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Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Race & Ethnicity » African-American Issues Group Donate to DU
 
SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 04:46 PM
Original message
Please tell me how you cope?
I posted the thread against "reverse racism" because I don't believe there is any such thing. First, let me say, Im hispanic. I really am not trying to invade your forum, but there is never anyone in the civil rights forum and I'm trying to get feedback from minorities. I am just really disgusted with the latent racism that exists, even on DU. I can't believe the people that honestly believe whites are victimized by minorities, especially those of the black community. I can't believe how riddled with racist stereotypes people's responses are. One person spoke of how the "black football players stole all the girls" in his high school. One person claimed that a crime against a white person is the same as a crime against a black person, which I agree with except that a good portion of those tried differently are hate crimes. Those mexicans are polluting our world. Blacks never hire whites. Mexicans won't even try and learn English...blah blah blah. I live in a red state and I believe I have seen 2 other minorities in the entire time I've lived here. I really expected DU to be more understanding, but considering most of the responses are overwhelmingly that yes, blacks and hispanics do discriminate against whites just as badly as whites against minorities, I just don't see it. Am I being too sensitive?
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. I believe we all have our prejudices.
But reverse racism probably happens way less than what some whites claim it does. I also laugh at the fact that they bitch about affirmative action and most corporations in America are still probaboy 95% white!
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-21-04 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. You are not being too sensitive
Hi Semi,

I responded to a similar thread you started a few days ago. This might help:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Also, I certainly think you are welcome as a person of color (or any kind of person) to post in this group.
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GOPFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm a white guy who grew up in Indiana...
...moved to Washington DC and married an African-American woman. Needless to say I had a lot to learn about African-Americans, their culture and their perceptions of whites and race in America. I've had to work hard at shedding some of my deeply ingrained prejudices (and so has my wife!).

We all have prejudices, no matter how hard we try to eliminate them, no matter how sensitive we are. We almost never get any honest feedback from others who see it and take offense. I guess this is a long-winded way of saying thanks for telling us about the prejudices you've seen here in DU.

I think I can speak for most of us...we don't want to be prejudiced. If we say something that offends, its due to ignorance, not insensitivity. Speak up when someone writes something that offends you and explain why.

Yes, there may be times when you are overly sensitive. Hopefully the person who responds to you will be gentle in their admonition, but don't count on it. But know one thing, you have every right to be proud of your race and defend it when someone inadvertently offends you. To do anything less would be unfair to us all.

GOPFighter
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Wonderful post
I'm glad you shared that. :hi:
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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 01:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. I don't think you are being too sensitive, no
It was a real eye-opener for me to see so many Democrats here with such a poor understanding of racism and I am glad that you posted that thread.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 02:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not surprised the least...
Edited on Mon Nov-29-04 03:05 AM by FrenchieCat
Liberal doesn't mean non prejudiced. Many White liberals intend on not being prejudiced....but many still are....although they will either never admit to it...or if they do....try to rationalize it.

The prejudice isn't normally present when these liberals deal with "big picture" views...but tends to show up when they are confronted with issues that touch them on a personal level.

In the education sector, in particular....prejudice, stereotypes and plain fear is a reality. When a White child applies to a college.....their parents often fear that Affirmative Action might affect their child's chance of being accepted, so they don't "like" Affirmative Action. What they don't want to understand is that their child is competing with the 90% of Whites that will be admitted...and not the 10% others who may be given an edge due to historical reasons...and to promote diversity in the school.

White children are acclimated to believe that the minorities they might see on their campus are simply not really qualified and did not get in due to merit. Many times, this is simply non-factual. What may be true is that a minority's experiences and point of reference might be viewed by the admin as a more valuable asset to the school...than say...the fact that Dick Smith played soccer for 6 years. The fact that Rhonda Jackson's SAT score is 10 points lower than Dick Smith may not go against her admission considerations....because maybe Dick Smith's parents were able to afford the $1,500 it took to have him do an SAT review via a special class....while Rhonda Jackson's mother barely could afford the application fee to apply to the college.

But White parents (liberal or not) tend not to want to think in those terms. Plus if their child is rejected...hell, they can always blame "Affirmative Action"...even if they have no idea as to why the child was not accepted.

Same goes with Elementary Education. The fewer minorities attending a school, the "better" the school's academic reputation is. Now, it may be that socio economics is also part of the mix...but my point is that Liberals don't want their kids going to a majority minority school any more than conversatives.

Another elementary example is a phenomenon referred to as "White Flight". When too many Blacks (less than 3 families is OK)or other minority folks move into a neighborhood (including a "liberal neigborhood...whatever that is).....it is not unusual to eventually watch the neighborhood become less and less "White" as Whites begin to "flee" thinking that property values will only go down as more minorities move in. This "White Flight" is not relegated to being the actions of "conservatives" or "liberals" Whites ....because if they are able to...most will do it.

Bottomline is that we have a lot of work to do...and know, that it will get worse before it gets better...
Here's an example:

http://home.earthlink.net/~zastar/index.html
Undermining the Pell Grants

Daunted by soaring costs, as many as a quarter of low-income students with grades and test scores that make them prime college material no longer even apply to college. This is bad news at a time when skilled jobs are moving abroad and a college diploma has become the minimum price of admission to the new economy. The Bush administration, however, could actually make this problem worse by cutting the federal Pell grant program, which was developed to encourage poor and working-class students to pursue higher education.
More...







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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-30-04 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. I think most white people are just ignorant.
And I don't mean that in a derogatory way or to bash my white brothers and sisters. I mean that in an honest "they just don't know" kind of way.

I find that whites don't truly understand what it is people of color face on a daily basis until they get intimately involved with one, romantically, on a friendship basis, etc. For instance my last boyfriend was white, educated, very much a libertarian. He knew on an intellectual level that racism existed but could never understand why minorities got upset so much all the time until he dated me and he began to experience some of the prejudice first hand.

The education process I'm going through with my current SO is interesting. He is a white Australian and as such did not grow up with the kind of racial baggage Americans have (of course Australia has its own problems with race but that's a different post). He grew up in a different culture (different country, small homogenous town vs. large multicultural city I grew up in). He was really shocked to see the subtle, insidious forms of racism that I got up close.

I think until people "walk in another person's shoes" so to speak that they will not get it. I think the people crying about reverse racism are just fucking clueless. The only whites I ever hear talking about that are ones who have not experienced true prejudice in their life.

DU ought to know better and in many ways it does but sadly liberals seem to be no better than the rest of society on this.
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American liberal Donating Member (915 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-05-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I appreciate all your voices
I love shows like Oprah's when they do the "walk a mile in my footsteps" themes. The white guy who was made up to be black for a week or two and what it was like for him to do something as simple as hail a cab in Chicago. He also had to apply for a job, find a place to live...and then do the same things--at the same places--as himself. It was quite an eye-opening experience. Like GOPFighter said in another thread, now that racism is not as overt (lynchings, church burnings, high-pressure hoses, etc.), many people just do not clue into how insidious it is today. It's people of color--especially men--who bear the brunt of it. And the longer you go through life being followed around in stores, having people cross to the other side of the street so as not to have to walk past you, being passed over for promotions, watching how people of color are portrayed in the media (I actually wrote a research paper while an undergrad on what one researcher calls modern racism and how it's portrayed in the mainstream news media), the more internalized it can become, the more second-class a person can feel (I have to watch for it myself on a regular basis).

Reverse racism cannot exist. Semantically speaking, discrimination can only by practiced by the dominant culture against a minority culture. Racism is a form of discrimination and, therefore, cannot be applied to the minority population in this country. The whole idea is absurd and is just another example of neocon doublespeak like the Freedom Initiative (the legislation in the Senate that seeks to make sure all children are tested for mental illness and can be drugged without parents' consent) and the Clear Skies Act (or whatever Bush's poor excuse for an environmental policy is called). Reverse discrimination cannot exist as long as whites hold the balance of economic and political power in this country.
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patdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Agree about reverse racism...A Jew cannot be called a nazi by being
against nazism...it is the same thing...replace racism with nazism and you cannot have a Jew being called a nazi or a black being called a racist because they hate nazis...racists.

If I hate my opressor it does not make me an opressor..because I do not have the ability to be the opressor!

Cannot get much clearer than that!!
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. That was "Black Like Me '94"
by Joshua Solomon, a graduate student at the University of Maryland. He tried to repeat John Howard Griffin's journey thru' the south posing as a black in the late 50's. That journey became the best seller Black Like Me. John Griffin did it for a whole summer; Joshua Solomon didn't make it 7 days.

Solomon's story is at www.mdcbowen.org/p2/rm/white/solomon.html
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sometimes I don't. At least not well.
"Am I being too sensitive?" :eyes: If I had a penny for every time I asked myself that after having been accused of it, I would indeed be a VERY WEALTHY woman. I've been on this board for some years now. Mostly, I studiously avoid discussing racism with white liberals. It's W-A-Y too depressing and a losing proposition. If you're interested in the musings of a white guy who ACTUALLY GETS IT, Google Tim Wise. He's a very rare gem.

I "lost it" on a thread in the lounge last night where BACH was declared the founder of ALL modern music. All day today I've asked myself, "What set you off so?" Was it the blatant, ill-informed, inexperienced, cloistered, anglocentric, authoritarian declaration of some young white ninny, or was it something deeper that hit such a painful reflex in my soul? Normaleweise, I would not even respond to such idiotic proclamations. Last night I just wanted to beat this kid into the ground with a sledgehammer while exposing her as a FRAUD and a WILLFUL LIAR.
I ended up by excusing myself for responding so negatively. Go figure.



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m berst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. your mention of Bach reminded me
When Johannes Brahms was 21 and a lazy aristocratic youth, he looked for useful paying work, at his father's insistence, and spent a summer touring Europe accompanying Eduard Remanyi, a great Rom violinist, on the piano. Upon his return form the tour in September he published his series of Hungarian Dances and his career and fame as a musician were launched. There was an outcry from Rom musicians that he had pirated the music from Rom composers. By law, Rom people were not permitted to publish, nor were they permitted to file in court, and the controversy quickly passed away.

When I performed the music I always acknowledged that I had learned the music directly from Rom musicians, and that the music had originally been composed by Rom musicians and falsely attributed to Brahms.

Aside - the Rom people are the ethnic group popularly labeled with the derogatory term "Gypsy" with all of its associations with a rootless and shiftless existence, stealing horses, and kidnapping children. They are perhaps the most unique of all ethnic groups in the world, and one of the most persecuted and oppressed groups, as well.

This is still controversial today and I am occasionally confronted by an angry classical music fan over it after a concert.In the mid-90's I read a commentary by a music critic in London that I will paraphrase here -

"While it is no doubt true that Brahms did not actually compose the music, this should not diminish him in our eyes in the least. The original composers were not capable of bringing the music to a wider audience, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to Brahms for doing what they did not. In any case, it is not the melodies, rather the rich instrumentation Brahms added that is the source of the musical brilliance of the pieces."

Of course, this is a complete pack of lies. The Rom composers were prevented from presenting the music to a wider audience by racism in German society, the melodies are some of the most memorable of all time, and the instrumentation and voicings are quite different than anything else Bach wrote and were no doubt also pirated from the Rom musicians.

Your mention of the poster talking about Bach reminded me of this, and I too would have a problem with that (sort of glad I didn't see it).
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Sheer stupidity.
I studied Bach for decades, did arrangements, transcriptions, and did a lotta research. Bach wasn't the "founder" of "ALL modern music." He was an excellent thief who ripped off other composer's melodies and made something new with them. How could have he EVER written the "Art of the Fugue" without Johann Fux, Palestrina, Josquin DesPres, Machaut and all the others before him? He was a great composer, no doubt, but so was Duke Ellington.

I'm glad I wasn't there, I may not have been so charitable. I wouldn't have let her get away with throwing the term "modern" around without a verbal beating.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. thank you so much for that post mentioning Tim Wise
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 04:45 AM by SemperEadem
I just googled him and am so impressed with him because, as you so aptly put it he GETS it.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
14. Kicking threads!
:kick:
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