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Fri Sep 20, 2013, 10:33 PM

Commentary: Why White People Don't See Racism

Explaining the disconnect between Black and white Americans.

By Keith Boykin
Posted: 07/24/2013 12:59 PM EDT


Next week I will participate in a racial discrimination hearing against a Manhattan night club that frisked and searched me when I attended on a "Black night" but does not search patrons on mostly white nights.

Last week, I was accused of stealing an iPhone by a white woman in Miami who came up to me and asked if she could search my pockets to find it. It was not a joke or a pickup line.

And just last month, I had to pull out my own iPhone to photograph and report the license plate and medallion number of a taxicab driver in New York's Union Square who refused to pick me up and then drove across the street to pick up a white customer seconds later.

For many African-Americans, I suspect these stories aren't entirely surprising. As President Obama said last week, racism is a daily part of our lives. Like air and water, it's part of the environment in which we live. Yet far too many white Americans still live in denial about its persistence.

That's the conclusion to be drawn not just from anecdotal experience but from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Wednesday that showed a vast disparity between white and Black perceptions on race relations. The poll, conducted after George Zimmerman was acquitted for shooting unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, found that 52 percent of whites think race relations are "good" in America while 58 percent of Blacks describe race relations as "bad."

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2013/07/24/commentary-why-white-people-don-t-see-racism.html

26 replies, 3154 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Commentary: Why White People Don't See Racism (Original post)
MrScorpio Sep 2013 OP
Warpy Sep 2013 #1
Jamaal510 Sep 2013 #11
xfundy Sep 2013 #2
Triana Sep 2013 #3
TheDebbieDee Sep 2013 #4
Sanddog42 Sep 2013 #5
Tigress DEM Sep 2013 #8
SheilaT Sep 2013 #6
Tigress DEM Sep 2013 #7
NOLALady Sep 2013 #10
Tigress DEM Sep 2013 #12
Blue_Tires Oct 2013 #13
Scuba Sep 2013 #9
Tigress DEM Oct 2013 #14
unclesammysays Oct 2013 #15
Name removed Oct 2013 #16
MrScorpio Oct 2013 #23
Name removed Oct 2013 #17
arcane1 Oct 2013 #18
MrScorpio Oct 2013 #20
arcane1 Oct 2013 #21
MrScorpio Oct 2013 #25
bunnies Oct 2013 #24
MrScorpio Oct 2013 #19
Cooley Hurd Oct 2013 #22
Blue_Tires Dec 2013 #26

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri Sep 20, 2013, 10:57 PM

1. Good for him for recording this bullshit.

I hate to think it's still going on but I see it going on all around me, maybe less of it in this rainbow of a state, but it's there.

I blame shows like "Cops," where a vast majority of the bad guys are black. It's just not like that in real life and I wish everybody else would get with the program.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 22, 2013, 08:19 PM

11. Bill Cunningham's TV show

is another one that drives me insane when it comes to that. It is rare that he has anyone non-Black on his show, and the people who do appear act like such clowns that it makes me ashamed of what people from other races and backgrounds may think.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 12:26 AM

2. Of course it exists, anyone who claims otherwise is blind.

The last date I went out on, years ago, was with a dude who had a darker color than me (OK, black, but really just a nice deep brown). Places I had gone to before welcomed me without hesitation, but when we showed up together they reacted quite differently.

While waiting for an elevator to go up to a Cheesecake Factory when my True Christian™ hateful bitch sister came for a visit on another coast, she walked into the elevator, then ran out when some college guys got on. You guessed it, the college guys had dark tans, or lots of color, or whatever.

I was raised to be a redneck, a hateful asshole with a few bible quotes and an abhorrence to anything "other." I rejected that, and am still rejected by my asshole family.

I'm fine with that.

However, I do have a problem with the ongoing hatred among some in the POC who hate gays, using the same arguments used against them in the past.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 12:30 AM

3. Probably similar to why many males don't see sexism...

...or don't believe it still exists. It isn't as blatant anymore as it used to be and they don't experience it much themselves, so wrongly assume it must not exist anymore. But most women experience it still, especially if they lead "non-traditional" lives or work in a male-dominated field - or if they're over 40 and single / non-parent or some such thing. People just don't know how to deal with women like that, assume they're lesbians, frigid, or that something's "wrong" with them - even other women!

It's very hard to see others' experiences and therefore to fully understand them -- but at the same time it's very ignorant to assume that you know what life is like as a "minority" living in our still rather selectively-tuned society - or really, what anyone else's life is really like.

Jane Elliot's Brown-eye, Blue-Eye experiment illustrates this pretty well - it's brutal but sometimes that's what it takes to crack open the shell of understanding built-in and seemingly invisible (except for those who are subject to them) societal biases:




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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 12:39 AM

4. White people will never see racism unless they are adversely affected by it. As long as they

dominate this culture, then the racism that exists only exists in the victims' minds, as far as they can tell!

These same people are also in denial about the white privilege that is also present in this culture - the white privilege that they themselves benefit from doesn't exist, as far as they are concerned.

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Response to TheDebbieDee (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 01:37 AM

5. Isn't one of the privileges of white privilege

being blissfully unaware of white privilege?

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Response to TheDebbieDee (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 02:13 AM

8. You are missing ONE word... IGNORANT White people will never see racism unless they experience it.

From a young age I've done everything I can to be an open, loving person. Trying to follow the example of Christ.

Imperfect person that I am, I've done or said things that were classically racist out of ignorance. HOWEVER, once enlightened to each mistake, I learned not to do that again, because I care about other people and don't want things I do to be hurtful in any way.

I thank God for my blessings knowing that the color of my skin doesn't mean I deserve them any more than any other person.

I do think, though that most white people don't understand the scope of white privilege and especially now when the top 1% have their fists around so much of the commonwealth, billions that they have been doled out for free because they already HAD money. HOW little breathing room that leaves the rest of us and how much more important it is to stand together, pray together, fight together for justice and peace for all.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 01:45 AM

6. It is so very hard to see discrimination when you are not a part of it.

I'm white. Female. Now 65 years old.

I have seen the sexism all of my life. 45 years ago a black man I worked with was the only man I've ever known who truly understood what we women were complaining about. Because he'd been enduring the racism his entire life, and he understood.

I know that I probably have no idea how much privilege my white skin gives me. I have noticed, in the past ten years or so, that my age gives me privilege. Whenever I get a trivial traffic stop, I never get a ticket. Yes, I behave politely, but still . . . . I know that to most cops I look like mom, or possibly Grandma (gray hair helps here) and most of them are not going to give a ticket to Mom or Grandma. The most recent incident was several weeks ago. I apparently didn't stop as well as I should have at a stop sign. I dug through my glove compartment looking for registration and insurance information that are standard. I had every single insurance paper dating back to 2007 when I bought this car, but not the most current one. Likewise, I had old registration information, but not the current one. The nice officer told me that having neither was an automatic tow. I kept on searching. He could check and see that my registration really was current, and all the old insurance stuff indicated I probably really was current on that. So he gave me a huge break, and only issued the citation for lack of insurance. I had to go to traffic court a couple of weeks later. The insurance proof was on my kitchen counter. I went to the DMV and got a re-issue of the registration. Were I a different sort of person, younger, of color, a male, I might not have fared as well.

I try very hard every day to treat those who do not look like me with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Oh, and I've been telling my sons (now 30 and 26) for years now, that no matter how well they behave, they will get a ticket in circumstances that I will not. And they are also white, so they don't have the race-whammy against them.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 01:54 AM

7. I think things WERE getting better and that may have actually scared deep seated racists.

We had some of the worst battles behind us. Literal slavery of course. Voting rights.

Integration at school, public and private levels. Red Lining was busted and beginning to turn around, getting actual neighborhoods less segregated.

White people were really actually meeting more blacks personally. When you get to know someone they become a person to you and it's less about what they look like than who they are. Even TV and Movies started having less scary / stupid / stereotypical black characters and started having a wide variety of roles being played by really good actors/actresses.

More and more you could see successful black people in all walks of life. When Clinton got in office a lot of people joked that HE was our first black Prez because he's someone who is comfortable with regular folk and isn't putting on airs. He was in there getting the job done with some cheapo watch, but it kept time and did whatever other things he needed for his running. He loved jazz and respected the people it came from.

In some ways all the good stuff that happened, even though lots of bad did/does still happen, blew some of these racist's minds so they doubled and tripled their efforts to find ways to grind blacks and anyone who stands with them into the pavement.

I saw steady improvement with backlash here and there, but because people were so determined to move forward the progress was not being halted by stupid. Then came Reagan and his "welfare queen" crap. Fox News and their "scary black people" propaganda. Wealth redistribution to the top 1% via corporate welfare policies and tax inequality. The obsession with "voter fraud" because the more people vote and pay attention to what's going on, the less the greedy bastards can get away with behind closed doors.

All that crap, just to get the bottom 95% fighting with each other over a smaller and smaller piece of the pie. Faux News has made inroads with some people who would have naturally began seeing things clearly if they hadn't been slapped silly with the idea they are victims in need of a scapegoat.


I THINK that people who REALLY view all Americans (and people in general) as equals have just as good of opinion of the majority of blacks and are sick and tired of America persecuting people for the color of their skin. In THAT way race relations are still "good" in respect to having made progress.

But for people still living with the results of progress that seems to generate resentment in some whites who will spend their whole life energy to undoing that progress, denying that progress, destroying that progress and anyone who is in the vicinity of said progress... I can see how this shit is so old, it's got its own carbon dating system.

Just like back in the day there was MLK and Malcolm X there are people on both sides who think this whole civil rights debate has 2 different kinds of solutions. Bring everyone together and live in peace or bring on the violence and throw down.

I think so many people "get it" that MLK and Bobby Kennedy and Ghandi had the right ideas. Work for justice and do not let the crazies bring you down to their level.

But I also think this world is SO stressed that we can get tempted to think it might be easier to just go knock some sense into someone somehow. DEMs don't give in to that rage, but I think we still feel it. If I did give in, I'd be on the wrong side of the colored line beating the hell out of some racist stooge because I just can't stand it any more.

Trayvon was a tragedy and a terrible miscarriage of justice. It broke my heart. It set my rage on fire. It made me LOATHE Florida and their farce of a justice system even more than I had before.

UNFORTUNATELY.... there is even more double standards with the Stand Your Ground Law. Michael Giles followed that law, shot only in self defense and HE got 25 years. Why? Because he was bwb - black while breathing.

Going to post this petition in a few more places to get more signatures.
http://www.change.org/petitions/commute-the-25-year-mandatory-minimum-sentence-for-michael-giles?share_id=VkegMNwLyz&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition


I could go on and on, but even here I might be a bit much.

Thanks for listening.

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Response to Tigress DEM (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 01:25 PM

10. Good points.

Just one thing. In my community, people joked about Bill Clinton being the first Black President because of the way they seemed to be trying to take him down. It had nothing to do with Jazz. It had more to do with impeachment, accusations of being a murderer, etc.

There aren't many in my community who are surprised by the treatment of President Obama. Unfortunately, it was expected.

Also, many Whites knew Blacks personally during slavery as well as during the reign of Mr. Jim Crow. IMHO, Whites who believed that Blacks were (insert any stereotype here), they were being willfully ignorant.

JMHO

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Response to NOLALady (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 23, 2013, 01:15 AM

12. It's interesting to get the "tweaks" from the other side.

To me the "progress" aspect is that over the years blacks and whites got to know each other in situations where the blacks were on better footing financially and socially than back in the Jim Crow days. AND that many people felt that was a good thing, progress toward equality. But some never have wanted equality because they are too afraid or angry to deal with it.

Some whites that I expect to be more tolerant and not buy into stereotypes act surprised when I call them on their attitudes about white privilege. Like it isn't "their" fault didn't grow up with or meet many black people before the '80s or '90s. The practice of banks "redlining" areas kept whites and blacks primarily in their own neighborhoods. So people who grew up in what I think of as "white bread" neighborhoods may have been pretty tolerant conceptually, but with a general subconscious defensiveness against outsiders that would naturally include blacks.

They have the idea that they would treat blacks with respect and equality if they met them or dealt with them, but since it didn't happen, it wasn't put to the test much. Then Faux News with it's propaganda machine comes along and a lot get sucked in because it's easier to buy into a false panic and find a scape goat than solve real problems.

Being the type of person who stands up and wades in when there is a racial crossfire, while most of the smart sensible people on both sides head for the hills, I understand why whites looked at Clinton as being a "black" person. Been assumed even here on DU that I myself was black a few times. Which I took to mean, I'm just about fighting hard enough. In the Jim Crow era they would have been calling Clinton and probably me, a "ni**er lover". OK. So I love all God's children. BFD.

Although we are all different and that keeps life interesting, I subscribe to the theory that there is really only ONE race, the human race. We are an immature species that are often acting like a bunch of kids who draw up all these artificial reasons to feel better than others or to worry what others are thinking about us. Maybe I'm naive but I really think most people are kind and decent if given even 1/2 a chance to live that way. I've met exceptions to the rule, but I was an English major so an exception simply proves the rule where I come from.

Problem is, when people spend years being backed into a corner with no way out, they learn to expect it - it's a survival mechanism. Some people have given up on being kind and decent but that doesn't mean everyone with their color of skin has done so. I clearly see people on both sides acting out of fear and ignorance. Problem is, how does anyone know these days if someone is kind and decent if they don't take the time and give people the benefit of the doubt and risk getting hurt?

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Response to Tigress DEM (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 01:48 PM

13. +1

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2013, 07:40 AM

9. Old white guy kicks this thread. Thanks MrScorpio.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 10, 2013, 11:25 PM

14. I'll kick it again.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2013, 06:04 PM

15. Here's the Real Deal

 

First of all, I don't believe White Folks don't see racism. They Do. I am White by the way.
Today's racist is a "Closet Racist". They are ashamed of it. But that is no excuse. It is a Cowardly act to be a Closet Racist.
[link:http://www.UncleSammySays.US|

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Response to unclesammysays (Reply #15)


Response to unclesammysays (Reply #15)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:24 PM

23. You can put the link to your site in your posts by editing the signature line in your profile

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=profile&uid=308635

That way you DON'T have to post the link every time.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:18 PM

18. Huh?

When did Trayvon Martin get justice? I missed that

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:21 PM

20. Troll

He'll be gone soon

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #20)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:23 PM

21. D'oh!

And here my dumb ass is thinking I was missing something. Ah well, one slips past me now & then

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #21)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:26 PM

25. And he's gone!

Like magic!

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #20)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:25 PM

24. Poor baby's just lashing out because his teabagging party is such a joke.

Sad teabag troll haz a sad.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:20 PM

19. You're a perfect representative of your political gang, Obamalovingmuslim

Just keep being yourself.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 15, 2013, 08:23 PM

22. HI Loser!

It has got to SUCK to be you!

Derp!

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Thu Dec 5, 2013, 04:10 PM

26. kick for truth...

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