as the list recommends.

And definitely, confronting racism within your own circle is something we can all do.  It's not easy, at all.  I agree with Stadler and others that just shouting at the person that they're racist isn't really going to help.  I think I have more learning to do on how I can best handle these situations myself.  But some simple things - if it's really overt (which it rarely is, but if it is), you could tell that person that using the N word or whatever is unacceptable.  If it's someone telling racist jokes, maybe you can ask them to stop.  Ask them to empathize and think of the recipient of the joke and how that person would feel as a human being.  If you have kids that you don't want exposed to it, you can tell the person that you'll leave with your kids if make racist remarks/tell racist jokes, and then follow up and do it.  If they're interested in having a conversation, try to be calm and empathetic.

That's what I have for now. 

Oh - yesterday I got an email from a music venue I've been to before (The Tower Theater in Philly) which recommended some resources - one is a podcast called Seeing White and it seems interesting; I listened to the first two episodes and will probably continue.


Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #84 on: June 19, 2020, 12:04:38 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

My answer to this is yes and no.  I don't think a white person is responsible for what their ancestors did.  They were alive, they had no control over it.  But the actions of generation after generation of white people (no, not all) has got us to where we are today.  So I think we're all responsible at this point.  And no - I'm not saying black people shouldn't do anything - they are, they have been, they're trying.  I just don't think they can do it alone, because of the structures that have been put in place.  We all need to try to help if we have any ability to do so.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2020, 12:27:43 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

My answer to this is yes and no.  I don't think a white person is responsible for what their ancestors did.  They were alive, they had no control over it.  But the actions of generation after generation of white people (no, not all) has got us to where we are today.  So I think we're all responsible at this point.  And no - I'm not saying black people shouldn't do anything - they are, they have been, they're trying.  I just don't think they can do it alone, because of the structures that have been put in place.  We all need to try to help if we have any ability to do so.
To which I'd say that I didn't ask to be born into a white, lower-middle class family in Oak Cliff, Texas. I've never asked for the advantages I've received, and it bums me out that others don't have the same opportunities. But that applies to damn near all of us. I could have been Bill Gate's son just as well as I could have been born in a hooch in Somalia. All I, or anybody else, can do is make the best of the cards I'm dealt.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #86 on: June 19, 2020, 12:29:19 PM »
Stadler, we've talked about the Colorado cake lots and lots on the MP forum and I don't really want to revisit that at this moment.  Maybe at some point, I don't know, but it isn't really the issue that I'm trying to discuss here.  Neither is Chris Murphy. 

So I'll just weigh in on the quoted paragraphs.  You don't have to engage in any tactics you don't agree with, or support something you don't believe in.  Nothing that I've suggested is something that would get you fired.  Some of what I'm suggesting is just listening and reading.  So there definitely is room to get involved somehow.  It doesn't have to be big and grand.  And just to be clear, I didn't post this with you (or any one specific person) in mind.

I will be honest with you; respectful, but honest: I would say that I need not do ANYTHING to prove my bona fides in terms of my ideals and principles, but if you ONLY mean "reading and listening", I'm all in and I have been for most of my life.  I do not come to my position from ignorance.  I'm aware of Tulsa, I've read authors like Zinn, Coates and others that have a... less than "white privileged" viewpoint on things.   Fundamental to my points, though, is a threshold question: are we going to work within the system or not?   Are we okay with the general premise set forth by T.J., Johnny Boy, Benny and Alex (et. al) back in the late 1700's, or are we looking to revamp the entire footprint of the country?  I work on the assumption that we're good with the basic structure.  If you're not, this is a VERY different conversation. 

As for the first paragraph, I believe them inseparable.   It's painfully obvious that to many, the message and the medium are the same (or at least interrelated).  Emotional pleas with little or no factual substance have traction on both sides, out of proportion to their ultimate efficiency or effectiveness as solutions.  What is FUNDAMENTALLY different between throwing a brick through a window to be heard - then playing on moral obligations to excuse the behavior and elicit support - and standing in front of a crew of moms and dads that lost their toddlers, crying, and playing on moral obligations to excuse the behavior and elicit support?   

I don't *only* mean reading and listening for everyone.  That's where I think it needs to start.  But if you don't ever do more than that, it's not as if I'm "accusing" you of anything.  I am asking you to think about it though.  If someone else accuses you, then whatever.  Maybe that person's wrong to do so, maybe they're right; I'd need to be present for the conversation.  Revamp the entire footprint of the country?  I don't know.  Maybe, if that's what it takes and depending on what you mean.  That's a little broad.

As for using emotion - I don't agree with you.  I agree that decisions should not be based on emotion alone.  But if one has no emotion about a particular topic, they might not be moved beyond that to look at data, to look at possible solutions, to think about it at all further.  I think emotion has its place.

Quote
Quote
I'm saying - let's take a step back right now and listen.  I had a call at work just today where employees of color were talking about George Floyd and what they face in general.  From regular individual contributors to executives.  What they face time and time again is more than I think most of us realize.  There were a couple white parents who talked about how they didn't realize or think about all this stuff until they saw how their mixed race kids were getting treated.  People talking about what they don't do or let their kids do that I don't think twice about doing.

Maybe we're not all going to agree on the solutions to these problems, but we've got to be able to see they exist in the first place.  And see that these race issues aren't just about the obvious over the top bigots, but that there are systemic and structural issues that are as much of a problem - probably more of a problem.

I think you're blurring lines.  I can listen, I can input, I can "realize", I can do all those things ("I" used broadly), but that's simply not enough for most folks.   And you say it's enough for you, but the "whoa, I didn't realize!" part just smacks of "well, the BLM movement is 100% correct and it's just a matter of educating those ignorant white folk and we'll be fine!".  It's almost begging the question, because of the way it expects the answer.  Who says I don't see the problems?  I have a friend - a close friend; I've known him since I was 17, and while I'm too old for "best friends", if I had one phone call, he's probably it - who has a police record because, in my opinion, when the girl on the dance floor felt that (unwanted) hand on her ass, he was the closest black man to her.   This is a man with a master's degree, served his country in the Navy, and lives in a relatively affluent and "blue" section of a very blue state (and is a pretty fine opera singer to boot), and yet...  So there's my token "story".   I go back to something I've said a number of times in the Trump/Election threads.  The trick to getting minds changed is to NOT lead with "you're stupid/ignorant/racist/I'm going to kill you".    I've posted the links to research that is leaning towards INCLUSIVENESS as a solution to these problems.  But we can't GET to inclusiveness if the argument is still "if you don't agree with me, it's on YOU because you clearly do not understand."

It's possible that not all of the "problems faced" are inherently because they are African American.  How do you parse out what is?   More importantly, how do you have the conversation about that, when the framework assumes that one side doesn't "realize"?  I know people that have put bullets in their head because they can't make ends meet financially for their family (not an exaggeration; my friend's brother committed suicide in the wake of the 2008 crash).   I lost my job in that fiasco and it took me almost a year to find a job, and the one I took required me to drive about 500 miles a week, roundtrip, to do it.  At one point I had sent out something like 250 resumes.  How do I parse out which of those were because I was fat, or male, or over 40, or whatever?   For the people we're talking about, at what point does "race" become the dominant factor in someone else's problems?

I don't think BLM or *anyone* is 100% correct all of the time.  I do think we have a lot of ignorant white people out there, and I don't mean ignorant as an insult.  There's a lot of our history that we aren't taught in schools (going back to some of the first posts in this thread), and I believe if more people were aware, no we won't magically be "fine" but it's a start.  To do something* you have to care, and to care about the problem you have to know about the problem.  A lot of people have no idea.  A lot of people are saying they had no idea; they admit it - which is not a sign of weakness in my mind.  I put myself somewhere in the middle - I've known about a good bit for a while, but there's still a lot I don't know. 

(And again "do something" doesn't mean you 100% agree with BLM).

As for the rest - for any one individual person - much of the time you simply don't know.  But it becomes cumulative.   It's not necessarily an individual problem, but it's a structural one. 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 12:48:00 PM by Lethean »

Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #87 on: June 19, 2020, 12:44:33 PM »
Another thing I think one can "do" is not scoff, roll their eyes, or make snide remarks when people of color talk about their experience or when someone mentions things like implicit bias or microaggressions.  If someone talks about experiences they've had with racism, don't try to explain to them how they're wrong.  No, not every negative interaction a black person faces is because of racism; but if they're talking about something that happened to them, they were there and you weren't; they're more likely to have an idea of what's going on. 

I'm not Mr. Crabs either, but I thought I'd weigh in.   We should not be doing this in ANY event, whether it's racism or not.  This is prevalent in our social media-driven, "me first", "Gotchas and Zingers" culture.  This isn't about specifically "rejecting black persons"; this is how MOST political discourse is handled, even on the bigger, supposedly more respected news sites.   Look at any Yahoo news feed and there is at least one headline EVERY DAY that starts with "<So-and-so> destroys <so-and-so> on <insert issue>".  We have an INHERENT lack of respect for dealing with experience.  It may be exacerbating this issue, but this is not just about what "white people" can do for African Americans, it's what HUMANS can do for OTHER HUMANS with differing opinions. 

Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #88 on: June 19, 2020, 12:56:44 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

My answer to this is yes and no.  I don't think a white person is responsible for what their ancestors did.  They were alive, they had no control over it.  But the actions of generation after generation of white people (no, not all) has got us to where we are today.  So I think we're all responsible at this point.  And no - I'm not saying black people shouldn't do anything - they are, they have been, they're trying.  I just don't think they can do it alone, because of the structures that have been put in place.  We all need to try to help if we have any ability to do so.
To which I'd say that I didn't ask to be born into a white, lower-middle class family in Oak Cliff, Texas. I've never asked for the advantages I've received, and it bums me out that others don't have the same opportunities. But that applies to damn near all of us. I could have been Bill Gate's son just as well as I could have been born in a hooch in Somalia. All I, or anybody else, can do is make the best of the cards I'm dealt.

Of course you didn't ask for it.  None of us did.  But I don't think that's all anyone can do.  We can try to bring about change so that others won't be dealt quite as bad a hand in the future.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #89 on: June 19, 2020, 01:19:54 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

My answer to this is yes and no.  I don't think a white person is responsible for what their ancestors did.  They were alive, they had no control over it.  But the actions of generation after generation of white people (no, not all) has got us to where we are today.  So I think we're all responsible at this point.  And no - I'm not saying black people shouldn't do anything - they are, they have been, they're trying.  I just don't think they can do it alone, because of the structures that have been put in place.  We all need to try to help if we have any ability to do so.
To which I'd say that I didn't ask to be born into a white, lower-middle class family in Oak Cliff, Texas. I've never asked for the advantages I've received, and it bums me out that others don't have the same opportunities. But that applies to damn near all of us. I could have been Bill Gate's son just as well as I could have been born in a hooch in Somalia. All I, or anybody else, can do is make the best of the cards I'm dealt.

Of course you didn't ask for it.  None of us did.  But I don't think that's all anyone can do.  We can try to bring about change so that others won't be dealt quite as bad a hand in the future.
Of course we can try to bring about change. I lobby for it as I can. I got into this with regard to reparations, so that's what I was getting at. Bringing about change is one thing, but paying them off is another. And granted, part of this is simply my desire to not be shamed or penalized for being what I am, which was beyond my control.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #90 on: June 20, 2020, 02:06:00 PM »
Isn't it Aunt Jemima they're going after and not Mean Butterworth?

Yes, but in the wake of that decision, other brands are following suit. Uncle Ben’s rice, the Cream of Wheat mascot, and Mrs Butterworth was on the list.
I remember back in the day I thought it would be funny to put Aunt Jemima and Mrs Butterworth in a clamation celebrity death match as syrup bottles. I never even remotely thought of these brands to have racial connotations. I just thought it would be funny, ya know syrup everywhere!
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #91 on: June 20, 2020, 05:50:05 PM »
I'm definitely not directing this at any one person, but rather hoping this situation can be a turning point where we all care more and contribute in the ways we can, myself included.

Been thinking about this post for a few days....

Lethean, when you say "contribute in the ways we can", what kinds of things are you thinking?

I saw this post the other day. Like most long lists, for me there was some "cool, I can get behind that," some "eh, what-ev," and some "well that's garbage."

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

One of the more thought-provoking comments was:
Quote
"White people like this [another commenter] are the problem; they continue to RESIST helping to right the wrongs of their ancestors; their cousins; uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents. They continue to say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ — when it absolutely is..."

Is it the responsibility of a white person to "right the wrong of their ancestors?"

My answer to this is yes and no.  I don't think a white person is responsible for what their ancestors did.  They were alive, they had no control over it.  But the actions of generation after generation of white people (no, not all) has got us to where we are today.  So I think we're all responsible at this point.  And no - I'm not saying black people shouldn't do anything - they are, they have been, they're trying.  I just don't think they can do it alone, because of the structures that have been put in place.  We all need to try to help if we have any ability to do so.
To which I'd say that I didn't ask to be born into a white, lower-middle class family in Oak Cliff, Texas. I've never asked for the advantages I've received, and it bums me out that others don't have the same opportunities. But that applies to damn near all of us. I could have been Bill Gate's son just as well as I could have been born in a hooch in Somalia. All I, or anybody else, can do is make the best of the cards I'm dealt.

Of course you didn't ask for it.  None of us did.  But I don't think that's all anyone can do.  We can try to bring about change so that others won't be dealt quite as bad a hand in the future.
Of course we can try to bring about change. I lobby for it as I can. I got into this with regard to reparations, so that's what I was getting at. Bringing about change is one thing, but paying them off is another. And granted, part of this is simply my desire to not be shamed or penalized for being what I am, which was beyond my control.

Sure - I don't want that for myself either, and I don't really think shame - certainly not shaming of individuals - is really the way to go here.  Although I would challenge those who say that feel no shame for the past yet talk about how proud of their heritage they are.  How exactly can that be?  How can one feel pride for the good stuff, yet no shame for the bad?  I don't think you can really have it both ways.  That's not at all directed towards you though.  Regarding reparations, I think it should be on the table, at least for discussion.  My gut says that it would at best be a short term fix and would do nothing for the long term - but I could be wrong.  I don't have a super informed take on that.

Offline TAC

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #92 on: June 20, 2020, 06:24:35 PM »
I've obviously heard or reparations, but how are reparations paid out or typically theorized?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #93 on: June 21, 2020, 01:50:35 AM »
I've obviously heard or reparations, but how are reparations paid out or typically theorized?

Here's a decent article with some history of the reparations movement and some possible theories of how it could be done: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/20/joe-biden-reparations-slavery-george-floyd-protests

As to why I think it's a good and even necessary move to consider, I found the video with which Harmony started this thread very helpful. The woman gave an analogy of imagine if you were playing monopoly. And for your team's first 200 turns you got to build nothing for yourself but turned everything over to your opponent (slavery). Then your next 100 turns you were still legally a 2nd class team, still unable to play the game freely and having much of your gains taken from you (Jim Crow and segregation). Then even your next 50 turns, though technically now all teams were equal under the law, were still vastly compromised by housing discrimination, mass incarceration, etc.

With that as our history, it doesn't make much sense to me to just say "well now all teams are (in theory) equal. We can't do anything about the past anyway." Would reparations fix all problems for Black Americans? Of course not, but it could possibly fix a good bit, and it would also be a profoundly concrete step with which we as a nation can offer some atonement for this country's original sin of slavery.

Some earlier discussion mentioned whether or not we needed to change the basic framework of our country. I'm not sure, but I do know that the basic principles of that framework (we believe that all are created equal and have equal opportunity for life, liberty, and happiness) were denied from the very beginning to those we brought here as slaves and to their descendants -- and in many ways still functionally denied even into the present day.

That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

EDIT: and for anyone wanting to really dig into the issue of reparations or even just racism more generally, I can't recommend highly enough Coates' essay: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 01:57:15 AM by contest_sanity »

Offline TAC

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #94 on: June 21, 2020, 07:27:38 AM »
That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

I kind of agree with that, and it's the reason why I asked earlier either in this thread or another if rioting and looting were actually forms of protest.

Kind of surprised at Obama's comment in the article that reparations were "politically impractical". I wonder why he thought so.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D
Nice one Tim, I have great faith in you, as the fogey with the best taste.

Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2020, 07:40:25 AM »
That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

I kind of agree with that, and it's the reason why I asked earlier either in this thread or another if rioting and looting were actually forms of protest.

Kind of surprised at Obama's comment in the article that reparations were "politically impractical". I wonder why he thought so.

This is a pretty interesting/similar perspective too (< 7 minutes). It's a good watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9_qGOa9Go

Offline TAC

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #96 on: June 21, 2020, 07:42:11 AM »
Isn't that the same video in the OP?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D
Nice one Tim, I have great faith in you, as the fogey with the best taste.

Offline Chino

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #97 on: June 21, 2020, 07:45:49 AM »
Whoops. Completely forgot that's where this whole thread started. My bad.

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #98 on: June 22, 2020, 01:14:13 AM »
Oh btw Netflix put the documentary 13th on youtube, so now anybody can watch it. I just re-watched and it really is worth the time towards a greater understanding of these issues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8

Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #99 on: June 22, 2020, 09:38:34 AM »
Of course we can try to bring about change. I lobby for it as I can. I got into this with regard to reparations, so that's what I was getting at. Bringing about change is one thing, but paying them off is another. And granted, part of this is simply my desire to not be shamed or penalized for being what I am, which was beyond my control.

Sure - I don't want that for myself either, and I don't really think shame - certainly not shaming of individuals - is really the way to go here.  Although I would challenge those who say that feel no shame for the past yet talk about how proud of their heritage they are.  How exactly can that be?  How can one feel pride for the good stuff, yet no shame for the bad?  I don't think you can really have it both ways.  That's not at all directed towards you though.  Regarding reparations, I think it should be on the table, at least for discussion.  My gut says that it would at best be a short term fix and would do nothing for the long term - but I could be wrong.  I don't have a super informed take on that.

Because feelings are feelings.  You can't control them.  They are what they are.   I don't share a lot of those kinds of emotions; like Bart said, I sort of had no say where I was born into.  I'm proud of my parents, for various reasons, but I'm not particularly "proud" to be Czechoslovakian or Polish.   And there's not much "shame" there either.  Maybe if I was some other nationality it would be different.   I tend to only have those things for the decisions/actions/words that I had direct influence on.   

Personally, I don't see ANY fix.  It might make certain specific individuals more flush than they were the week before, but it smacks of "lottery" to me, and that's not a solution. That's a panacea and a feel-good for those that feel guilty.    We're far better off taking that money and fixing our education system, our healthcare system, our immigration system, etc.   

Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #100 on: June 22, 2020, 10:38:35 AM »
I've obviously heard or reparations, but how are reparations paid out or typically theorized?

Here's a decent article with some history of the reparations movement and some possible theories of how it could be done: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/20/joe-biden-reparations-slavery-george-floyd-protests

As to why I think it's a good and even necessary move to consider, I found the video with which Harmony started this thread very helpful. The woman gave an analogy of imagine if you were playing monopoly. And for your team's first 200 turns you got to build nothing for yourself but turned everything over to your opponent (slavery). Then your next 100 turns you were still legally a 2nd class team, still unable to play the game freely and having much of your gains taken from you (Jim Crow and segregation). Then even your next 50 turns, though technically now all teams were equal under the law, were still vastly compromised by housing discrimination, mass incarceration, etc.

With that as our history, it doesn't make much sense to me to just say "well now all teams are (in theory) equal. We can't do anything about the past anyway." Would reparations fix all problems for Black Americans? Of course not, but it could possibly fix a good bit, and it would also be a profoundly concrete step with which we as a nation can offer some atonement for this country's original sin of slavery.

Some earlier discussion mentioned whether or not we needed to change the basic framework of our country. I'm not sure, but I do know that the basic principles of that framework (we believe that all are created equal and have equal opportunity for life, liberty, and happiness) were denied from the very beginning to those we brought here as slaves and to their descendants -- and in many ways still functionally denied even into the present day.

That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

EDIT: and for anyone wanting to really dig into the issue of reparations or even just racism more generally, I can't recommend highly enough Coates' essay: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

I've read that Coates essay a couple times now (and even referred someone here to Coates as "further reading").   But it's not the be-all end-all.   The contract sellers aren't the entire "white race", nor are they the government, nor did they prey only on blacks (they had to low-ball the houses from somewhere).  So why is all of society paying the burden for one sector that had less than stellar magnanimity?   On this logic, we should ALL go back to ANY entity, group, or organization that didn't act in the standard that some of us, today, hold, safe in the comforts of the largest economy in the history of the planet, with the creature comforts today that perhaps half the world cannot (and will not) enjoy.  "Tragic" and "emotionally heartbreaking" does not translate in a duty to "make feel better". 

We have system; it doesn't work for every single person, but it should work for a significant majority, and if it doesn't, we fix it.  We do not, though (or at least we shouldn't), guarantee outcomes.   

Offline Lethean

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #101 on: June 22, 2020, 09:18:54 PM »
Of course we can try to bring about change. I lobby for it as I can. I got into this with regard to reparations, so that's what I was getting at. Bringing about change is one thing, but paying them off is another. And granted, part of this is simply my desire to not be shamed or penalized for being what I am, which was beyond my control.

Sure - I don't want that for myself either, and I don't really think shame - certainly not shaming of individuals - is really the way to go here.  Although I would challenge those who say that feel no shame for the past yet talk about how proud of their heritage they are.  How exactly can that be?  How can one feel pride for the good stuff, yet no shame for the bad?  I don't think you can really have it both ways.  That's not at all directed towards you though.  Regarding reparations, I think it should be on the table, at least for discussion.  My gut says that it would at best be a short term fix and would do nothing for the long term - but I could be wrong.  I don't have a super informed take on that.

Because feelings are feelings.  You can't control them.  They are what they are.   I don't share a lot of those kinds of emotions; like Bart said, I sort of had no say where I was born into.  I'm proud of my parents, for various reasons, but I'm not particularly "proud" to be Czechoslovakian or Polish.   And there's not much "shame" there either.  Maybe if I was some other nationality it would be different.   I tend to only have those things for the decisions/actions/words that I had direct influence on.   

Personally, I don't see ANY fix.  It might make certain specific individuals more flush than they were the week before, but it smacks of "lottery" to me, and that's not a solution. That's a panacea and a feel-good for those that feel guilty.    We're far better off taking that money and fixing our education system, our healthcare system, our immigration system, etc.

Re: the pride thing - we're pretty similar there.  It's always seemed a little silly to me to be proud of X heritage or American heritage because I didn't do anything to "earn" it.  I was just born here.  But for those who are super big on the pride thing, I'd just urge them to think about it a little more.

Regarding reparations - like I said, I have to think about this more.  But I do think we should at least explore some options.  I'm not at all opposed to Congress studying it to see what it would look like.

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 3336
Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #102 on: June 22, 2020, 09:22:55 PM »
I've obviously heard or reparations, but how are reparations paid out or typically theorized?

Here's a decent article with some history of the reparations movement and some possible theories of how it could be done: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/20/joe-biden-reparations-slavery-george-floyd-protests

As to why I think it's a good and even necessary move to consider, I found the video with which Harmony started this thread very helpful. The woman gave an analogy of imagine if you were playing monopoly. And for your team's first 200 turns you got to build nothing for yourself but turned everything over to your opponent (slavery). Then your next 100 turns you were still legally a 2nd class team, still unable to play the game freely and having much of your gains taken from you (Jim Crow and segregation). Then even your next 50 turns, though technically now all teams were equal under the law, were still vastly compromised by housing discrimination, mass incarceration, etc.

With that as our history, it doesn't make much sense to me to just say "well now all teams are (in theory) equal. We can't do anything about the past anyway." Would reparations fix all problems for Black Americans? Of course not, but it could possibly fix a good bit, and it would also be a profoundly concrete step with which we as a nation can offer some atonement for this country's original sin of slavery.

Some earlier discussion mentioned whether or not we needed to change the basic framework of our country. I'm not sure, but I do know that the basic principles of that framework (we believe that all are created equal and have equal opportunity for life, liberty, and happiness) were denied from the very beginning to those we brought here as slaves and to their descendants -- and in many ways still functionally denied even into the present day.

That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

EDIT: and for anyone wanting to really dig into the issue of reparations or even just racism more generally, I can't recommend highly enough Coates' essay: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

I've read that Coates essay a couple times now (and even referred someone here to Coates as "further reading").   But it's not the be-all end-all.   The contract sellers aren't the entire "white race", nor are they the government, nor did they prey only on blacks (they had to low-ball the houses from somewhere).  So why is all of society paying the burden for one sector that had less than stellar magnanimity?   On this logic, we should ALL go back to ANY entity, group, or organization that didn't act in the standard that some of us, today, hold, safe in the comforts of the largest economy in the history of the planet, with the creature comforts today that perhaps half the world cannot (and will not) enjoy.  "Tragic" and "emotionally heartbreaking" does not translate in a duty to "make feel better". 

We have system; it doesn't work for every single person, but it should work for a significant majority, and if it doesn't, we fix it.  We do not, though (or at least we shouldn't), guarantee outcomes.

.I don't think most anyone is talking about guaranteeing outcomes.  There's always going to be people who do better or worse than others.  But I don't think doing nothing is really an option for us (as a country).  At least not a good one.  I'm not saying it must be reparations and the point of my post (not sure about Harmony's) wasn't reparations.  It was more, let's stop ignoring this and see what we can do.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #103 on: June 23, 2020, 09:12:04 AM »
I've obviously heard or reparations, but how are reparations paid out or typically theorized?

Here's a decent article with some history of the reparations movement and some possible theories of how it could be done: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/20/joe-biden-reparations-slavery-george-floyd-protests

As to why I think it's a good and even necessary move to consider, I found the video with which Harmony started this thread very helpful. The woman gave an analogy of imagine if you were playing monopoly. And for your team's first 200 turns you got to build nothing for yourself but turned everything over to your opponent (slavery). Then your next 100 turns you were still legally a 2nd class team, still unable to play the game freely and having much of your gains taken from you (Jim Crow and segregation). Then even your next 50 turns, though technically now all teams were equal under the law, were still vastly compromised by housing discrimination, mass incarceration, etc.

With that as our history, it doesn't make much sense to me to just say "well now all teams are (in theory) equal. We can't do anything about the past anyway." Would reparations fix all problems for Black Americans? Of course not, but it could possibly fix a good bit, and it would also be a profoundly concrete step with which we as a nation can offer some atonement for this country's original sin of slavery.

Some earlier discussion mentioned whether or not we needed to change the basic framework of our country. I'm not sure, but I do know that the basic principles of that framework (we believe that all are created equal and have equal opportunity for life, liberty, and happiness) were denied from the very beginning to those we brought here as slaves and to their descendants -- and in many ways still functionally denied even into the present day.

That's why Trevor Noah made the profound point that "rioting" evokes a fear in many White people what Black Americans have felt all along: namely that perhaps this is not actually a civilized country with a functioning social contract... and he suggested that maybe White people sit a while with their discomfort at such images and empathize that maybe this is how many if not most Black Americans feel much of the time.

EDIT: and for anyone wanting to really dig into the issue of reparations or even just racism more generally, I can't recommend highly enough Coates' essay: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

I've read that Coates essay a couple times now (and even referred someone here to Coates as "further reading").   But it's not the be-all end-all.   The contract sellers aren't the entire "white race", nor are they the government, nor did they prey only on blacks (they had to low-ball the houses from somewhere).  So why is all of society paying the burden for one sector that had less than stellar magnanimity?   On this logic, we should ALL go back to ANY entity, group, or organization that didn't act in the standard that some of us, today, hold, safe in the comforts of the largest economy in the history of the planet, with the creature comforts today that perhaps half the world cannot (and will not) enjoy.  "Tragic" and "emotionally heartbreaking" does not translate in a duty to "make feel better". 

We have system; it doesn't work for every single person, but it should work for a significant majority, and if it doesn't, we fix it.  We do not, though (or at least we shouldn't), guarantee outcomes.

.I don't think most anyone is talking about guaranteeing outcomes.  There's always going to be people who do better or worse than others.  But I don't think doing nothing is really an option for us (as a country).  At least not a good one.  I'm not saying it must be reparations and the point of my post (not sure about Harmony's) wasn't reparations.  It was more, let's stop ignoring this and see what we can do.

BY DEFINITION, reparations are outcome.  It is the concept of putting the person or persons in the position they would have been in had the particular event not occurred.    You say you're not talking about "reparations", but a lot of people are; and any who is is talking "outcome".  I'm not prepared to say that's not "most anyone".    Affirmative action hiring practices are outcomes.   It's not enough to get the interview, there is an analysis of the ACTUAL hires, the outcomes.   

We may accept this on a case-by-case basis because there's no other way, and the outcomes are reasonable.  As you can tell, I am opposed to guaranteeing outcomes, but the threshold is identifying things correctly to begin with.   

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 3336
Re: Racism and Privilege
« Reply #104 on: June 23, 2020, 11:31:34 AM »
Depending on what the reparations are, I don't see it that way.  If it's "every person gets their dream house and their dream job" OK, yeah.  If it's something that helps to level the playing field, I disagree.  There are still a lot of things that person has to do to be successful.  Affirmative action - it's helping to balance things, but it doesn't guarantee anything.  It doesn't keep someone from being fired or dropping out or failing out.

If any measure of trying to fix the problem today is "guaranteeing outcomes," then what we as a nation has done for centuries (slavery, Jim Crow, housing discrimination etc, plus the stuff like Tulsa) was also guaranteeing outcomes.  And some of it is still going on today.  I think we need to come up with a way to make things better.  Not because we feel guilty and want to be able to feel good about ourselves and be able to pat ourselves on the back.  But because it's a problem in our country that isn't going to go away by itself.  Maybe reparations aren't going to be the answer.  Maybe they could be part of a greater solution.  I'd like to see it studied either way.