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Volcana
Feb 26th, 2002, 02:57 AM
For some reason that completely escapes me, I told a Caucasian acquaintance of mine the truth (as me, my friends, and my relatives experience it) about 9-11 and being Black in the USA. Specifically, I pointed out that WE had never felt everyone was feeling the same after the attack. I talked to my brother on Sept 12, and he had the same reaction I did.

Fear.

But the knowledge that we were still far likelier to be killed by a cop making yet another 'tragic mistake', rather than terrorists. We were still far likelier to be killed by a domestic terrorists than foreign ones.

(Fun Gulf War Fact: A Black US soldier from Harlem was more likely to be killed at home than in Iraq or Kuwait.)

We kept our mouths shut for fear White people would start up lynch mobs again. But the idea that racism had somehow gone away was patent nonsense.

The experience of racism is like paranoia. Youlive in constant fear that the cop driving by will roll down his window and shoot you. Or you'll be on your way home, and they'll just shoot you down. And there's no legal recourse. They don't convict cops for murdering Black men in the United States. But unlike Paranoia, Black men get reminded every month or so that it ISN'T paranoia. When there's yet another Amidou Diallo or Abner Louima.

Needless to say, she was a bit shocked. Black folks often temper their words around Whites, and this time I didn't. One rather hopes I didn't lose a friend over it. But it was an enormous relief to tell the truth.

Scotso
Feb 26th, 2002, 02:03 PM
Okay, I totally don't agree with you saying that whites don't have to adapt their attitudes. Give me a break. I don't know how things are in the north, but where I live whites have to constantly be careful what they say because any little slip... and little thing that the black people don't like will get you bitched at, beat up, or boycotted by the NAACP.

I remember being told by black people in my class after writing a paper using quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. that I can't possibly understand what he meant.

Puhleeze. Just because we're the majority doesn't mean we're not the target of racism. Black people are just as quilty of it as whites are.

Example 1: When black people try to blame whites today for slavery.

Example 2: When the NAACP and black get mad about the Confederate flag in South Carolina because it represents slavery but then they put chains around their license plates to remind them of it.

I mean, there's more than one case of hypocracy there.

gentenaire
Feb 26th, 2002, 02:38 PM
This is a very interesting thread, Volcana. I must confess that I'd gotten fed up with the racism attacks in some Venus-Serena threads. Because they're black, we have to be careful when stating an opinion about them or we're branded racists.
Racism in this country isn't about race but about culture. Black people who've obviously lived here their entire life, who speak the language just like everyone else, who live their lives like every one else won't encounter many problems, I think. A person who has a clear Muslim name (eg Mohammed, Ahmed,...) will.
I have friends of a different race but who're just as Belgian as me and I know they've never had any problems. That's why I often don't understand why people keep on going back to the fact that Venus and Serena are black. I've always seen them as American, just like Lindsay, Jennifer are American.

But until now I never realised there's a security issue involved! I always thought Americans were proud to be living in a multi-racial society, I'm surprised that racism is still so big!
The chances of being shot in the street here are nihil. If a cop shoots a person, it's on national TV, that's how rare it is. Ordinary people don't own guns and I hope it stays that way.

Cybelle Darkholme
Feb 26th, 2002, 03:16 PM
That confederate flag crap is just nonsense! Do we go and put up the nazi flag after world war2? Do we go and put up the Vietnam flag? I am sorry but the south lost that war and their bastard flag should have been done away with. If you were jewish would you want america flying the nazi flay over the state capital?

If you want to represent the good aspects of the south, fine. I'm sure not everyone in the south back in those days was racist, but they benefited from a racist society that held blacks in enslavement forcing them to work with no compensation. That is the legacy of the south, that is what that flag stands for. That is what those southern boys died for in the war. Slavery. Human suffering and degradation. This is america and if you want to fly that hateful flag in your yard, fine. Just be upfront about what your doing. Don't hide behind some false sense of "southern Pride" or some lost "legacy". I'm sorry but that legacy was built on the backs of others. That legacy was the work of enslaved people. In fact it is their legacy not anyone elses. They built the south through their uncompensated labor and all that plantation gentility is just false B.S. How can someone be oh so civilized while whipping and raping people?

Ha! I am so sorry but I have no sympathy or understanding for Southern people who care about that flag. If you're great grandparents fought and died for the south they died for the wrong cause. They were on the wrong side. The people of the south during that time were anti-america and the ultimate terrorists. I am so glad that that evil institution and all it wrought was torn down and destroyed.

It just burns me that some people don't feel the same way. As if they can somehow justify what the south did. What rose colored glasses are they wearing? I mean that kid from america who fought for taliban was crucified in the media and rightly so. What those southerns did was a thousand times worse than that because there were a thousand times as many of them who turned their backs on america.

Scotso
Feb 26th, 2002, 04:55 PM
Blacks in the north even thought there were technically free were treated much worse than blacks in the south.

Also, don't forget that the American flag that flies in our country now ALSO flew over this country when slavery was legal.

The Confederate flag is about CULTURE and HERITAGE. It is NOT a symbol of hate. And personally while I detest Nazis, the swastika does not bother me at all... it's actual meaning is quite different than what the Nazis used it as.

And while the South was guilty of slavery the winning side also still had slaves, don't forget that. Also, it was the North that launched the march of terror by that mass murderer Sherman. Northern armies raped and murdered thousands of innocent civilians. So fuck off, if Southerners want to pay homage to the people who died to protect us from invading butchers, we will, got it?

You say the South turned their backs on "America." "America" is about freedom and choice... how is the North attacking the South to FORCE them to remain a part of "America" something that a peace and freedom loving people would do? Now, I'm happy that the United States is whole and I'm happy that slavery ended, albeit it never should have existed. But blaming the South for slavery and the civil war is beyond stupid.


Beige, you forgot the rest of that statement in this country... "majority rules, minority rights." I understand that there are more problems for minorities than there are for the majority here. I'm just saying that it's not something that they alone face. The majority of whites in this country are not racist, yet we are typically ALL labelled as such when one white person does something horrible that is race-related. And even you must admit that often times blacks and other minorities scream racism and "haters" when whites make comments that are NOT really racial in nature. Often minorities use "racism" to cover up their own failures in certain areas.

And I'm GLAD that blacks and minorities stand up for themselves. Did you not see the part about Martin Luther King Jr. who I respect more than any other person in history? My problem with minorities standing up for themselves is when it becomes less of a defense and more of an attack on the majority simply because they are the majority.

And I realize that it's easier on gay people now that it has been in the past. But I also don't blame all heterosexuals for the crimes against gays. When a man walked into a gay bar 10 minutes from here a few years ago and shot a ton of people simply because he hates gays, I didn't go around screaming, "all heterosexuals are haters! haters!"

Anyway, my point is, you can stand up for yourself all you want, but just be careful that when you're hurling terms at people, they're the right people.

Fingon
Feb 26th, 2002, 05:48 PM
I am a latino living in Canada, and I really don't look like the typical hispanic, at least the sterotype that exists in the US and Canada. I am of italian and spanish ascendance and for that reason, I am often mistaken for italian, spanish or french.

In my country of origin, racism isn't an issue, at least not to the point it is in the United States, in fact there are very few blacks there, there is though some racism towards other minorities such as asian or natives, but it never got to level it did in the US (I mean, there isn't a KKK there). The racism is mostly not accepting those minorities fully into society and some sort of discrimination and sterotyping.

I explain that to say I can't really feel what a black person feels living in the United States, my experience with racism is limited to what I read, in books or newspapers, or watched in movies or TV, or even read here.

I do understand however that black people have suffered a lot in the US and they still do. Although racism in Canada isn't as strong as in the US, I still could see cases of discrimination towards blacks, and how some people label them as criminals or uneducated based only on their skin colour.

However, there is some true on what someone said. There are two sides on this. It's true that black people have reasons to be angry and to defend themselves, and we can't compare what they suffered to what whites are going through dealing with them.

But most of the people I know are not racists, and are agaisnt racism, but most of them still fear blacks, and I think that brotherhood attitude doesn't help. I do understand the reasons for that but I believe that things are much better than they were some years ago (although far from perfect) and we all need to move forward to try to live peacefully, without discrimination and hatred. It's a long process that is for sure more difficult for minorities, specially blacks but I believe most of black people want just a better life, not revenge for past or present offenses.

The whites have to give up a lot, much more than blacks, but blacks have to offer something as well. Attitudes like "you are a brother, how can you say that about another brother?" certainly don't help.

Volcana, you are probably right about blacks being more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist, but saying the naked doesn't always help. Remember that after September 11 people were scared, there were (and there are) a lot of anger, a lot of patriotism, desire of revenge, and if you said something like that, you are likely to be labelled as antipatriotic, even though you are not and you are just stating the truth. In very emotional periods it's dangerous to say the truth when it isn't what people want to hear. Remember what happened during wwII, anything german or japanese was attacked and insulted.

I know it's easier from my position to say that, but some times, it's better to have the viewpoint of someone who isn't emotionally involved and can give a more objective perspetive.

Cybelle Darkholme
Feb 26th, 2002, 05:58 PM
Blacks in the north even thought there were technically free were treated much worse than blacks in the south.

Worse! How can you tell me they were treated worse! Do you want me to name the relatives I lost to lynching in the south? And I am not talking all the way back to slavery. I am talking sixty years ago.

Also, don't forget that the American flag that flies in our country now ALSO flew over this country when slavery was legal.

Yes I agree. Those who enforced the constitution were all hypocritical. But it was the ideals that were important, not the men behind those ideals who turned their back on them.

The Confederate flag is about CULTURE and HERITAGE. It is NOT a symbol of hate. And personally while I detest Nazis, the swastika does not bother me at all... it's actual meaning is quite different than what the Nazis used it as.

A culture of slavery. A heritage built on the backs of others while others were lazy and sipped mint juleps. Sorry but you cannot divorce slavery from this flag. You can't divorce the fact that the south only seperated because the instituion of slavery was threated. Those people who lived in the south who did not have slaves but benefited from slavery and did not object and try to change things are in my opinon just as bad. Just like the people who did nothing when the germans came for the jews.

And while the South was guilty of slavery the winning side also still had slaves, don't forget that. Also, it was the North that launched the march of terror by that mass murderer Sherman. Northern armies raped and murdered thousands of innocent civilians. So fuck off, if Southerners want to pay homage to the people who died to protect us from invading butchers, we will, got it?

March of terror? What about the terror of young babies torn from their mothers? Women raped, men beaten? No the northern soldiers do not get an excuse for their behavior but their behavior does not absolve what the south did either. Also slavery was abolished in the north as well as the south. The north was not exempt. oh and it boggles my mind that soldiers who protected the southerns from the invading butchers were themselves butchers! Don't you see that? How can anyone not see that? I am not talking about the people in the south who stood against slavery, just those who benefited and practiced it. From you I believe you have the Hitler's mother attitude, that despite what Hitler did his mother would have still loved him.

You say the South turned their backs on "America." "America" is about freedom and choice... how is the North attacking the South to FORCE them to remain a part of "America" something that a peace and freedom loving people would do? Now, I'm happy that the United States is whole and I'm happy that slavery ended, albeit it never should have existed. But blaming the South for slavery and the civil war is beyond stupid.

From this I gather if the people of texas rose up and decided to reinstitute slavery based on a majority "choice" you would not like it, but live and let live? I dont understand that mentality when slavery infringes upon basic human rights. No one has the right to subjugate someone else no matter what the majority says.

Scotso
Feb 26th, 2002, 11:25 PM
The lynchings you talk about were after the civil war, not before. Although it WAS misplaced... people were angry with blacks in the South majoritively because Northern leaders forcibly put former black slaves in charge of governments in the South.

And yes, blacks were treated worse in the North. In the South, although they were slaves, they usually had decent places to live and food to eat. That wasn't the case in the North.

You obviously don't know a lot about this period of time other than the typical "we were inslaved and treated badly and it's all southern white people's fault" that you've been taught, so frankly I'm not going to waste time arguing with you anymore.

Cybelle Darkholme
Feb 26th, 2002, 11:44 PM
You are not worth my time. It's obvious that you, my friend have a limited experience with this time in history. To suggest that were no lynchings during the time of slavery is just ridiculous when there are records! Yes records, of how runaway slaves, as one example, were treated. And no I did not say all runaway slaves.

Further, the treatment of blacks in the north was not worse than slavery. From your one statement you revealed a lot about how little you know. To suggest that roof over your head and scraps of food, yes scraps ie leftovers that the family in the big house didnt want, is naive. The people in the north were not truly free, but they had much more freedom and opportunity than there southern counterparts.

Upon rereading your posts I have come to the conclusion that either you felt no inclination to read and RESEARCH the subject and are probably relying on second hand misinformation or worse your own assumptions.

From my own background it was a necessity to learn about my FAMILY past. I have traced my relatives as far as several pre civil war plantations. I have seen documented records of births, deaths, prices for new slaves and exchanges for trades...etc I have seen documents about lynchings. So how in the world can you tell me that it didn't happen or exist?

You have reaffirmed my previous belief about non people of color. Maybe its because you believe the issue doesn't affect you that you can take a cavalier approach to the subject with your shoddy abc movie of the week research. I guess the same can be said of men who probably truly do not feel concerned or connected to the women's movement. Or native people who have no idea of the issues facing immigrants or st8 people who cannot grasp the indignities gay people suffer. I hope I'm wrong. In any case I'm glad you decided to end the discussion because I can already see that nothing I say will have an impact on your limited worldview.

PS just for the record I never said it was "all southern white people's fault". In any case from your previous posts I believe you would place the blame of slavery firmly on the slaves shoulders.

Halardfan
Feb 27th, 2002, 09:13 AM
Interesting, thought provoking thread. :)

moon
Feb 27th, 2002, 12:40 PM
comment by Scotso.

"In the South, although they were slaves, they usually had decent places to live and food to eat." :(

I don't know what you have been told about slavery, but this was certainly not the case. :( I could go on and on about the atrocities of slavery, but I won't. But I wanted you to know that you have been misinformed. And before you accuse me of being angry, I'm more angry that people actually believe this crap than I at you in particular. But you are from the south right?

As for not tempering myself arounds whites, I try not to around my friends, but when it comes to somebody I don't know that well, I probably do. As far as I'm concerned, if you're my friend, I don't need to walk on egg shells around you, and I don't. Although I must admit, I do talk about race much more with my black friends than I do with my white ones.

Bright Red
Feb 27th, 2002, 03:17 PM
Bravo Volcana. Very good thread. It's great having the opportunity to see what's on people's mind with regard to such a sensitive issue. I appreciate everyone's sharing.

I think that more communication is required in order to solve the problem of racism. But it has to be controlled communication, otherwise anger, frustration, arguments or even physical violence can occur. For this reason, we must all be cognizant of this particular risk when talking about race to someone who might not share our beliefs.

Therefore I am more inclined to believe that both blacks and whites at the individual level should temper potentially volatile opinions unless they are capable of managing the potential confrontation that might follow. (Of course, some people will feel that confrontation is the only way to get things done. To them, I say 'more power to you').

Organized group discussions are perhaps a better forum to affect people's attitudes toward race. It would also help if the media would stop portraying more negative than positive images of minorities. This too would impact people's attitudes--especially those who live abroad and base their attitudes on what they see via the media as a true representation of what living in a racially diverse society is all about.

At the individual level, I think the following would go a long way. If you are offended by a statement, you should have the courage to speak up. Obviously, this goes for blacks, but whites should do it, too. But remember to pick your battles wisely so that you will be listened to, and not written off as a whiner.

I don't know which race tempers their words more. I don't know if it's even important to know. I feel that whites generally temper their words in an unsatisfactory manner because we temper both criticism and praise. What I mean is that often we won't insult black people because we don't want to be called racist, but we won't compliment or praise blacks either because we don't want to be associated with being a [you know what]. Of course, everyone is not like this--I know tons of exceptions. I think we should NOT temper our praise of others and we should not fear the consequences of doing so.

I don't know whether most individual blacks temper their praise of whites. Personally, I've receive many compliments from my friends of color. I think as a group, blacks tend to NOT temper their criticism of whites thanks to people like Jesse Jackson and others. So this is a step in the right direction. I think that as a group whites DO temper their praise of minorities. This is NOT a step in the right direction.

I am by no means on a crusade to change the world. I am simply sharing my perspective on the issue. Hopefully, the world will one day be attacked by some extraterrestrial aliens and we'll all have to unite. That way, we will sincerely and undoubtedly feel a part of the one and only true race to which we all belong: the human race.

Volcana
Feb 28th, 2002, 11:27 AM
It just comes down to no longer being willing to collude in a lie.

People like to pretend that white privilege is no longer a factor in life in the United States. People like to pretend that discrimination against blacks is no longer a factor in life in the United States. (Not the same thing, of course.) It's more comfy for those people if I don't bring it up, but it's less comfy for me.

Regardless, I don't know of anyone who walks around the United States worrying that black cops will murder them and the criminal justice system will let the cop walk. (Except other blacks.)

And I know that, in New York anyway, Black cops don't kiill white citizens by mistake. White cops kill blacks 'by mistake' enough to make the news a couple times a year.

You'll note I said little about slavery or Jim Crow in my posts. I'm talking about now. The 21st century. Living in constant fear of sudden death is debilitating. September 11th gave white americans a glimpse of black americans world from the inside. Constant fear and not knowing where the next attack will come from. Now knowing which one of your friends or relatives will die next. Knowing everytime you go out running, your mother worries you won't come home. Everyone has to worry about criminals. Blacks get to worry about the racist cops too.

The big difference with 9-11 though, is, white americans got to worry about some guy with a long beard half a world away. Black americans are worried about our neighbors. And our absence of legal recourse against them. We're still in way more danger from our fellow americans than we are from Al Quaeda.

That's a bitter pill.

Bright Red
Feb 28th, 2002, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Beige
Very nice, Bright Red, very nice. I hate to put a damper on your terrific post but since we're being frank:

I'm all for unity but the whole "one race: the human race" sentiment never sat well with me. I never embraced this unofficial worldwide "campaign", if you will, because people will always people and people are prone to be selfish and inevitably will always want some form of control. In relation to this topic, if everyone on this earth were white the problem of bigotry would still exist. Rid of people of color, the next issue would be religion or homosexuals followed by whites with certain hair color, etc.

Sorry for the pessimism but that's how I see it.

No need to apologize, Beige. I often share your pessimism. I do like the "one race, human race" sentiment not only because it's idealistic, but also because it's the truth. We are the same race.

The implications of achieving this ideal are far-reaching. Basically, people would be accountable for things they can control (actions, words, etc.) instead of things they can't control--like sexuality or skin color. The world would be a little bit fairer.

As MLK Jr once said (and I paraphrase), 'One should be judged by the content of their character, and not by the color of his skin'.

Bright Red
Feb 28th, 2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Volcana
...September 11th gave white americans a glimpse of black americans world from the inside. Constant fear and not knowing where the next attack will come from. Now knowing which one of your friends or relatives will die next. Knowing everytime you go out running, your mother worries you won't come home. Everyone has to worry about criminals. Blacks get to worry about the racist cops too...


Very powerful statement. It's atrocious that law-abiding people can't feel safe at home, and the very people that are sworn to protect are sometimes the enemy.

There's no easy solution to this problem.

Bright Red
Feb 28th, 2002, 03:00 PM
"The powers that be" are very slow and some would probably not change anything if they had their way. But change is coming. The face of America is becoming a lot more colorful, and so it will have to change. I honestly believe it is only a matter of time.

Bright Red
Feb 28th, 2002, 04:31 PM
I don't think the ideal world will happen in anyone's lifetime because there are so many different opinions of what the ideal should be. The best we can hope for is that you have enough freedom to have a dream, and that you aren't unfairly prevented from reaching that dream. Whatever your dream may be. It's possible to be happy even today.

Bright Red
Feb 28th, 2002, 05:47 PM
And while we're on the subject:
-----------------------------------------------------------

3 Louima Cop Convictions Overturned
Thu Feb 28, 1:03 PM ET
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal appeals court overturned the convictions of three white police officers in the Abner Louima torture case Thursday, finding insufficient evidence they obstructed justice.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the convictions of Charles Schwarz, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder. The ruling does not affect the conviction of the chief attacker, Justin Volpe.

Louima, a black Haitian immigrant, was tortured in a police station bathroom following his arrest in a melee outside a Brooklyn nightclub Aug. 9, 1997. Prosecutors said a handcuffed Louima was pinned down and assaulted in one of the worst police brutality cases in U.S. history. Charges against Louima were later dropped.

Volpe is serving 30 years in prison after admitting he sodomized Louima with a broken broomstick. Volpe's appeal was earlier rejected.

Louima suffered a ruptured bladder and colon and spent two months in the hospital.

The appeals court said Schwarz's convictions for civil rights violations must be thrown out and a new trial ordered because he was denied effective assistance of counsel and because the jury was exposed to prejudicial information during deliberations.

"The jurors asserted that despite their best efforts to avoid publicity they had learned from one juror during jury deliberations that Volpe had pleaded guilty to assaulting Louima in the bathroom and had indicated that he had done this assault with another police officer," the ruling stated.

The court also held that convictions against all three men at a second trial for conspiracy to obstruct justice must be dismissed for insufficient evidence. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek new trials in those cases.

The government failed to prove that the defendants intended to obstruct a federal grand jury, the court ruled. The three-judge panel said the government relied nearly exclusively on Bruder's allegedly false statements to federal investigators.

But Bruder did not know the statements would be repeated to a federal grand jury, the court found. Thus, the judges said, there is insufficient evidence to support a conspiracy.

"It's a sweet day when you can show the government was wrong and it was wrong from the beginning," said Stuart London, Bruder's attorney.

Schwarz was sentenced in June to 151/2 years; Wiese and Bruder received five-year sentences for the conspiracy conviction but have been free on bond pending appeal.

Schwarz and Volpe were tried for conspiracy to deprive Louima of his civil rights by sexually assaulting him while Schwarz, Bruder and Wiese faced conspiracy to obstruct justice charges in a separate trial.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton called the ruling "a shocking display of how the judicial system continues to fail to protect citizens from police abuse." He said the court "in effect says that Volpe acted alone when that is not only not the evidence, but physically impossible."

Sanford Rubenstein, a lawyer for Louima, said that if there is a new trial for Schwarz, "we look to the federal government to retry the case and we will be supportive of their efforts as we have in the past."

Joseph Tacopina, attorney for Wiese, said: "Justice has been served. It was clearly the right decision. Hopefully now Thomas Wiese, Thomas Bruder and Charles Schwarz can resume their normal lives with this and even possibly return to the force."

Zachary Carter, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, declined to comment, as did the New York Police Department.

A telephone call to Schwarz's lawyers was not immediately returned.

In their appeal, lawyers for Schwarz had argued that his attorney in both trials had a conflict of interest as he also represented the police union, thereby hindering him from deflecting blame to another officer.

The Louima case and other high-profile incidents — including the 1999 death of an unarmed West African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, in a hail of 41 bullet fired by four white officers — ignited protests accusing police of singling out minorities for abuse, often through racial-profiling.

Louima filed a lawsuit against the city and the police union, which was settled in July after months of hard-fought negotiations. The city and union agreed to pay Louima and his lawyers $8.7 million in the largest settlement ever in a New York City police brutality case.

Eza
Feb 28th, 2002, 07:40 PM
Scotso has obviously been taught the white-washed version of history.

Volcana
Mar 1st, 2002, 04:00 PM
Scotso is also in this thread arguing his case, instead of stewing at home, and refusing to even communicate with anyone who doesn't believe exactly what he does.

saki
Mar 1st, 2002, 04:52 PM
Hmmm. History. How important would you guys say that it was?

Because from what I've seen on this board (and please remember I'm English and really don't know that much about race issues in the U.S.) and in this thread is a lot of anger from blacks about the way that their ancestors were treated. And a lot of "why does this matter now?" from whites.

I've studied history, although not American history, and it is always the case that there are not only two sides to every story but an infite number of sides to every story. Scotso could pull out facts and documents to support his thesis that blacks in the north of the country were worse off, Volcana/Beige/moon could find support for their opposing view.

What I'm interested in is to what extent you think that this matters? This is a genuine question. I want to know how you think that the history of your ancestors affects you.

saki
Mar 1st, 2002, 05:27 PM
Hmmm. I suppose I see what you mean. I'm extremely proud and grateful for what my father has achieved. He (and my mother) are Indians who came to England from East Africa. He had no education, but put himself through night school while working on a building site during the day. He rose through the ranks at a company, and now owns his own company and is doing really well.

If anyone insulted him or his achievements I would defend him. But I can't feel much for my more distant ancestors. Whether or not my Indian ancestors were or weren't illtreated by the British Raj doesn't really concern me. As far as I'm concerned it's irrelevent in a way that my father isn't. Does this make any sense?

Josh
Mar 1st, 2002, 05:58 PM
I feel the same way as saki. I'm proud of what my parents and grandparents have achieved and also proud about certain things I achieved. We had this discussion on the old Sanex board about race and being proud of what your ancestors did. I said I couldn't be proud of things people who I don't even know did and whose deeds I only know through history books. I also said I don't feel responsible for what my ancestors may have done during the period of slavery, nor do I feel responsible for what they may have done during the crusades or even further back in history. Certainly I consider some people in history as a great source of inspiration but being proud of them or feeling a connection with them...no.

But I guess it's different for everybody and I certainly understand it even though I don't feel that way.

GogoGirl
Mar 1st, 2002, 07:28 PM
My goodness this is a hot thread - so I may as well add my two cents to it.

I think the reason many blacks do not appreciate the Conderate flag waving high over the Capitol building in SC and other states is because of what it represents. Point blank! What does it represent? Has anyone ever truly explained that?

If some say that the southern whites do have the right to keep the Conderate flag flying high above the capitol because they have the right to see their flag rising high - then they must be truthful and call it like they see it and like it is. What does it mean to them? Could it mean they felt that during the civil war - the flag represented the south's way of life or what? And if not - then what did it represent all those years past - during the civil war era? I mean - it must have meant something - or the flag in it self - would never have meant whatever it was meant to mean in the first place - back then and now.

Many folks from all over the country feel as if the southern whites that were a part of the conderate army (and their supporters) have the right to keep their flag sacred if they believe it is sacred. Why is it? Is it because many southern men and children died during the civil war? Men and children died from both sides.

Now it seems to me - that it is still a dangerous notion and proposition that some would feel as if there is still much room left for the folks that love the confederacy and what it stood for. Does anyone here not agree with what the southern whites and others thought it stood for way back when? Do we agree that to many - the flag stood for a way of life the southern states wanted to keep on experiencing? And though many never mention this point - the southerners didn't only want to lose their way of life - for the biggest thing to them - was that after the war was over - they decided to never allow blacks equal rights - as long as they had anything to say and do about it. (i.e., - the lynchings and hate crimes).

They decided early on to begin rigging the voting booths when blacks first got the so-called right to vote. So in essence - the blacks' votes never counted. The southerners, more or less - had to accept the fact that they were beaten down by the end of the civil war - yet they decided w/the swiftness to ensure that blacks were never accepted equally and given any rights. And many northerners never really accepted that blacks were so-called free persons of color. So let's call a spade a spade. Because if there are people that are pro for allowing the flag to stand in SC and other states - then is it not human nature to have some folks on the other side challenging that stance.

Education is the key. For hundreds of years blacks were denied an education. Why? Now that we've gotten one - many of us feel we have the right to challenge the status quo that feel as if it is their right to fly the Confederate flag. Southern whites and some whites period, wish to be able to continue honoring their ancestors that died during the war, and for what the flag in it self represented during the war. But to insist the flag means something that it doesn't - is something else again. They need to just come on out w/it and tell the truth. And if the truth means that they feel as if the cause of the confederates were just back then and now - then what are they basing that belief on? Pro- slavery? No slave wishes to be enslaved to the best of my knowledge.

Lastly - Pat Buchanan and others like him - feel as if they are witnessing the writing on the wall when it comes to the de-population of the white race. What they are feeling in some cities and states is to know that soon they will understand what it feels like to be a/the minority in this country. Many white Americans hate that fact. The Hispanic population has taken over the African Americans as the largest minority group. And that is one reason, I am insisting my daughter take Spanish next year, her eight grade year, and thru the tenth. Wasn't Pat Cash recently quoted in the newspapers about his concerns that the white race is dying off and that white people needed to make more and pure white babies. I've worked w/some white folks that I've heard talking about the Mexicans taking over CA, TX and AZ. They kind of looked over at me when they said it, as if they wished to gage my reaction. They were really indignant about it and stressed how much they wished there was more and stricter border controls. So - many whites see what is happening - and some are worried.

IMO - race, religion and ethnicity topics are very subjective and touchy topics. Dialogue about the aforementioned is great when all sides are treated equally and fairly. And again - no one from any race has to wish they lived side-by-side w/other races, or wish to date outside of their race, etc. Differences make the world go round, and they are all well and good IMO. So - as long as all sides have equal opportunities to education, health and welfare in this country - then it's all good. Everyone deserves the right to freedom, fairness and opportunity.

Volcana
Mar 2nd, 2002, 05:12 PM
I recognize that a lot of people have issues with the past.

Please remain aware that the thread is primarily about the present. Discussing past injustices mostly provides a smokescreen that allows people to avoid talking about current ones.

Abner Louima wasn't tortured 100 years. Eleanore Bumpurs wasn't shotgunned to death hundred years. Black students in the USA on average are going to poorer schools, with less trained teachers and less, sometime absent materials, NOW. White folks use the vast majority of drugs in the USA, but Blacks are the literal majority of people locked up for drug offenses. Why? Because the criminal justice system treats Black and White drug offenders differently.

Chris Rock said it very well. "There's not one white man in America who'd trade places with me. And I'm rich." When the cops are about to shoot you, you're just another ******. When the lynch mob is chasing you, you're just another ******. When you're walking down the street and the police follow you block after block mile after mile, and you're just walking home, you're just another ******.

I'm very proud of what my parents accomplished growing up in an atmosphere of constant terrorists attacks and no legal recourse. The American South pre-1970 was a killing field. But my parents made it out and became well educated and respected professionals. Which has absolutely nothing to do with white privilege today. They succeeded IN SPITE bigotry and terrorism, not because of their absence.

Saki - It matters now because it IS now. Anyone asking "why does this matter now?" either doesn't have a clue, or simply doesn't value the lives of Black people much.

Because 'now' is when we're dying. Now is when up-to-date textbooks are unaffordable. Now is when we go to jail for drug offense that would mean outpatient treatment if we were white. Now is when political parties remove registered Black voters form registration roles so they can't vote. Now is when the State of New York had to be sued to distribute money equitably to predominately Black schools in New York City, instead of giving the majority to predominantly white upstate schools. (and of course, the state is now trying to back out, fearing white voter backlash in the coming elections.)

Now.

I don't know if it's that people don't know, don't believe or don't care.

But I know it's now.

All of you in the USA, think back to how you felt Sept 11th. Especially if you're from New York. Now look at the first Black person you see, and realize they have to deal with that possiblity of sudden death for no other reason than who they are every day. And that the attackers are not far away, but are their neighbors. They may deal with it by ignoring it, going insane, drinking too much, going to church, meditation, or whatever. But they deal with it. They deal with it now.

Now imagine that on Sept 12th, 80% of the country told you "You have nothing to worry about. Why are you focusing on the past? That sort of thing doesn't happen anymore."

What would you have answered?

A - "You people are crazy."

B - "You people are blind."

C - "You people are in it with the ones threatening me."

Now.
Now.
Now.
Now.
Now.
Now.

Bright Red
Mar 2nd, 2002, 05:54 PM
Excellent post, Volcana. "Now' is what matters.

But I must ask a question.

Can a fish know what it's like to live on land?
Can a person born deaf know the beautiful sound of music?
Can Anna K know what it's like to win a singles title?

It's one thing to go through 9/11 as an American. Everyone experienced it and acknowledged the threat, and then the immediate threat was over. What blacks go through is not universally acknowledged and so you must deal with the real threats you've mentioned. You also must deal with it on an on-going basis. No white person could know what it's like.

Volcana
Mar 2nd, 2002, 06:12 PM
Bright Red - Actually, I know quite a few white people who relate. Some Vietnam vets, victims of multiple rape, child abuse survivors. The thing is, the hyper-vigilance required to live that way wears you down. But lots of people do. They just aren't accustomed to viewing white privilege in the USA as an assault.

A rape victim has to get up and go to work, knowing the guy at the next desk may be a rapist. There's no way to know. But if he starts talking about 'false rape accusations' and how 'men's lives are ruined', its very difficult to trust him.

Jews quite reasonable veiw Holocaust deniers as potential mass-murderers.

If my memory for statistics is correct, Vietnam vets were under fire on average 5 out of every 7 days they were there. Is it any wonder the sound of a car backfiring makes them jump years later?

Blacks are discriminated against in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, these days, up to and including murder. How do you think Blacks view White people who deny the existnece of white privilege and its negative effects? The same way Holocaust survivors feel about Holocaust deniers, and victims of multiple rape feel about rapist.

There are a lot of white people who know EXACTLY how Black people feel living in the USA in 2002. Like there are hidden threats you'll NEVER escape. And that a lot of people around you will help those threatening you, or look the other way.

White people know. A lot of them anyway. They just aren't used to thinking of it in those terms. And after Sept 11th, a lot more of them know.

Volcana
Mar 2nd, 2002, 06:36 PM
While I have a chance, I'd like to thank everyone who posted. I certainly haven't agreed with everything written, but you'd have to have a pretty closed mind not to learn SOMETHING from this thread.

To me, that IS success.

Bright Red
Mar 2nd, 2002, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by Volcana
While I have a chance, I'd like to thank everyone who posted. I certainly haven't agreed with everything written, but you'd have to have a pretty closed mind not to learn SOMETHING from this thread.

To me, that IS success.

thank you for posting such a thought-provoking thread ;)

Shane54
Mar 2nd, 2002, 11:10 PM
I am so glad that someone brought up this subject. The honest truth and it really is a double standard. Blacks can say what they want about white people, using the words "white" this and that and that is fine and dandy. But Lord forbid let a white person like myself say the most miniscule innocent thing that a black person doesnt like. That's it sue sue!! Fire fire! Call Jesse Jackson.

Personally, to me having to watch every little word you say and analyze everything you say for fear of the "political correct race police" is almost like living in the Soviet Union. And personally, I am sick of the shit.

Bottom line: Any minority in the U.S. can speak the truth. Caucasians have to be selective in speech.

But the sword cuts both ways. I am causcasian male, but I am gay. So i guess I could use that to my advantage as so many groups have before...

saki
Mar 2nd, 2002, 11:45 PM
"It matters now because it IS now. Anyone asking "why does this matter now?" either doesn't have a
clue, or simply doesn't value the lives of Black people much.

Because 'now' is when we're dying. Now is when up-to-date textbooks are unaffordable. Now is when we go
to jail for drug offense that would mean outpatient treatment if we were white. Now is when political parties
remove registered Black voters form registration roles so they can't vote. Now is when the State of New
York had to be sued to distribute money equitably to predominately Black schools in New York City, instead
of giving the majority to predominantly white upstate schools. (and of course, the state is now trying to
back out, fearing white voter backlash in the coming elections.)

Now.

I don't know if it's that people don't know, don't believe or don't care.

But I know it's now."

Volcana

but the question I was asking was not "why do minorities seek justice?" but "why do minorities focuss on the past?"

Why is the history of slavery in the U.S. important to you in your present fight for equality? That is the question I'm asking.

CiCi Bonus Baby
Mar 3rd, 2002, 05:00 AM
"why do minorities focuss on the past?"

A. Because the present and the future are shaped by the past, ignoring the latter causes old evil to be repeated and new evil to ferment.

I don't know much about US history re slavery, only that it mirrors Jamaica. In Jamaica the indigenous Arawak Indians were first enslaved but, due to their being COMPLETELY AND ABSOLUTELY WIPED OFF OF THE FACE OF THE EARTH because of their inability to suffer the torment, hardier slaves were sought on the African continent.
(If anyone knows whether any Carib tribes purport that some Arawaks interbred, and thus survived, let me know.)
As far as I'm aware only Hitler and those crazy Hutus come close in the genocide stakes.

Descendants of slaves can't get reperations yet Jamaican slave-owners 'inconvenienced' by the abolition of slavery received approx. £1 Billion in compensation and the entire developed world profits from the wealth created by it.
How many people use sugar in their tea, the large-scale exportation of the latter facilitated by the East India Company which helped ravage India and played a part in provoking partition in 1947 and the nuclear stand-off today; something mirrored by the many wars raging in Africa caused by fighting over the spoils left by the departing colonialists and (as in Yugoslavia, a country forcibly created during the WWI treaties) the friction created by people forced to live together by higher powers.

In fact slavery helped fund the conquering of other nations as.
The thing that sticks out most in my mind are the three Opium (unpurified heroin for those that don't know) Wars - whereby Britain used its navy to force China to accept British-backed opium imports which were turning its people into addicts - hence Hong Kong and all that.

People who bitch about double standards just don't like uppity N-you-know-what-I-mean, but FYI, if anyone, of any colour, called me something of the sort I'd go mad just like people should if I called them W-you-probably-never-heard-this-racist-term-before.

There are an estimated twenty-seven million people, many of them African, living with the fear and terror that accompanies slavery TODAY. If there was no precedent which proved the economic feasibility of slavery maybe there would be fewer or none.

And don't forget that the slave trade on the East Coast of Africa was run by muslims and that the Islamic state of Sudan flooded regions of importance to black Africans, proving that there were black kings etc. I hate it when people reject Christianity and Europeans because of the slave trade, there isn't much else that you can declare blemish-free.

This website is anaemic because it's targeted at tourists. (http://pirate.shu.edu/~melboush/newpage2.htm)

I told you so. (http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/2252001.htm)

Volcana
Mar 4th, 2002, 12:33 PM
saki - I think I'm disagreeing with your premise. 'Minorities', what that is ini reality, DON'T focus onthe past. Some people do. I'm a member of a 'minority' group, and you'll notice I've tried hard to keep the thread focusing on the present.

'Past racial injustice' is just a smokescreen that helps people avoid talking about how to stop and punish CURRENT racial injustice.

sartrista7
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:59 PM
Interesting thread. It always struck me that real racism must be based on ignorance - it's not a position which can be intellectually defended in any way (and I know people have tried). More insidious racism comes in the form of double standards, which are shockingly common. Take Eminem: what he's saying isn't all that much more shocking/explicit than what Snoop Doggy Dogg or Dre rap about, but he gets the flak because he's white, as if it's somehow 'expected' for black people to behave antisocially. It's hardly beating black people uo in the street, but it doesn't do anything to change attitudes - and these perceptions stick. I'll play devil's advocate and sort-of agree with Shane54. It's perfectly true that some black people fail to realise that racism cuts both ways (hello, Richard Williams). But then, when black people live with the fear Volcana's been describing so vividly, and when there STILL remains so much prejudice in dealing with the issue of skin colour, it's not as if anyone's innocent.

thefreedesigner
Mar 4th, 2002, 03:24 PM
Sartrista, Eminem gets that much stick because he's successful. Period.


He's successful because he's white. I don't think that's what you were saying but that's the fact there.

Snoop Dogg would never be as successful singing/rapping the same material, simply because he's black. However if Snoop were that successful believe me, the stick he got would be just the same, if not worse.

I've not explained that very well... and it's [OT]

saki
Mar 4th, 2002, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by Volcana

'Past racial injustice' is just a smokescreen that helps people avoid talking about how to stop and punish CURRENT racial injustice.

Absolutely. This is why I was questioning the focus on history. Which wasn't your focus in particular, but there are several posts on the subject of slavery in America which I, frankly, do not consider to be relevent.

Why argue about history when the present is here to be discussed and thought about?

saki
Mar 4th, 2002, 06:30 PM
Beige - absolutely. In fact, my parents spend most of their time telling me that I'm too English! It's just very difficult when you've been brought up completely in one culture, but are expected to feel like you "belong" to another. I went to an all white school, and feel completely comfortable around white people to the point where I often literally forget that my skin is a different colour to theirs. Obviously that is in a sense a good thing, but it does lead to my feeling slightly isolated amongst the Indian community.

It's always going to be difficult, because in effect a child from an immigrant family is going to be from a different country to his/her parents. I'm English, my parents are Indian. This obviously isn't easy. The conclusion I come to after numerous arguments with them, is that I just have to try and understand their point of view and help them to understand mine. The main problem is the rest of the community. The city I live in has a very small Indian population - about 100 families - which means that it is very *ahem* closeknit. I.e. gossipy/bitchy. What I do reflects on my parents. And little though I care about the town gossips, my parents do. I try to respect that, although it's sometimes difficult.

One of the other problems is that "ethnic minorites" are grouped together far too much. In actual fact, different minority groups don't have much in common at all and yet companies have "ethnic minority open days" and the government has an "ethnic minority policy". Different communities have different needs, and that isn't being sufficiently realised. At least not in my opinion!

I could write much more, but I'll stop before I bore you...

Volcana
Mar 4th, 2002, 07:43 PM
Beige - Is that the album cover to The Brothers Johnson's "Looking Out for #1" ?

saki
Mar 5th, 2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by Beige
we're kindred spirits in some ways.

Heh. I knew it... :kiss:

GogoGirl
Mar 5th, 2002, 03:00 PM
Mindset is a key word for this thread - IMO. I disagree w/the ones that say the past should not be brought into this discussion. W/o a past - we all may as well die off now - for a past proves that one/race/continent/country/nation - has lived.

In high school, I wrote on my notebooks - "Don't let the past catch up with the present and interfere w/the future." And I still believe that - yet I would never advocate that the past should be forgotten. I believe like the Indians - and that is - the Indians believe that "Time" is nothing but a linear line. And that is especially true in one's life. If that line gets broken - then you’re dead. Your time/line is up and over with. But until that time - your past is tied in w/your knowledge of people, places and things. I suppose if the past was not a factor in one's life - then there would not be a word for it in every country's dictionary.

The Indians also believe in the past - and they treat it very sacredly. That is how the Indians learned - from their past. They still believe strongly that they learn most of what they learn in life from their elders and now - written history. And I heard recently on TV and radio (during Black History month) that 80% of African Americans have Indian blood w/i them. I knew it was many - but I didn't know the percentage was that high.

So IMO - a man's/nation's mindset is very important – and especially TPTB's. The Caucasian race is also mixed up w/AAs. See that history is the history that the world sees every time they wish to really see the truth, and if they don’t want to be reminded of it – they ignore it. One of the reasons there will never be reparations for black people thru out the world is because there could never be a starting and ending point. The World Bank would go broke if all that money was to be paid out. There still is white blood running thru many persons of color. French, Dutch, Irish, English, Portuguese, etc., blood runs thru many blacks from all over the world. See - this is a part of the past that many DO want to forget. Why?

At one time many men held the mindset that they could lay w/a black woman anytime they pleased and they did. And everyone can try to deny these facts - but to deny them would mean - that the ones affected mean nothing. Well - how long is the black race supposed to pay for the African side of their sins? Because I do believe where the prophets quoted in the Bible and Koran - told about the sins of thy fathers. The Africans were out of favor w/God - and that is the main reason they were trapped into slavery. God did not intend to stop it - for the sons were made to pay a price for their father's sins. I believe that all races have had and will continue to pay for the sins of their fathers. The concept just makes sense to me.

Look at what is happening the whole world round - what w/all the plaques that are happening these days. And our days may be seconds to God. So - the floods, earthquakes and the like are happening more and more. And IMO - Man is out of favor w/God. And it will all get worse. One can't read and accept the truths of the Holy Books just by believing in some things and not all. That is not a true believer. If one is a true believer - then one must believe in the prophets and in what they predicted to come to pass. Sinning the whole world round is not lessoning - for it is big business to sin. And that goes for all races. All races have their devils and evils - and they will all pay for the sins of their fathers.

Lastly to the poster that talked about "tip toeing around the blacks by ensuring everything is political correct” may make sense to some - but not to me. After all, who made that rule? At one time a black man was not allowed to date a white woman. Who made that rule? When it was accepted that black and whites could date and marry - who made that rule? So don't blame black people for this mis-carriage of justice - for the ones that hate it. Besides - it is fakeness anyway - because there are still many blatant racists. How many hate sites are they on the Internet? Do I hear thousands? Is allowing so many hate groups on the Internet a politically correct thing to do? Does it matter if it's a few or thousands? The point is - the reason some white media and TPTB decided to try to put on a appearance as if there is no racism (and we can see it on TV) is because they feel it is the thing to do. Imagine what is done and said about blacks when the cameras and radio signals are not running?

Action speaks louder than words - and if the truth was to be known - then many of the history books in American would be updated and some more stuff. So please don't blame blacks because fakers and haters are still running rampart w/i this country. And the mindset of the majority in this country is that the appearance that blacks are free and have equal rights is just as important to some as the real truths/things are to others. The blacks still have to be aware of the mindset of the majority, because the blacks are still feeling the affects of slavery and the past. Many blacks still can’t get a mortgage loan in this country, and etc. It is just more blatant and prevalent in some areas over others. The other day a situation at a water plant in Georgia was brought up. Many blacks that work at the plant say that for many years - they were mistreated - and they had to put up w/pictures of hanging nooses and many more hateful pictures and sayings. And the top man at the water co. stated that he had no idea that pictures of nooses would be upsetting to blacks and were racist.

Should I say more? What a cop out. Racism is still very much alive in this country and we would truthfully and realistically have to go back hundreds of years to find out the cause. No one can convince me that w/every cause - there is not an affect. There is no way on God's little green earth that for people to really make headway, amends, gains, wisdom and knowledge amonst us -about who we are now - then they would not bring up and forget - the past. It just goes to prove that one race can make a difference in other races. IMO - understanding the past would be beneficial in understanding many persons, places and things of yesterday, today and tomorrow. One may as well never get second chances - if one never learned from their past mistakes from something that happened - some time ago. If God didn't intend for people to remember their pasts - then they would have never been born - only to realize that they were born to die.







Truth is the light to power.

saki
Mar 5th, 2002, 03:14 PM
"I believe that all races have had and will
continue to pay for the sins of their fathers. The concept just makes sense
to me. "

Really?! Because it makes no sense to me. When I meet a person, I don't judge them by what their parents are like, or what their grandparents are like, or what their ancestors might have been like. I judge them by what they are like. That makes sense to me.

In the same way, I don't think of black people as the descendents of slaves, I think of them as people. Some of them have African backgrounds, some West Indian, and some consider themselves completely English. Whatever they think of themselves as is fine with me.

Vanity
Mar 5th, 2002, 03:16 PM
Well, I have read this thread and lots of interesting points were brought up... I don't really have anything to add, just that I'm happy that I live where I do, here in Canada! :) I can imagine it would be much harder to be black living in the USA, many of these posts explain that well. In high school, we were always told that Canada's society was more of a "cultural mosaic" whereas the USA was more of a "melting pot". I like the fact that here, people are encouraged to preserve their culture instead of being assimilated into the norm. Of course, there is going to be racism in every country as nothing is perfect, but for the most part, people of all races have lived here in peace for a long time. We're a nation of immigrants; it's really hard to define a Canadian exactly.

GogoGirl
Mar 5th, 2002, 03:41 PM
I didn't write the Bible or the Koran. I never stated that I was going to ensure that all races pay for the sins or their fathers. That job is taken. All I've done is brought it up - for it has been written for thousands of years, and I stated that I believe it. Nothing more or less.

This thread is a thought provoking thread - where most are just sharing what their perceptions are/were about race and the races. Everyone has an equal opportunity of conveying those thoughts. One of my thoughts was to remind the astute scripture readers about the sins of thy fathers clause. And w/o any race - there would be no human beings. So - race does matter.

All over the world race matters. I have cried for many people in Africa and other countries, and I have asked and prayed to God, "Why do they have to live like that - and go hungry and die from AIDS?" The only answer I could come up with - is that it is just God's will that whomever suffers on this earth suffers - for whatever reasons. If any one human being or beings knew how to fix problems of hunger, sickness and poverty - then they would have been fixed by now. Of course - not everyone believes in God or pre-ordained notions either, and that is their perogative.

Savvi
Mar 5th, 2002, 05:07 PM
I think you have to be very careful about "God's will". It almost gives people a right to sit back and do nothing while they see injustices happening.

An interesting phenomonen is happening in this country (Rep of Ireland). From being a fairly homogenous white Christian country say ten years ago, there are many people of many different races and creeds arriving in the country looking for a better life.

It has always escaped me why people wouldn't judge others not by their religion or colour of skin but by personaliy and attitude. From reading the other posts in this thread, I can see the blatant racism which happens in the US on an every day basis and just hope that the people of this country respect everybody whether they're white, black, asian... I think we have a lot to learn from countries like the US (and closer to home, UK) who have a bigger experience of multi-culturism.

Congratulations once again to Volcana for creating this thought-provoking and very relevent thread and to all the people who have responded...it's very enlightening to hear what is going on in the United States today

Savvi
Mar 5th, 2002, 07:51 PM
I agree with you entirely, Beige. I welcome anybody into this country who would like to contribute to society -and I believe that everybody has a valuble contribution to make. Unfortuantly there are people here who seem to conveniently forget that we were a nation of emigrants not so long ago...

We'll see what happens...

On the same topic but a different note - What states would be categorised as "southern states" in the US. I mean obviously I know which states are geographically south bit there does seem to be almost a cultural divide between north and south. For example, where does the West Coast stand in this - say California looks to be in the south of the US but would it be a "southern state" ? Thanks in advance

CiCi Bonus Baby
Mar 5th, 2002, 11:01 PM
Why argue about history when the present is here to be discussed and thought about?

Don't mean to behave like a rabid dog but Saki did u study history at either G.C.S.E or A-Level?

If I ask what is your birthdate can u answer?

You can if you think back to the past and recall the day that you were born. You can't have a future without a past even though u are living in the present.

History teaches u that humans never learn their lessons and keep on repeating the same shit.

rightous
Mar 5th, 2002, 11:10 PM
Volcana as always a very thought-provoking thread, race is as Savvi as said something that we in Ireland have not had to experience until recently, as we have been a predominately 'white race'.

To me personally 'race' is not an issue, whats really important is how the person treats u and others, what there personally is like etc. does the colour of someone's skin really make them different, I think not.

As others have suggested 'racism' is ignorance and fear of the unknown, people fear what they do not know and also what they have been bought up listening to. But while I was in the USA for the last two summers, I noticed that its a doible-sided sword, whites if you wanna call them that are afraid to crticise people of 'race' and vice versa for fear of being shown the 'race card'. Its a very dangerous situation, cos rasicm is IMHO the over used term in the USA.

But in saying that it would eb foolish of me to suggest that racism doesn't exist, and its important that if Racism does occur people must stand up and make other aware that it happens.

rightous
Mar 6th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Beige for instance say a white person critcises a person of race then they are usually thought to be doing this on the grounds of race, or if not its always at the back of people's minds and vice versa.

Its a mindset, if u think people are going to racist then no matter what people say u can twist it to suit ur mindset, do u get what i mean.

rightous
Mar 6th, 2002, 02:23 PM
Exactly my point, which you articulated more equopletly than I could. Yes it does happen.

If you wanna take a tennis example, the crticism of Venus and Serena, many people grounded this on race and not on attitude or personality or any thing else, its a dangerous term 'racism' as well as 'bigotry' and others, u have to be really careful when u use it.

saki
Mar 6th, 2002, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by CiCi Bonus Baby


Don't mean to behave like a rabid dog but Saki did u study history at either G.C.S.E or A-Level?

If I ask what is your birthdate can u answer?

You can if you think back to the past and recall the day that you were born. You can't have a future without a past even though u are living in the present.

History teaches u that humans never learn their lessons and keep on repeating the same shit.

Erm, actually I'm studying classics at Oxford University...

But to go to your point. Of course a person's past affects their present, but that doesn't mean that a race's past has to affect its present.

That's all I'm saying.

bmomomax
Mar 8th, 2002, 08:05 PM
Saki says: But to go to your point. Of course a person's past affects their present, but that doesn't mean that a race's past has to affect its present.

The racial past of Black Americans DOES effect our present. Because, in addition to the terror that Blacks experience in our daily lives - will I be arrested mistakenly? Will I be stopped and harassed/brutalized/killed by a police officer? Will my son, merely because of the color of his skin be considered a "behavior problem" in his school - statistically speaking, black boys are more likely to be labelled as such in schools throughout the U.S. - and slow tracked or put in the classroom with the remedial students? Imagine questioning just about EVERYTHING, is this because I'm... Did I not get that job because I'm... That can go on forever! And granted, everyone has different experiences, in my case, I've had all types of friends. But, when I was younger, I had a white person whom I thought was my friend do a ****** joke and I just about died. As a result, I became much more careful about who I called a friend.

But in addition to recular daily stuff, Americans have been taught that black people were slaves. I still don't know how much that knowledge screwed me up. Imagine. There was a group of people that other people didn't consider to actually be fully human and could be bought and sold and beaten and used and killed ONLY because they looked like me.

People that looked like me couldn't use the same bathrooms, vote, use the same restaurants.

When people that looked like me tried to get equality, they were beaten, hosed, jailed.

When "Equality" finally came, we were questioned (How'd she get that job? Affirmative Action!) The assumption in lots of cases is still that Blacks are not qualified, are not equal.

History still plays a huge part in our everyday lives. How else can you explain how Black lives are so devalued? I don't believe in the death penalty precisely because when the ultimate punishment is doled, it's done with a bias. You're more likely to be put to death if the victim is White. Also, you're more likely to be given the death penalty if you're Black.

Just imagine if the number of bodies falling at the feet of police officers were White - do you honestly believe that there would be no punishment? I don't know actual numbers but I can guesstimate for every 5 people killed by the police under questionable circumstances, in only 1 case will an officer will be held accountable. And I'm being VERY conservative.

It took the tape of Rodney King for folks to believe what Blacks had been saying about L.A. cops all along, and 10 years later, it's like they forgot. How the HELL can you justify 41 shots at a man reaching for his wallet?

Folks like Shane and Scotso are tired of hearing about the whole "race" thing. Shit, I'm tired of LIVING it.

GogoGirl
Mar 8th, 2002, 10:37 PM
I think my comments today will center around what most white America sees when they look at a person/people classified as black. I've wondered it for years.

For instance - when white people look at many black people in America - do they ever notice that some of those people have white blood in them? And if they do - what do they think about it? Or do they not think about it - simple because it is old news to them?

In other words, do white people think that blacks that have white blood in them have the right to claim that blood - thereby being proud of all of the blood that is w/i? I think it is a blankety-blank shame that for over two hundred years blacks were taught never to acknowledge their white blood. In Louisiana over 200 years ago, the French men started impregnating pure black women. From that union - would be born a mulatto (sp) child. And then the French man would impregnate a mulatto woman, and their offspring would be classified as a quadroon (sp). In other words, that offspring was 1/4 black, but still was considered black. Some quadroons could pass for white and some tried. Some quadroon women got caught by their white husbands if they birthed a child that looked as if said child had black blood w/i - and the woman would be beaten and she and the child would be banished by the husband. And because some genes skip a generation - some quadroon women passing for white may have birthed a first child that looked white, but the second child looked black. Oh - was there hell to pay then. Oh - what a tangled web they weaved.

Could we all not imagine the different kinds of persons, places and things (world) those people dealt w/everyday back then, and especially the ones that were passing for white. Some took drastic steps and measures to run away from their black side - and some moved out of state just so they could in effect change/deny their past and pass for white.

I'll just sum it up by saying that - it is a sad set of circumstances that even today - persons classified as black are not encouraged to admire and be proud of the white blood w/i them. My father is very light skinned - and my mother is medium to dark. I am right there in the middle. I know for darn sure that my father's parents had a lot of white blood within them. Yet - they as I - never felt what.................? The need or that it was right to celebrate that white part of us. Why? Some classified blacks have traced their white roots back to some European country - and they are proud of it. I say right on if that makes them happy. I personally know someone that traced his roots back to Ireland and his Irish relatives welcomed him and tried to keep him in the ale house drinking ale - as he called it. He was sooooo proud of himself. Now is anything the matter w/that?

So - as I started saying in the first paragraph - I wonder what white people see when they see so-called blacks that are nearly to very light skinned people? And we all must note that no one is white like the color white - or black like the color black. There are some dark Africans made darker by how close they lived to the sun (equator) for thousands of years. And in Northern Africa - there were many brown skinned people - yet they are all Africans. The hair of wool - as it pertains to blacks can also be attributed to folks that for thousands of years - lived closest to the sun - for at first - their hair was not as wooly until later generations kept migrating further west and south. And some Albinos were found to live at the North Eastern tip of Africa.

I love the fact that Tiger Woods does not want to be classified as only black. His mother is Thai - for God's sake - and he should be proud of his mother's side. It kills me when the media calls James Blake black. I mean - his mother is white - and a mother is always first and last in a child's life. He should be darn proud to be borne of both his parents. For - he surely can't do anything about it now. No child asks to be born period - whether they’re (black - white - mixed), to the best of my knowledge.

thefreedesigner
Mar 9th, 2002, 08:19 AM
CiCi, in the UK "ethnic minorities" (I hate that phrase, but it does the job) aren't hung up on the past the way it seems people are in N. America, and I think that's reflected in the different attitudes in this thread.

The past is a branch to the future, but it can also be a smokescreen for whatever you want it to be, and that can stop forward momentum.

Some people use the past so that they don't have to face up to their present and future circumstances.

rightous
Mar 9th, 2002, 02:30 PM
thefreedesigner i couldn't agree more its eactly the problem in Northern Ireland.

GogoGirl
Mar 9th, 2002, 04:58 PM
I read a few months ago that there was plenty of rioting going on in the UK by an ethnic group that I now can't recall. They were not black - but many blacks (coloreds as all darker skinned ethnic groups are called in the UK) neighborhoods in the UK do feel they are discriminated against. The UK also has problems of poverty, joblessness, hopelessness and discrimination. Many blacks also have their scrimmages w/the police. Let's be real here.

I think the reason many blacks in America stand up for themselves is because of what is happening to them in the present. There are sooooo many discrimination suits going on in the US - that it is not even funny. Cracker Barrel for instance, has a class action suit against them. The Denny's restaurant in the past was sued - and many more are being sued right now. Why? Just for the heck of it – or are their issues real and true to them? I would hate to be an outsider trying to tell a person or a group that they are just using the past for what……………….?

Okay - so let's say we do forget the past and not take it in consideration as to why black people in America are discriminated against and hated by some - every day of our lives. Then pray tell - why are black people hated and discriminated against period? What, when, where, how and why are blacks discriminated against and hated so much by some? What did black people do to warrant such feelings, thoughts and treatments?

I don't think one person from another race or place would want to trade places w/blacks here in the US - for the most part. Why? I think it is insulting for someone to talk about smokescreens being used by people for what……………..? And it is ignorant to state such things. Let’s just see what kind of smokescreens people that think like that will use when God comes to destroy this wicked world. The signs are becoming clearer than ever that the Lord is coming soon. So smokescreen that thought.

bmomomax could not have stated it any CLEARER – IMO. People that don't know what the 'ell they are talking about need to back up. I admire and respect the ones that disclaim right away that they are not experts in the area - so they could never walk in a black person's shoes here in the US and elsewhere – so they can’t comment on whether blacks in America have real problems today that stemmed from the past. Good on the ones that have stated this.

And what about the comment that there are blacks in the West Indies and so on? Where does one think the blacks in the West Indies came from? They all came from Africa of course, for the ones that don't know. Many scholars write that the Moors were the first Africans to live in America. When the Moors saw that the Indians were being killed off after at first being enslaved, and they saw that the Africans were being transported to the UK and America to begin their bondage, they quickly entered into a pact w/the British. There is still an official document signed by both parties. The pact stated that the Moors would leave America only on one condition, and that condition being that the Moors were never to be captured and enslaved. (Remember, Othello was a Moor – and Desdemona was white) Matter-of-fact - the Moors at one time had white women in their harems. I know some of you know the stories of the Moors and their history.

“Some people use the past so that they don't have to face up to their present and future circumstances.”

What!!!!!!!!!!?????????? What future circumstances? One should look forward to the circumstances of discrimination, intolerance, hatred, inadequate education, poverty, and so on and so forth? Please break me off right here – for that is not a wise stance. What does “Face up to their present” mean for God’s sake. Because black people are standing up in the present – is so they can affect their and their children’s future. Blacks are sick and tired of being sick and tired concerning how they are treated. They want to try to ensure their children are treated fairly and equally. They no longer want to lie down and take it. They no longer want to fake it. They want to be heard – and the only way to be heard is thru words and actions.

Again – why are thousands of hate groups allowed on the Internet? Believe me there are folks of all races trying to stop all the hate sites on the net. These hate groups are now trying to recruit young whites from upper class neighborhoods and others, for the sole purpose of convincing them to hate all races other than the white race. Is that nice or right? And some here feel as if the blacks should not object to these groups? I’m sorry, but I think if these groups are not stopped – then there will be more hate crimes against all the races that are not white. Are we all supposed to just let the hate crimes roll – as if it is just fine that our children could be victims of hate? I don’t think so.

So please don’t try to convince me that the past has nothing to do w/the present and the future. If that is so – then why don’t all the folks that think blacks are hollering wolf all the time for nothing go get some plastic surgery to change one's color so that one can pass for a black person? See – if one does that – then one would be definitely trying to change who one is – and hence – one’s past. I think what really needs to be changed in the world at large is how people think. Past thinking and mindsets could mean 400 years ago or four days ago. The past is yesterday – so should that be forgotten – and should what is happening today and most likely tomorrow be forgotten?

Why do hate group’s and individuals hate so strongly? Is it because of something that happened in the past, or is it because of present day events or the prospect of the future? I’d bet big money that the hate that is felt by some was taught to them by their parents and society. Let’s not forget what Camille Cosby declared after her son was murdered by a Russian immigrant. She blamed the US society in that many foreigners come to the US w/preconceived notions about blacks in the US. They feel as if black life doesn’t matter here because that is what they’ve read about and talked about – so hence how they feel.

I see now that for some – it is futile to try and convince them that there was/is a starting point to all hate and prejudice. And let me end this by stating – that supposedly - the history of life is written every 25 thousand years by God’s scientists, and it is written that our time here on mother earth is nearly up. The signs are here – so no more history writings will be written after this 25k years is up. Every continent is sinning right and left in the present – did some sinning in the past, and will continue sinning in the future. So we will all pay for it - in the future. So one/nation/continent’s past doesn’t matter 'ey? Well - what pray tell will God base his destruction on when He destroys the earth by fire - huh? Just by what is happening on the last day of life on this planet – or will He take the past into His consideration as the prophet’s prophesized?

thefreedesigner
Mar 9th, 2002, 08:33 PM
GogGo girl, the race riots that were happening in Northern England (Oldham, and parts of West Yorkshire I believe) were to do with tensions between the white and asian (Pakistani I believe) communities.

These tensions are very real, but honestly, are not steeped in the past. They are to do with things and issues in those communities NOW. Today between asian Britons and white Britons predominantly. And - excuse my ignorance here - you only need a history lesson going back 30-40-45 years max. to understand where these problems have come from.

I have to say that I have never felt "hated" for the colour of my skin. I have felt the discrimination of being different, but that goes for any kind of minority surely be it colour, race, religion, gender or sexuality. I wouldn't call myself blind to racial ignorance that of course does exist all over the world, but I'll deal with it with the tools of my own experiences - not by dredging up the past.

I don't think that anyone has tried to say - certainly I haven't - that we should forget the past - but people can get so caught up with the past so as to not properly address their future. If people hate you for the colour of your skin, that they do because their father did (perpetuating stereotypes) is becoming increasingly irrelevant, certainly in the UK.

So you have to look to address today's issues (of which there are many overt and latent ones in the UK, of course) using things that people can relate to. If you talk to me about "Many scholars write that the Moors were the first Africans to live in America. When the Moors saw that the Indians were being killed off after at first being enslaved, and they saw that the Africans were being transported to the UK and America to begin their bondage," I'm liable to fall asleep through sheer lack of interest. I'm sorry, but that's it. That's my ignorance, but that is what you're dealing with. Trying to bludgeon people into submission with things that don't interest them will simply not work.

And I think that if you are looking to a future where you can only see " the circumstances of discrimination, intolerance, hatred, inadequate education, poverty, and so on and so forth? Please break me off right here." then I see you looking to the future with the eyes of the past, I'm sorry. If you're saying that the future circumstances of ethnic minorities will always resemble that of the past you are going to be forever chasing your tail, and nothing will ever change - because your perceptions are not changing.

I am truly sorry if you feel offended by the use of the term "smokescreen", perhaps that was lamentable on my part but I guess I just see things a lot differently from you do. That is not however to deny that I totally accept that your views are held by many, and thus are vitally relevant.

Halardfan
Mar 9th, 2002, 11:06 PM
The key thing is that its not as simple as a division between black and white.

I know Ive mentioned this before but it bears repeating that Ive heard anti-'black' comments from acquaintances of Indian background as well as white people. I would suggest hat a person of Indian background is as likely to be racist in their own way as a white person. And so on, to include all the groups in the world. I think its miserable human nature, rather than an exclusively white trait.

The point being that at least in Britian, problems exist between all the many and various groupings, people in general are suspicious and fearful of difference. Be it religious or racial or whatever people always find an excuse to hate, you can see it in every corner of the world.

Its an utterly depressing picture.

Barrie_Dude
Mar 10th, 2002, 01:04 AM
Now this is exactly what I am talking about! People loking at a person, labeling that person, and making assumptions about a person based on window dressing! Racisim does exist and it exists among all cultures, all races. People have a tendency to make judgements about another person because of thier race! Making broad statements about a race is wrong whether or not you are a person of colour. Caucasions are just as diverse a people as are black! Trying to fit someone in a sterotype is a mistake, because the stereotypes are wrong, there is no such thing as "One Size Fits All" when it comes to stereotypes.

People do have a tendency to make judgements based on their own experiences, and our own experiences are incomplete to say the least. I do believe that we need to get past the window dressing and judge each person based on their own merits.

Now, are there racist whites? Yes! Are we all racist? No! Even some people of colour are racists! Not all, but some.

The big problems as I see them are as follows:

1) Ignorance: One cannot possibly know what a person is thinking, feeling or is all about based on our own assumptions! We need to get beyond the race thing and get to know that person. We filter our observations thru our own perspectives and experiences. As a result, we tend to come to conclusions that are inaccurate! We need to consider the other persons perspective as well. And we can learn a great deal by opening our hearts and minds and listening!

2) Fear: There is normally a fear of the unknown amongst people! I can't know what it is like to be poor, black, gay, or Jewish for example because I have not ever been any of these things. I have a tendency to be careful around people that are for fear of saying the wrong things. I often do not know what to say or do around peple like this because I do not know how they feel, because I have never experienced the things that they have. On the other hand, if I can manage to get past my fear and get tp know these people, I am pleasently suprised! Guess what, despite our differences, we are all human trying to get by!

3) Intolerance: For whatever reasons, we are not comftrable with people that are different! Or people that think differently! We have a tendency to be around people that are similar to us because it is comftrable! It is easier! We cannot tolerate different people because this will require us to leave our comfort zones! We may be required to think! It is funny how many people I know that are different then I am that simply refuse to fit my stereotype!

Folks, the above items are know no boundries based on race, religion, etc!

The point is that we are all gulty of our own prejudces! We need to work on getting past our own attitudes, fears and stereotypes and learn to accept people for who they are and not what they are!

Barrie_Dude
Mar 10th, 2002, 08:47 AM
You know, it really is too bad that we are afraid to talk to one another because we all have something in common, we are all human. The fact that there are differences in race, or gender, or sexual preferences or religious beliefs or political beliefs et all, should be meaningless. There are so many mis-conceptions and/or mis-understandings out there it is a real pity.


Racisim is something that is exclusive to the caucasion race nor are all caucasions entirey racist! The problems exist because we all have had some personnal experiences and we tend to generalize about alot of things! We are not all the same, and, as a result, rather than look down upon an entire group of people, we need to judge on a case by case basis.We need to stop being so quick to jump to conclusions.

There seems to be a prevailing point of view that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and it really is not. I am not intending to discount anyones experiences with racisim or other forms of discrimination, but whatever your lot in life is; regardless of gender, race, sexual preferences, religious beliefs or whatever; life is unfair in alot of ways! You will experience some injustice along the way, some more serious than others. That is just a fact of life!

Far too often, we develop frustration and anger as a result of this unfairness. It is far too easy to fall into a rut and let the anger, frustration, bitterness et all, control your life! We cannot use the injustice of life as something that is going to hold us back or keep us down. That is the worst thing that we can do!

I plead with everyone to keep an open mind and heart. Do not dismiss an entire race of people because of some bad experiences! Do not be afraid to say what is on your mind. Reach out to others!

The injustice in society is ugly! Racisim is ugly! The only way to change it is to begin with ourselves first. If you want to be treated with respect and dignity, than begin by treating others as such! My father once said to me that if I wanted respect, than I had to be the kind of person I can respect.

To the people of colour: I am truly saddened by the experiences that you have had with caucasion people and racisim. I certainly hope that yoy are not disnissing all us white folks as being racist based on your experiences. Please don't judge the whole buncj of us by a few bad apples.

There are a great many things that I will never understand completly. But I want people to give me an oppurtunity to prove myself. I want people to listen to what I have to say and not completly dismiss me based on a stereo-type or some mis-conception they have about WASP'ish type guys! I get really frustrated and angry at people that not only won't give me that chance, but have the gall to tell me what I'm all about and they don't even know me! That is soooooo irratating!

The point is that there is usally alot more to people than what you see on the surface! One has to get past the window dressing! I work really hard not to do that. I am not always successful, but I try! As a result, I have learned a great deal about alot of things! I have had the pleasure of developing relationships with a broad group of very interesting people! And I have found that alot of perceptions that I have had about people to be wrong!

The one trait I really like to find is the ability to think outside the box! It is important that we all be able to think for ourselves and not accept stereoypes or become stereo types ourselves! I'm all for breaking down the barriers brought on by ignorance and intolerance!

CiCi Bonus Baby
Mar 10th, 2002, 12:39 PM
CiCi, in the UK "ethnic minorities" (I hate that phrase, but it does the job) aren't hung up on the past the way it seems people are in N. America

thefreedesigner,
I know what's like in the U.K., I was born in Surrey, I never said that my statements reflect what most peole think. I just don't think that what happens today has no relevance to the past and I am not
so caught up with the past so as to not properly address [the] future
I just feel that one must identify the mechanics associated with any attempt to
address today's issues (of which there are many overt and latent ones in the UK)
and as far as I am concerned that means accounting for all factors including the past, which is a key to many major factors at play today (I believe that the past is a major covert ingredient).

That is the general gist of my posts, I don't know how to make it any clearer. Also I rant and rave about slavery because it still exists.

Barrie_Dude,
I hope I never gave you the impression that I
dismiss an entire race of people because of some bad experiences!
Like all people of Jamaican descent I am not pure African, in fact my grandfather is half Italian and my grandmother is a quarter Indian I just feel sad that I don't know to which country or area I can attribute the black majority of my genetic identity.

Saki,
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think (being merely a philistine of a scientist at UCL) that the 'classics' comprise the study of Greek and Latin, with an emphasis on language and literature and not exactly likely to illuminate the rest of the world's history and culture.

saki
Mar 10th, 2002, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by CiCi Bonus Baby

Saki,
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think (being merely a philistine of a scientist at UCL) that the 'classics' comprise the study of Greek and Latin, with an emphasis on language and literature and not exactly likely to illuminate the rest of the world's history and culture.

Well, actually, the course I'm doing is much more broad than that. I study ancient history, philosophy & theology as well as literature & language. But all I meant by that was that I do have an interest in and understanding of the past, not that my particular degree relates to this question. :)

I never meant to imply that the past has no bearing on the present or the future. Otherwise, I would hardly be spending my time studying it.

All I was try to do was ask the question "how & why does it matter?"

And it does seem to me that the past matters much more in the U.S. when it comes to race than it does in the U.K. My parents are imigrants, but the issues that we face are not connected to our ancestors but the basic English dislike of foreigners.

Barrie_Dude
Mar 10th, 2002, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by CiCi Bonus Baby


thefreedesigner,
I know what's like in the U.K., I was born in Surrey, I never said that my statements reflect what most peole think. I just don't think that what happens today has no relevance to the past and I am not

I just feel that one must identify the mechanics associated with any attempt to

and as far as I am concerned that means accounting for all factors including the past, which is a key to many major factors at play today (I believe that the past is a major covert ingredient).

That is the general gist of my posts, I don't know how to make it any clearer. Also I rant and rave about slavery because it still exists.

Barrie_Dude,
I hope I never gave you the impression that I

Like all people of Jamaican descent I am not pure African, in fact my grandfather is half Italian and my grandmother is a quarter Indian I just feel sad that I don't know to which country or area I can attribute the black majority of my genetic identity.

Saki,
Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think (being merely a philistine of a scientist at UCL) that the 'classics' comprise the study of Greek and Latin, with an emphasis on language and literature and not exactly likely to illuminate the rest of the world's history and culture.





Sweetie! I was not trying to imply that you were dismissing an entire race! I do know alot of people that do, however. My comment was directed at people thatdo that! You know the people that say : "All White People are such and such" or "All blacks are such and such". Pfffff! As if they knew! The point being that one cannot generalize about whole groups of people!

GogoGirl
Mar 10th, 2002, 03:34 PM
Morning All,

I still say that the past has plenty to do with why many African and Native Americans, Jews and other minorities are hated and discriminated against to this very day. And like I stated before - there are racists in every race. I have had my share of being discriminated against - and I also see it happening to others every day. In the US Constitution for instance, it is still written that blacks are 3/5ths human. Now - is that flattering to blacks? That is what bmomomax was referring to.

The Jews bring up the holocaust often to ensure no one ever forgets the atrocities they and their ancestors had to endure during WWII. Should they stop bringing up the holocaust? Black people lost over 100M people during the slave trade. Should that fact just be swept under the rug and forgotten? God will never forget it so why should we? Why has my daughter been taught history in school - for God’s sake. I mean – she has learned about slavery, the destruction of the Native American’s way of life, the holocaust and much more. Should after she learned it – she forgets it?

thefreesigner - I do apologize if you thought I was tearing in to your points of views. What I was trying to do what present a rebuttal to some of the comments that have been written by some that I had strong feelings about. You are right - you do have the right to see things the way you do - as I have the right to see things the way I do. If you have not experienced what we have in this country then that is good for you.

I read recently that the Jews were upset w/the French government because hate crimes against the Jews were on the rise. And the Jews think the French government is not doing enough to curtail these crimes. Why are hate crimes being carried out against the Jews in France? Does anyone here think it has something to do w/the past? So my point is – if a country has haters that wish to do harm against a race of people – then one must ask the question why? And if these crimes are perpetrated against people because of race and the past – then why should the people being attacked not look at the past? Isn’t it important to try to find the root cause of any problem or crime? Again – I have no quarrels w/you personally thefreesigner. I wish you well in all of your endeavors.

But – no one will ever convince me that one should not try to stop the future treatment of blacks and all minorities by complaining and crying out about how past and present treatments could affect our futures if we do not stand up right now. We have a right to try to protect our children’s future. And if one of the ways we do it is to stand up against hate groups that wish to burn all black people at the stakes – then we will just have to do it. Right now some think the present Bush administration wants to take away some of our rights - and thereby taking a step backward. What does a step backward mean? It means continuing or starting to implement the way of doing things like they were done in the past. I think some may have missed my point about the future for us minorities in the US. I understand that – but there is no other way for me to express it but by the way I am.

Case in point. There have been gains made by many blacks in the US in JUST the last 35 years or so. Now 35 years is not long compared to when the first Africans were brought to this country for bondage. That being said, if a non minority's mindset was a certain way for over four hundred years - then it will be almost impossible to change the majority of those mindsets in just 35. There is still the KKK, and now many more hate groups. Would you give the same advice to them? Would one advise them not to remember the past and the present because they would be affecting their future if they did? They would look at one that makes that statement as if one is crazy. They strongly feel that blacks are inferior and they should have no rights in America. Now – did they just think those thoughts yesterday or today – or have they been taught that and have felt that for many years. Many years = the past.

And some of the gains blacks made 35 years ago are being threatened today. There is the redistricting issue, busing, and public schools vs. private (vouchers) - and so on. Now if the past was to be forgotten - then I would think that statistics would be throw out the window in many quarters. Many decisions in this country are based on past statistics and such. Some minorities feel as if they can see the writing on the wall that this administration wants to take a step backwards by implementing laws to do just that.

If some did not appreciate my point about the first Africans to live in the US were Moors – then that’s their prerogative. I would bet that some were interested in it – and some may be so inclined to try to find out more information on the subject. Just because one doesn’t appreciate it does not mean all don’t. See my thing is – I like to learn. I would ask God for wisdom if He asked me what I wanted from Him, just as Solomon did. I can learn from a child and all ages – so I have a thirst for knowledge.

And Barrie_Dude – I hear ya. And I agree w/you. I did not ever say that all white people were like this or that. And I never said all black people have real issues w/this society. There were many white men that risked their lives and futures by helping blacks escape plantations via “The Underground Railroad.” I saw a special on that the other week during black history month and it was refreshing to behold. I already knew that blacks had help – but I never knew to what extent. There were plenty of whites from all walks of life helping to free blacks – and this process was carried out over many years – and it was a total success. To this day there are plenty of whites in the US that genuinely care about equality, justice and freedom for all. The world needs more people like you - Barrie_Dude.

We all need to be free in order to showcase all of our gifts, talents and creativity. And I would hope my daughter will be able to showcase her talents and who she is w/o any restrictions that are set in place because of her race. That’s all. Though I try to be an optimist for the most part – I am also a realist for the most part. The world today is getting worse and worse – and IMO – man, as an entire whole, will never make it better. So – individuals’ w/ideals have to continue to step up to the plate and be heard.

Barrie_Dude
Mar 10th, 2002, 07:10 PM
:o (Barrie Blushes):o I am so flattered! The point is that we need to treat ourselves and each other with respect!