OT: Racism in America

Did anyone watch the program on CNN? theres been a lot of talk on this subject lately.

A lot of ppl were talking when that guy who played Cramer on Seinfeld had his little temper tantrum, well on second hand, it wasnt very little at all.

There was also that show “Black. White.” which I thought was very interesting. Some people claim that racism doesnt exist, while some black people (usually young ones) don’t mind at all if you call them "the n word."
personally i find it very offesive.

what do you think about this (the whole thing)? :shrug:

I believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, and as such, we should treat them with love and respect, no matter what their skin color happens to be. This does not mean that we should blindly accept all their mistakes; sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a person is to humbly and gently point out their faults. However, when members of the same race dishonor one another by using racial slurs, they encourage the negative stereotypes that other members of their race are trying to wipe out.

[color=blue]I also believe that we should all have the same opportunities. The United States is made up of folks from all corners of the world. But I also feel that if you are going to make the US your home you should learn the language and try to support yourself. I work for a company that hires a vast number of (legal) immigrants-they for the most part do not speak english and feel that we should learn their language. They are supported in great part by the state and local government. If our grand/great grand parents could come and make a home here, supporting themselves why is it that these folks can’t… ok… I am sorry and will get off my soap box. :pout:

anne [/color]

i think the young one may have started something…

IMO i think everyone… no matter the color… has racsim in them. their is racism within the African American community that white folks don’t even know about. and i’ve seen whites hate on one another for what ever reasons. i don’t care how many times you say it, EVERYONE has racsim in them to a degree. some will admit to it but a lot won’t.
Michael Richards is a rasist because if he wasn’t then he never would have said what he said. it may have been buried deep inside. but either way it was uncalled for and inapproperiate. thats why i say everyone has it in them. if he didn’t no matter how mad he was at that man he would have never went racial. plain and simple. but yet and still he denys being a racsist. you cannot be a racsist and say what he said.
Black WHite was very interesting and annoying at the same time. Bruno is like Michael Richards. he would have thought that what MR said was ok. i have found that whites call each other the “n word” when i was in high school. that tripped me out. i had no problem with it as long as they didn’t call me that. i think now young AA don’t even care if whites call them that. i don’t think its ok. but thats just me. my husband who is white doesn’t like the word and gets mad if i say it. has told me several times that I was not allowed to say it. now that was some mess :noway: anyway he says he doesn’t want our children saying it. i don’t have a problem with the word nor do i have a problem with them saying it as long as they use it right. i know thats not right but they have to know the history behind it. i don’t know. its a very touchy subject and there are many questions behind it. i have heard many debates on the word from educated AA, from noneducated AA. and also from white folk. but the white folk are just mainly mad cause they know if they use it in wrong company they may get a beat down. so it just goes to what you know.

psammeadred~ if you look at it from an AA point of view… its not really dishonoring each other if i see someone i know and say “hey what up n****.” then i’m not dishonoring them. i know that some may feel that the use period is disrespectful… but some don’t think so. some AA think so and some don’t. its their prefernce to use the word or not to use it. its really complaicated and really not appropriate for this forum cause its a never ending debate. cause i can go into how you spell it, how it is said, what it means when said this way or that way.

Well, personally, I tend to be colorblind, genderblind and orientationblind. Primarily to be anything else gives me a reason to hate. Now, from what I believe, hate kills, whether now or later, it kills. I don’t really care what a person is, it’s what they have done to me, my family or my friends that sets the like or dislike factor.

But I will definitely agree that racism does exist. And its sad too, from what I’ve gathered over my years of life is that we already have too many excuses to kill each other, why do we need more?

Well, this is a complex (and touchy) issue. I think most of us would agree (at least publicly) that racism is bad. Though it may not as socially “acceptable” as it was in the past, it will take a lot for it to be eliminated, particularly at the cognitive level. I think some of you may find this article enlightening. I’m not sure I agree with the author’s conclusions (it seems to me that automatic thoughts are likely to be more resistant to change than outward behaviors), but I think the research findings have merit.

bell hooks has an interesting book on being color blind. i think its good reading.

i dont have any more new or interesting thoughts on the racism debate in america, other than it breaks my heart. all we can do is teach our children well. seth who is three understands that there are all colors of skin and he doesnt have much melanin in his skin which makes his skin lighter and some people have more melanin in their skin which makes their skin darker. i also always end the conversation with “i like all the different colors of skin dont you?”

i also read him a good mix of book by white, AA and asian authors so hes not indoctrinated with only white faces. we live in a primarily white area, but i didnt grow up that way and im worried about what it will do to him. my husband grew up here and was racist ie fearful of black skin until he came to live with me in houston. i lived in a primarily black neighborhood, and he got a job at the toll road and then at the post office and was basically immersed in black culture and within six months told me he was no longer fearful.

i really think that most of it is fear related … no exposure to anyone different from you. although there are true blue racists. houston is quite close to vidor and jaspar notorious racist towns… most likely related to land. thats an area of slavery settlement and black ranching and farming.

but i digress…

To me, people are individuals. There are good and bad apples on all sides. How I respond to an individual is determined by my own observation of that person. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

:heart: :heart: :heart:

There is an excellent book about the subject aimed at white people (but anyone can read it) called Uprooting racism by Paul Kivel. He is a white man writing about racism from his perspective. Then of course there is the famous Peggy McIntosh article that most freshman read in college (I assign it in every class I teach) You can google it and find it in lots of places but here’s one link:


Another good book is The Heart of Whiteness by Robert Jenen.

I am a doctoral student in Education and I write about racism, feminism and other forms of oppression. I think about this everyday. I read about it every day. I have read a lot of what koolbreeze was saying, that all of us are racist in many different ways. I think its becasue we live in an oppressive society. What that means is there is always a dominate oppressive force working against a repressed group. That is the way our economy works (capitalism) and depends on it. Imagine if we had no immigrants. Who would do all our dirty work? Someone has to do it and we are not a society that believes in cleaning up our own mess. Our country/culture was built on it. Many believe humans weren’t always like this. When we were tribal peoples we had to work together to survive. Now our survival is based on domination. Some believe that happened 5000 years ago with the advent of patriarchy. I’m not quuite sure but I do know its here now and untilwe all start recognizing it and trying to eliminate it and work for something better then racism, sexism, homophobia and all the rest will be with us. Asking questions like this is the first step in eliminating it so I appluad you.

As a doctoral student I am soooooo swamped with material. If you or anyone else needs to know titles of good books or articles, just let me know. You could start a book reading group of your friends! Good luck :muah:

oh, i hope i havent started anything bad :shifty:

:thinking: hmm, i dont know if would say that everyone has some degree of racism in them, but i have noticed that it is possible for people, very nice people, to be covertly racist without even realizing it. for example, i go to a predominanly white school, where they treat us black kids very nicely. though, i noticed that when new people would visit, showing interest in enrolling in our school, they would take lots of time with the white ones, giving them an extended tour, breaking down the procedures step by step and introducing them to several of the students. now when I first came to the school months ago, just about all they did was show my and my sister where our desks where, and tell us to read the manual. a new black student arrived a few weeks ago, and they introduced him to the basketball team (because he said that he plays basketball), explained just a few things to him, and said “be sure to read the manual.”

now as i see it, this is covert racism. i dont believe that they did it intentionally, but well, thats the way it happened.

Oh yeah, definitely started something. I imagine not many people have spoken on this thread (yet?) because we know how these threads can turn out. Very touchy. Touchy, touchy, touchy. And we’re all friends and want to stay that way.

My BA was in cultural anthro, and my advisor’s area of study was race theory and the construction of race/ethnicity/nationality, so I got a lot of that. My BA thesis was on representations of race in a few day time talk show episodes. Complicated issues, very complicated. Can study it your whole life and still have lots left to learn and understand. And therefore impossible for even those of us who don’t study this to articulate all we know and feel and have experienced in a post like this.

I think it is really impossible to not be racist in the world we live in, but that, of course, is going under my definition of racism. Usually people think of the word “racism” as meaning thinking something bad about someone because of their race, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that. I am doubtful of the human psyche’s ability to create categories and not have generalized characteristics associated with them, so as soon as you know that people are classified into “races” and you are able to group people into such groups, for my definition, you are racist. What I think might be helpful is if people didn’t have the knee jerk reaction to the word “racist” such that if someone said they were they immediately got angry and defensive, as if they were being called a bad person. I guess that’s how many use that word, but not me. It’s just a matter of what all goes into an individual’s racist ideas, not whether they are racist or not, as I take that as a given.

So many things one could talk about, really.

Racism… the ugly “r” word. It’s also a very scary word. Imagine being hated because of the colour of your skin! And imagine acting on that hate to hurt someone because of that skin colour. Scary scary stuff.

Racism exists here too on this tiny island. There are people who don’t think it exists but it really does. Racism between blacks (I call it house slave/ field slave hate), racism among Indians with their caste system, racism between Barbadian blacks and Barbadian whites and racism from outsiders (Canada/US/ Europe) to the black Barbadians - I could tell you some stories!! Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and we were wondering what it would take to get rid of racism - ALL racism… we still don’t have the answer. Teaching people about each other and to love each other and “we are the world blah blah blah” isn’t going to work if there is deep seated, home bred, generational hate that is spread in subtle ways at the dinner table, in the car going to school, at work, at church - YES church… it’s the subtle kind of racism and hate and segregation that keeps those old wounds and misguided ideas about each other open and festering. There are some people who don’t want to think that all people are equal, there are some people who are so mentally enslaved that they can’t see themselves as equals. There are those who speak up and become labelled as antagonists… all because someone’s pigmentation is different to another’s.

Very scary stuff…

I was born and raised in Mexico. I have dual (Mex/USA) nationality, due to the fact that my mother’s American born.

I was brought up to accept people for who they are, not their race, so to me it was a big shock when I came in contact with racism in the beginning.

Here in the US, because of my Mexican half, I’ve been called lazy, stupid, etc. It’s bad, but I’ve actually learned to ignore it.

I’ve a certificate as a secretary, CNA, have worked as a cook, cashier, stocker, translator, and have a License to practice Clinical Psychology.

Probably what ticks me off the most is the fact that I can’t work as a Psychologist in this country because it’s a Mexican degree and according to all the universities I’ve checked out, not even the BA will transfer because it’s “just not the same quality of education” :!!!: :!!!:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, racial diversity rules!! :heart: :cheering: :heart:

OMG, Carmell… di you know how long it took me to figure out you were NOT talking about Alcoholics Anonymous??? I was all “What the HECK do recovering alcoholics have to do with the N word???” :??

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

[size=1]And, Carmell… you HAVE to admit that I cant possibly be racist if it takes me 10 minutes to realize what you meant by AA… ;)[/size]

And, while Im here being embarrased and :roflhard: , please allow me to thank all of you for being so respectful about this very sensitive subject.

I, for one, have been very fortunate to grow up, live and work in very diverse communities. I get such a charge out of the differences in people. I LOVE to hear the stories behind traditions, ethnic, family or otherwise. That;s another thing about the knitting community. Gives me another chance to meet VERY different people with whom I have this one AWESOME thing in common. :heart:

So, I have no problem seeing the differences in people… I think its how one reacts to those differences that count. I choose to CELEBRATE them!

Huh. Though your concentration was in anthro, it seems like your views have been informed by some of the social cognition literature, Nikki. Very cool. My knowledge of the area is very limited (and much less interdisciplinary, I’m sorry to say), but we’re pretty much on the same page. I think I prefer the term “stereotyping” instead of “racism” for what you’re describing, though, mainly because the latter is such an emotionally charged word.

Anyway, I think you’re right that this is a touchy issue and very multi-faceted. We could talk about the many aspects of this subject forever. Though I felt it would be prudent to avoid this thread entirely (lest I be misunderstood), I reluctantly brought up the automatic stereotyping stuff (see earlier post) because I think it’s important to acknowledge that there is a cognitive component at work, and that whether we like it or not, we are hard-wired to process information in a certain way. To pretend that we don’t is naive, and to dismiss what is otherwise an adaptive trait. (And I should emphasize here that acknowleding that something exists is not the same as condoning its results.) I haven’t kept up with the research, but I came across this abstract today. Thought it was pretty interesting.

I agree with you about celebrating differences, Kelly. It’s funny but I made a similar comment (about yarn of all things) in an earlier, very different thread today. Weird, huh?

There is racist in every nationality. and one towards every race. Most of the time you hear about white people being the ones that are racist towards other races, and that is about it. and just from living in different areas of different states, I being a blonde haired blue eyed white woman, have been hated on by other races because they think I am “well off” just because of what I look like. and hate me because of that. which is a crock of poop. I am not “well off, rich , or even weathly” what ever which way you want to call it. I am just like any other hard working mother out there, no matter what color skin, hair or eyes I have. When its all boiled down to it, we all want the same things. a safe home for our families, good life for our children. to be healthy, life well and love. and that is the sad thing. we all do have bad apples (like another person said) in each race which ever we may be. and its true for most people, one bad apple can ruin it for the rest. its how we are able to get past that is the key. and if nobody can find the answer then we need to look harder.

I for one have been thru something that most other people will never have to go thru in their lives. and one thing I never could have imagined I would go thru at all. ever. and it had made me very nervous to take a step out of my home. to leave my house alone. I fear for my own safety. and its all because of a group of men who are all one race that is not of my own. Its are to see thru the bad apples, but I try the best I can at this point. and seek the help I know I need to get me thru it. But when things like this happen to anyone… its hard to see past it. and not be in fear of all others in that race. this is why we all need to work at it.

life will never be easy and there will always be issues. its just getting everyone to open up to see we are all the same… some of us just chose to act differently to make us different. we are not all bad no matter what color skin God gave us.

sorry for the rambling.

What I find interesting is the difference, in my very limited experience, between multicultural populations in big cities vs. smaller metropolitan areas. I grew up here in Boise, Idaho (which I know sounds like a hick-town with zenophobic values, but is much closer to a Pacific Northwest feel). Here, there were very few African American kids in school with me. However, rather than being discriminated against, they were readily accepted because they were different. It seemed that diffferent was cool. An AA (am I allowed to use that as a white person??) friend of mine spoke frequently of the difference between the attitude in Boise vs. his big-city hometown in Mississippi.

On the other hand, the Mexican American kids in school were generally shunned, probably because of their association with the migrant farm workers. So maybe Boise isn’t so different–maybe it’s having a large enough minority population to feel like a “threat”?



Thanks. :wink:

hey, i just realized :thinking: something.

they call black people "African American"s cuz they come from Africa right?

well white people come from Europe right? why dont they call them “European Americans”? (hmm, i guess its cuz they were the original americans. not native americans, but the original citizens of the U.S.)

pay no attention to this. i’m just thinking outloud i guess.