Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 01-09-2020, 06:36 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Nothing whatsoever. I want to be clear on this point, because it's important: it's not Ambivalid's black acquaintance's responsibility to convince Ambivalid to be antiracist. Being antiracist isn't a position you should have to be coddled and cajoled and enticed into. It's a position you should hold by virtue of not being an awful person.

Turn it around: are you convinced that dismantling racism is important?

If Ambivalid is approaching this as something that his black acquaintance has any obligation to do, then he's approaching it poorly.


I genuinely don't understand what distinction you're drawing here between thinking that your friend (who is black and talking about race) is stonewalling you, and my characterizing that as thinking that you're being treated unfairly by your black friend. Do you think that being stonewalled is fair treatment or something?

It really comes across as argument-through-nitpickery instead of addressing the underlying issue.

Just to further clarify a point, yes I think what can be initially characterized as "stonewalling", when the action is not understood, can ultimately be a fair treatment when the reasoning for such behavior is better understood, which would then most likely change the description of said behavior from "stonewalling" to something perhaps less inflammatory or accusatory. Or maybe "stonewalling" remains the accurate descriptor. Either way, i think its possible for that behavior to be justified.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 06:37 PM.
  #102  
Old 01-09-2020, 07:16 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 2,313
Ambivald, if you used the words "how can we fix this" or "what should we do" then that might explain your friend's response. (I don't know what you said, because you haven't really described your side of the conversation).

It could have been, from Mark's perspective:
Here I am, venting about how the the problem is in white patriarchy.
Here comes my white friend inviting me to start solving the problems with white patriarchy.
Uh, yeah no dude, that's on you as a white person.

It might also be as simple as, he just didn't want to try and open your eyes. Maybe he doesn't go to Facebook for the thrill of critical thinking like you do - no doubt, if he attempted to present a solution you would start picking it apart like MandaJO described. That's literally what critical thinking means. You might be motivated by the possibility of finding a better way to address the black man's plight, but from his perspective you would appear to take pleasure in shooting down his hopes for a better world.

It's not clear to bystanders (who don't know you) that you are asking in good faith. You can't rely on inflection or body language to reinforce your sincere desire to understand.

You would be a buzzkill to a venting session. Perhaps this explains the responses.

~Max
  #103  
Old 01-09-2020, 07:31 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Ambivald, if you used the words "how can we fix this" or "what should we do" then that might explain your friend's response. (I don't know what you said, because you haven't really described your side of the conversation).

It could have been, from Mark's perspective:
Here I am, venting about how the the problem is in white patriarchy.
Here comes my white friend inviting me to start solving the problems with white patriarchy.
Uh, yeah no dude, that's on you as a white person.

It might also be as simple as, he just didn't want to try and open your eyes. Maybe he doesn't go to Facebook for the thrill of critical thinking like you do - no doubt, if he attempted to present a solution you would start picking it apart like MandaJO described. That's literally what critical thinking means. You might be motivated by the possibility of finding a better way to address the black man's plight, but from his perspective you would appear to take pleasure in shooting down his hopes for a better world.

It's not clear to bystanders (who don't know you) that you are asking in good faith. You can't rely on inflection or body language to reinforce your sincere desire to understand.

You would be a buzzkill to a venting session. Perhaps this explains the responses.

~Max
Well actually Mark was posting *no* words of his own. So if this was in fact a tried and true venting session then it was expressed vicariously through the words and ideas of those people whose posts he chose to share. It was precisely because he only shared the words of others and contributed none of his own, in addition to the fact that while the shared posts discussed the what and why and how of this white supremacist patriarchy, they were notably silent on anything re the hows of combating this patriarchy, that i asked him what he thought about ways of combating the problem.

And ive talked about this rather extensively at this point, up until this latest interaction, Mark and I have shared *substantial* time on FB debating issues and having discussions in good faith. Ive had more substantial interactions with him than perhaps any other FB friend i have, with the possible exception of one or two others. He and I are pretty familiar with each other and he knows i always interact in good faith, and I, him.
  #104  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:08 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 2,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Well actually Mark was posting *no* words of his own. So if this was in fact a tried and true venting session then it was expressed vicariously through the words and ideas of those people whose posts he chose to share. It was precisely because he only shared the words of others and contributed none of his own, in addition to the fact that while the shared posts discussed the what and why and how of this white supremacist patriarchy, they were notably silent on anything re the hows of combating this patriarchy, that i asked him what he thought about ways of combating the problem.
As you acknowledged, people aren't obliged to fight your ignorance. The only way you can find out why this particular friend of yours didn't want to fight your ignorance on this particular occasion is by asking him. Even then, he is not obligated to give (much less debate) an answer.

Maybe that's disappointing to you. It shouldn't be - you shouldn't be disappointed when you don't receive a gift that was never promised to you.

~Max
  #105  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:22 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
As you acknowledged, people aren't obliged to fight your ignorance. The only way you can find out why this particular friend of yours didn't want to fight your ignorance on this particular occasion is by asking him. Even then, he is not obligated to give (much less debate) an answer.

Maybe that's disappointing to you. It shouldn't be - you shouldn't be disappointed when you don't receive a gift that was never promised to you.

~Max
Wow. Thanks for *that* gift. Jesus. I was never *disappointed* only confused and perplexed. And my god, how did the simple fact of not getting a response that i understood to a simple ask for a person's opinion on a post they shared on social media turn into me "not receiving a gift that was never promised to me"? Fucking christ almighty. I asked a dude about his take on a post he shared on FB. Lets not lose sight of what this actually was, ok? I need to retire for the night from this thread. My composure is beginning to wear thin and that's a sign i need to step away. Night all.
  #106  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:26 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Double post

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-09-2020 at 08:26 PM.
  #107  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:33 PM
Isamu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Osaka
Posts: 6,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
So if we want to decrease domestic abuse, talking to abused women about their experiences would be wrong?
Possibly. They didn't do anything except be abused. Better to talk to the abusers.
  #108  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:36 PM
you with the face is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,659
It sounds like the guy didn’t read your question as a sincere request to have ignorance fought, which would explain the rudeness of his response.

If it were me, I’d probably would’ve ignored you. And this is even with me assuming your question was in good faith. A white person cold calling you asking “what I can do about racism?” is like that annoying person who walks into the middle of a long, complicated movie and wants someone to clue them into the plot. That’s not a simple request. That’s an imposition.

There’s also this thing called emotional labor. The term is used a lot in reference to the invisible work women often assume because their male partners don’t take responsibility for it. Work like sending the thank you notes, planning the family vacations, remembering the birthdays, arranging the play dates, etc. But the frustration doesn’t just come from the endless toil and lack of appreciation for it. It’s the frustration of also having to deal with “well why didn’t you just tell me what to do?” when the woman finally confronts the man about the labor imbalance. Asking for help might seem to be the obvious answer to this problem, but it’s not as simple as that. Managing another person is labor too, and something ain’t right if a grown man has to be told to help when he sees his wife swamped with a basket of clothes to fold, a pot of water boiling over on the stove, and a crying baby. Her failure to utter the magic words “help” is not the problem. It’s him.

Last edited by you with the face; 01-09-2020 at 08:37 PM.
  #109  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:37 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 2,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
I was never *disappointed* only confused and perplexed. And my god, how did the simple fact of not getting a response that i understood to a simple ask for a person's opinion on a post they shared on social media turn into me "not receiving a gift that was never promised to me"?
Yowzers, maybe I went over the line there. Confused and perplexed makes sense, but I think it's unusually introspective of if I were to mull over it long enough to reach the question of "how can you fight that of which you are ignorant?"

Unusually introspective isn't bad, and you aren't here in front of me for my voice or body language to tell you this isn't an insult. It's not.

The answer is ironically to seek out the unknown, either directly or by asking other people. The irony is that you already knew that, and so did your friend when he told you to look elsewhere. It's not a laughing kind of irony, just a sort of sigh.

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 01-09-2020 at 08:39 PM.
  #110  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:58 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
If it were me, Iíd probably wouldíve ignored you. And this is even with me assuming your question was in good faith. A white person cold calling you asking ďwhat I can do about racism?Ē is like that annoying person who walks into the middle of a long, complicated movie and wants someone to clue them into the plot.
Sorry, i really am getting ready for bed so im not going to reply to the rest of your post. But i really like and respect you so i wanted to address this one part. I bolded the sentence i wanted to ask you about in particular. Am i merely sleep-deprived and misreading this or are you *actually* trying to say that i just approached him without a pre-existing context that made it a very normal behavior?
  #111  
Old 01-09-2020, 09:09 PM
you with the face is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Sorry, i really am getting ready for bed so im not going to reply to the rest of your post. But i really like and respect you so i wanted to address this one part. I bolded the sentence i wanted to ask you about in particular. Am i merely sleep-deprived and misreading this or are you *actually* trying to say that i just approached him without a pre-existing context that made it a very normal behavior?
I donít know how you approached him. Itís possible I missed this detail in the OP (itís rather lengthy and my eyes are tired) and itís also possible I missed you explain this in a subsequent post. If there was some build up that Iíve overlooked, then what I said might not apply.
  #112  
Old 01-09-2020, 09:35 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 21,131
I've had white people ask me what they can do to fight racism, and I never know what to say. I mean, I'm not some radical militant person. I'm not a psychologist, a sociologist, or a preacher woman. "Just be kind to people" is what I'm always tempted to say, but racism is much deeper than people just being rude or stingy. And we all know racists have a best friend who's black, so just being kind isn't enough.

I also kinda feel like the person asking me that question is looking for absolution rather than solution. Like they are looking for me to assure them they are good whitefolks doing their very best. Well, I don't wanna play that game.

"Google is your friend" is a glib answer and I totally get why it is frustrating to hear, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The internet is full of racism. Racist commentary, racist videos, articles about racism, etc. Racism isn't some hidden thing that only black people are privy to. Maybe pre-internet that was the case, but not now. So if you really want to fight racism, you've got a battleground right in your living room. You don't have to march in the street to be an activist. Shouting down racists edgelords and supporters of edgelords isn't going to change the world, but it is doing something. And it isn't that hard to do. You just have to care enough.
  #113  
Old 01-09-2020, 10:36 PM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 21,023
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
And 6 decades later, the onus is still on the PoC to do all the hurting? Naah, son.
Then don't expect anything to change.

It's not going to bother them much.
  #114  
Old 01-09-2020, 10:38 PM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 21,023
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Onus? I don't even get where you're going here. "Baring of wounds" is to get non-victimized people on board. But that's no fair and it's white people's turn? How does that make sense?
To be fair, a lot of white people are starting to complain about racism too so maybe it's working.
  #115  
Old 01-09-2020, 11:37 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
Bottom line that I think most here can agree on - there may be a venue and a time to have that conversation with this person who you have real world and virtual world relationships but his FB feed sharing that post wasn't it. Minimally it was perceived as hijacking from what it was, which was not for you and your needs, to being about you. His honest answer may very well be: "fuck if I know what you as an individual white dude can do, but this post isn't about that, so what you can do now is just be quiet and let us emote without thinking about you at all."

I still do believe that there is, in general, too much posturing and too little mutual listening but there is a place for venting that should be respected and not intruded upon.

No particular good reason why he should be a great source for solutions, any less ignorant about that than you. He is great source for what his experiences are and how they differ from those experiences of we who have had intersectional privileges.

The crime victim analogy is not a horrible one. The victim is expert on their experiences but is no expert on how to reduce crime. They are expert on how different response to crime might feel to them, about their reaction to the need to punish the criminal versus restorative justice, and such. When they are expressing anger about being the victim of a crime may not be the best time and place to ask what you do to help reduce the crime that you may be ignorantly complicit in.


Somewhat separate subject - as a white dude I think that reassuring any of us that we are one of the "good whitefolks" is dumb. It is the simplistic good guy bad guy cartoon view of issues that are not so simple. Those of us of good intentions, white, Black, LatinX, Asian, whatever, all have internalized stereotypes that impact our behaviors that we need to work to make ourselves more consciously aware of, are ignorant cogs in institutional machines that perpetuate inequities intergenerationally. My personal role in racism is not of a malintent but that does not absolve me. Once we categorize ourselves simplistically as one of the good guys we let ourselves off the hook of looking at our own behaviors with the critical eyes they deserve. (Of course this applies to everyone of all skin tones and identities.)
  #116  
Old 01-09-2020, 11:44 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
Well, also in fairness, after a certain number of traffic stop videos you kinda gotta figure enough wounds have been bared already.
  #117  
Old 01-10-2020, 12:40 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 27,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
Then don't expect anything to change.
This assumes PoCs hurting is the only way to affect change.

Believe me, I know from experience that is not the case.
  #118  
Old 01-10-2020, 09:41 AM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 21,023
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
This assumes PoCs hurting is the only way to affect change.

Believe me, I know from experience that is not the case.
The "hurting" is largely metaphorical here. We were talking about "baring wounds" which another way of saying that you have to educate white people because without your efforts there are very few white people who will actually educate themselves. And without educated white people, you don't have the political or societal support necessary for the necessary changes.

Too many of the white people who think they are "woke" are only woke at a "meme" level of understanding. They understand racism in bumper sticker slogans and with about as much depth and complexity of a teenager.

So if you want to tell white people that racism is their problem so they should go and figure it out themselves, they will almost assuredly figure out the wrong things or just say "fuck it, I guess it's not much of a problem after all"

The problem that a lot of black people have is that the racism is kind of hard to explain without making it sound somewhat trivial compared to their own feelings. Some of that is due to over-sensitivity developed over centuries of racism and some of it is due the fact that racism is in fact much reduced over the last 60 years so that the racism that remains is more difficult to identify and articulate.
  #119  
Old 01-10-2020, 09:53 AM
filmore is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
So if you want to tell white people that racism is their problem so they should go and figure it out themselves, they will almost assuredly figure out the wrong things or just say "fuck it, I guess it's not much of a problem after all"
I was thinking this too. The type of person who is going to go through a lot of effort to figure this out is likely the kind of person who already is enlightened on the matter. If someone who is ignorant on the matter tries to work through it on their own, I would think they would be making a lot of incorrect assumptions about the nature of the problem and likely come to incorrect conclusions. And not just with racism. This seems like it would be a common pattern with any type of similar situation. If the person with the problem expects the person without the problem to figure things out on their own, there's a good chance the problem won't be fixed.
  #120  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:09 AM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
Meh.

It takes a certain level of willful ignorance to be unaware of significant racism that continues to exist in our society. Most Americans, inclusive of just white Americans, are not that willfully ignorant. 68% of whites recognize "that racial discrimination against blacks is a serious problem in this country." That's the issue that baring your hurts informs others about. And maybe that shouting down edgelords can have some small impact on.

The disconnect is at the level of understanding what privilege means. While 47% of white Americans understand that "white people benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have", half do not. The people in the best position to make an impact on the half that do not get that, to explain how the intersection of race and economics is more than additive, are the near half of whites who do. And the sell is hardest to those whites who do not experience themselves as having privilege at all, who experience themselves as dropping down the SES ladder, most often those whites without college education, or those who even while doing well on the ladder feel they (or theirs) are discriminated against.

Making that sale is just the first, albeit very necessary, task. Doubt Ambi's friend has any special insight on how to do that. I don't either. The next task, that is a job for all of us, is then what to do at a policy level to impact that fairly and effectively, IOW, better than we have, and selling those actions politically.
  #121  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:18 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I was thinking this too. The type of person who is going to go through a lot of effort to figure this out is likely the kind of person who already is enlightened on the matter. If someone who is ignorant on the matter tries to work through it on their own, I would think they would be making a lot of incorrect assumptions about the nature of the problem and likely come to incorrect conclusions. And not just with racism. This seems like it would be a common pattern with any type of similar situation. If the person with the problem expects the person without the problem to figure things out on their own, there's a good chance the problem won't be fixed.
This is why I think it's incumbent on white people to work at persuading other white people that there's a problem, and why it's incumbent on white people to work on figuring out how to solve this problem. Even if it means white people get subjected to glib, sophomoric taunts about how they're appointing themselves the spokesperson for black people; we'll just have to bear up under that foolishness.
  #122  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:35 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 27,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
The "hurting" is largely metaphorical here.
Like fuck it is. It's very real. People die from it.

Last edited by MrDibble; 01-10-2020 at 11:37 AM.
  #123  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:47 AM
filmore is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,750
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
The disconnect is at the level of understanding what privilege means. While 47% of white Americans understand that "white people benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have", half do not. The people in the best position to make an impact on the half that do not get that, to explain how the intersection of race and economics is more than additive, are the near half of whites who do. And the sell is hardest to those whites who do not experience themselves as having privilege at all, who experience themselves as dropping down the SES ladder, most often those whites without college education, or those who even while doing well on the ladder feel they (or theirs) are discriminated against.

Making that sale is just the first, albeit very necessary, task. Doubt Ambi's friend has any special insight on how to do that. I don't either. The next task, that is a job for all of us, is then what to do at a policy level to impact that fairly and effectively, IOW, better than we have, and selling those actions politically.
If the friend can put a personal perspective on the situation, it can greatly help with understanding the problem. I think it's a stretch to expect a person who is blind to a situation figure that situation out. Likely, the person will try to understand from a perspective of their own assumptions and biases, which likely didn't see the problem in the first place.

For example, when I was young, I didn't think Affirmative Action was needed anymore. Since many of the explicit barriers for minorities had been removed, I thought that was sufficient. But over the years, I've learned that there are still many cultural, social, and economic boundaries that still exist. The HR person may discard a resume because the name sounds foreign or from a minority group. The person may not have as good of an academic and extra curricular background because of the neighborhood they grew up in. Even though explicit barriers are not there, we still need AA to overcome these larger issues. But in my 20's, I didn't understand all that. If I had a minority friend who was saying that I had white privilege and that I had to figure out what that meant, I would likely not understand his struggles. And if I did try to figure it out, I would likely go down the wrong path. I would probably assume he meant more traditional racism, like Jim Crow laws. But if instead he told me how he had to make his name sound whiter when he applied for a job, it would greatly clarify the kinds of issues he's dealing with.
  #124  
Old 01-10-2020, 12:08 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
LHOD bluntly put, the thing is that getting "subjected to glib, sophomoric taunts about how they're appointing themselves the spokesperson for black people" is a possible sign of doing a poor job "at persuading other white people that there's a problem". (Although maybe a better job of trying convince yourself that you personally are one of the good whitefolks. )

So white people to white people - and hopefully accepting that the harder sell is getting the half of white people who do not get the privilege thing to understand it - maybe even using your pedagogical expertise - how do we effectively make that sell, what do we propose to do to address the issue of privilege, and how do we sell those policies to those whose own experienced reality is not feeling very privileged at all?


filmore what you describe are implicit and institutional factors and I strongly suspect that those unimpressed by the conclusive evidence that it exists are more likely than not going to hear their friend as being paranoid and blaming imagined racism for their failure to get the job that they did not get for some other reason. There is a parallel here with weather vs climate, if that makes sense.
  #125  
Old 01-10-2020, 12:49 PM
Manda JO is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 11,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
If the friend can put a personal perspective on the situation, it can greatly help with understanding the problem. I think it's a stretch to expect a person who is blind to a situation figure that situation out. Likely, the person will try to understand from a perspective of their own assumptions and biases, which likely didn't see the problem in the first place.

For example, when I was young, I didn't think Affirmative Action was needed anymore. Since many of the explicit barriers for minorities had been removed, I thought that was sufficient. But over the years, I've learned that there are still many cultural, social, and economic boundaries that still exist. The HR person may discard a resume because the name sounds foreign or from a minority group. The person may not have as good of an academic and extra curricular background because of the neighborhood they grew up in. Even though explicit barriers are not there, we still need AA to overcome these larger issues. But in my 20's, I didn't understand all that. If I had a minority friend who was saying that I had white privilege and that I had to figure out what that meant, I would likely not understand his struggles. And if I did try to figure it out, I would likely go down the wrong path. I would probably assume he meant more traditional racism, like Jim Crow laws. But if instead he told me how he had to make his name sound whiter when he applied for a job, it would greatly clarify the kinds of issues he's dealing with.
Absolutely it helps to have conversations with people of color. I've had many conversations about these things with all sorts of people. But it's also reasonable for a person of color not to want to always have to stop and explain the same shit all over again. It's really, really reasonable for a person of color not to want their relationships with white people to be that of the "exotic" one, who explain the strange and foreign world they live in. And it's important to acknowledge that "Well, what do you expect ME to do about it?" is a question that's often not asked in good faith, by people that are at best seeking absolution and at worst by people who are looking for a pretext to characterize people of color as acting in bad faith. It has a degree of self-absorption to it: okay, but let's make this conversation relevant to me.

We can have these conversations. But white people can also try to educate themselves. There's tons of essay and accounts and discussions already out there about these issues. Google is, in fact, your friend.
  #126  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:28 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 36,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
LHOD bluntly put, the thing is that getting "subjected to glib, sophomoric taunts about how they're appointing themselves the spokesperson for black people" is a possible sign of doing a poor job "at persuading other white people that there's a problem". (Although maybe a better job of trying convince yourself that you personally are one of the good whitefolks. )

So white people to white people - and hopefully accepting that the harder sell is getting the half of white people who do not get the privilege thing to understand it - maybe even using your pedagogical expertise - how do we effectively make that sell, what do we propose to do to address the issue of privilege, and how do we sell those policies to those whose own experienced reality is not feeling very privileged at all?
There's no "selling" to folks whose minds aren't open. I think we make the best case we can, backed up by data, personal experience, and the accounts of folks of color. That's how my opinion was changed. And all tools can be on the table -- satire, gentle discussion, mockery, harsh criticism, and even shunning and shaming. All of these can be effective, when done well, in certain circumstances.
  #127  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:33 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
The problem is everyone thinks they do it well.
  #128  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:21 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
There's no "selling" to folks whose minds aren't open. ...
Bullshit. The world is not divided in minds that are open or not with nothing in-between. Most are somewhere in-between.

I'll readily grant that the 30% of white Americans who don't think that "racial discrimination against blacks is a serious problem" in this country are going to be the toughest to market the concept of privilege as an amenable issue to. But there are a fair number of white Americans who do say that racism is a serious problem yet do not agree that "white people benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have" and who therefore would be less likely on board with policy action to address it.

They are the target market.

I for one am not saying I do it well. My contact with much of that group is limited and the venues I do have with those who I suspect are of that belief are not the best ones for such discussions. I'm pretty ineffective honestly if just for that lack of venue and what I do do is usually the soft sell. I hope it has made some impact over the years but I don't, can't really know.

OTOH I have enough experience selling behavioral change to have some strong opinions on what is counterproductive and what works in general. We accomplish our own behavioral change by first believing that what do actually makes a difference. I need to believe that I can get better at recognizing how my implicit beliefs impact my behaviors and control for it better and to believe that it impacts the lives of people around me. Motivating behavioral change in others generally requires a connection, an alliance, which begins with having some empathy for and understanding of where they are at, and from there having things they can do that can make a positive difference - specific policies and candidates to support for example ...
  #129  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:35 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 36,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Bullshit. The world is not divided in minds that are open or not with nothing in-between. Most are somewhere in-between.

I'll readily grant that the 30% of white Americans who don't think that "racial discrimination against blacks is a serious problem" in this country are going to be the toughest to market the concept of privilege as an amenable issue to. But there are a fair number of white Americans who do say that racism is a serious problem yet do not agree that "white people benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have" and who therefore would be less likely on board with policy action to address it.

They are the target market.

I for one am not saying I do it well. My contact with much of that group is limited and the venues I do have with those who I suspect are of that belief are not the best ones for such discussions. I'm pretty ineffective honestly if just for that lack of venue and what I do do is usually the soft sell. I hope it has made some impact over the years but I don't, can't really know.

OTOH I have enough experience selling behavioral change to have some strong opinions on what is counterproductive and what works in general. We accomplish our own behavioral change by first believing that what do actually makes a difference. I need to believe that I can get better at recognizing how my implicit beliefs impact my behaviors and control for it better and to believe that it impacts the lives of people around me. Motivating behavioral change in others generally requires a connection, an alliance, which begins with having some empathy for and understanding of where they are at, and from there having things they can do that can make a positive difference - specific policies and candidates to support for example ...
"In between" is open. In any case, the rest of this doesn't really seem to conflict with what I recommended.
  #130  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:23 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
The problem is everyone thinks they do it well.
Oh fuck no I don't. But I tell my kids you gotta keep trying something to get good at it.

As andy points out, there are plenty of ways for persuasion to work. Folks who are hostile want you to believe that the only appropriate method is seduction: you gotta flatter and cajole and offer them backrubs and mints on their pillows, or else they don't have to listen to anything.

But I strongly disagree. There are plenty of ways to approach people, depending on where they are:

-Strongly and actively antiracist: shut up and listen to them to learn.
-Well-intentioned and equally informed: talk and share information and ideas.
-Well-intentioned and uninformed: Give the information you have.
-Neutral: ??? How is someone neutral about this topic, when it's among the biggest dynamics in our society? Maybe they're like five years old? Educate them.
-Fragile and defensive but otherwise well-intentioned: this may be where some flattery and cajoling is appropriate.
-Fragile and defensive and hostile: straight talk, blunt, don't allow excuses.
-Smarmy and hostile: ostracize and minimize their social influence. They're not likely to be persuadable, but they can be marginalized.

When someone is making smarmy "Oh I didn't realize you were white, how lovely you got appointed the spokesperson for black people" posts, they're one step away from calling you a race traitor. They're not high on the list of persuadable people, and I don't see any particular ROI on addressing them in the second person.
  #131  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:32 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 21,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
If the friend can put a personal perspective on the situation, it can greatly help with understanding the problem. I think it's a stretch to expect a person who is blind to a situation figure that situation out. Likely, the person will try to understand from a perspective of their own assumptions and biases, which likely didn't see the problem in the first place.



For example, when I was young, I didn't think Affirmative Action was needed anymore. Since many of the explicit barriers for minorities had been removed, I thought that was sufficient. But over the years, I've learned that there are still many cultural, social, and economic boundaries that still exist. The HR person may discard a resume because the name sounds foreign or from a minority group. The person may not have as good of an academic and extra curricular background because of the neighborhood they grew up in. Even though explicit barriers are not there, we still need AA to overcome these larger issues. But in my 20's, I didn't understand all that. If I had a minority friend who was saying that I had white privilege and that I had to figure out what that meant, I would likely not understand his struggles. And if I did try to figure it out, I would likely go down the wrong path. I would probably assume he meant more traditional racism, like Jim Crow laws. But if instead he told me how he had to make his name sound whiter when he applied for a job, it would greatly clarify the kinds of issues he's dealing with.
In my experience relaying a personal experience with racism opens me up for attack. It is an invitation for an argument, one where I am expected to provide irrefutable proof before I utter the word "racist".

It puts me at risk of being labeled whiny or hypersensitive. I might have to endure a sermon.

"How did you know that that salesperson ignored you because of your race? Maybe they ignored you because they ignore everyone! Have you ever thought of that? Salespeople ignore me all the time and it doesn't bother me none! Why does it bother you so much?"

If you don't believe this happens, all you have to do is do a SDMB search on "microaggressions". You will find a lot of respectful listeners, to be sure. But you will also find a lot of posters who are intent on painting anyone who complains of anti-black racism of being a hysterical whiny tittybaby.

When you experience this kind of hostility enough times, you learn that there is a cost to "dialoguing" with whites. Especially whites who are new to the discourse.

Also, not all members of a minority group experience oppression to the same degree. I would not want someone to think that racism must not be that big of deal simply because I can't come up with a tragic personal story.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
__________________
What the hell is a signature?
  #132  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:47 PM
Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 8,066
I work with alot of black people. Often I'm the only white person working in an area or in the break room.

I have come to the conclusion that most black people enjoy their own little bubble. They like the fact that when they walk into a room they can spot another black person and know almost at an instant they now have a friend. In groups like at work they feel free to open up around each other. I've had times when their is a group of them together, I walk up, and the conversation suddenly changes. I remember one old black man I used to work with, Cecil. Nice man. professional acting. Friendly but pretty quiet. Until he was around a group of other black men and women and then Cecil would let loose and talk up a storm and he would also change his speech patterns. But if a white guy walked in suddenly he would get quiet again. So nobody is being rude or anything. Cecil just had his preferences of who he liked to open up with.

Its only human. We all like to segregate ourselves. You see it by age and gender also.

So back to the op, it was a FB discussion among a group of like minded individuals and they didnt want you in. If you wish to "beak in" so to speak, look for something in common like sports, tv, food etc... But realize they have their own group when it comes to racial issues.
  #133  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:52 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Oh fuck no I don't. But I tell my kids you gotta keep trying something to get good at it.

As andy points out, there are plenty of ways for persuasion to work. Folks who are hostile want you to believe that the only appropriate method is seduction: you gotta flatter and cajole and offer them backrubs and mints on their pillows, or else they don't have to listen to anything.

But I strongly disagree. There are plenty of ways to approach people, depending on where they are:

-Strongly and actively antiracist: shut up and listen to them to learn.
-Well-intentioned and equally informed: talk and share information and ideas.
-Well-intentioned and uninformed: Give the information you have.
-Neutral: ??? How is someone neutral about this topic, when it's among the biggest dynamics in our society? Maybe they're like five years old? Educate them.
-Fragile and defensive but otherwise well-intentioned: this may be where some flattery and cajoling is appropriate.
-Fragile and defensive and hostile: straight talk, blunt, don't allow excuses.
-Smarmy and hostile: ostracize and minimize their social influence. They're not likely to be persuadable, but they can be marginalized..
You sure have a well mapped out battle plan and very strong animosity towards "backrubs and mints" for a guy who doesn't fancy himself an awesome persuader.
  #134  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:53 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Oh fuck no I don't. But I tell my kids you gotta keep trying something to get good at it.

As andy points out, there are plenty of ways for persuasion to work. Folks who are hostile want you to believe that the only appropriate method is seduction: you gotta flatter and cajole and offer them backrubs and mints on their pillows, or else they don't have to listen to anything.

But I strongly disagree. There are plenty of ways to approach people, depending on where they are:

-Strongly and actively antiracist: shut up and listen to them to learn.
-Well-intentioned and equally informed: talk and share information and ideas.
-Well-intentioned and uninformed: Give the information you have.
-Neutral: ??? How is someone neutral about this topic, when it's among the biggest dynamics in our society? Maybe they're like five years old? Educate them.
-Fragile and defensive but otherwise well-intentioned: this may be where some flattery and cajoling is appropriate.
-Fragile and defensive and hostile: straight talk, blunt, don't allow excuses.
-Smarmy and hostile: ostracize and minimize their social influence. They're not likely to be persuadable, but they can be marginalized.

When someone is making smarmy "Oh I didn't realize you were white, how lovely you got appointed the spokesperson for black people" posts, they're one step away from calling you a race traitor. They're not high on the list of persuadable people, and I don't see any particular ROI on addressing them in the second person.
Practicing doing the same thing in the same wrong way over and over again does not get you good at it; it only gets you more ingrained in your wrong way.

You seem to think that the issue is "Are you for racism or against it?" and the work is to get more to say they are on team "against it." Your list of "where people are" is frankly laughable. Well-intentioned, fragile and defensive, or hostile? Cartoonish at best and more harmfully, condescending.

I am pretty damn confident that very few people would say they are FOR racism or even neutral, inclusive of those who express racist beliefs pretty explicitly. Most of even that 30% of white Americans who do not even believe that racial discrimination against Blacks is a serious issue in this country don't think of themselves as racist, they are against it. They just don't agree with what is and is not racist.

iiandyiiii sorry if I misinterpreted but it read to me like defining those who are not reached as therefore close minded and able to be dismissed from any effort, instead of seeing the possibility that for some it is more that we are failing to convince a mind that is slightly open because we suck at sales.

Last edited by DSeid; 01-10-2020 at 04:55 PM.
  #135  
Old 01-10-2020, 05:19 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
You sure have a well mapped out battle plan and very strong animosity towards "backrubs and mints" for a guy who doesn't fancy himself an awesome persuader.
Cool, dude!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
You seem to think that the issue is "Are you for racism or against it?" and the work is to get more to say they are on team "against it." Your list of "where people are" is frankly laughable. Well-intentioned, fragile and defensive, or hostile? Cartoonish at best and more harmfully, condescending.
I mean, I think your characterization of what I'm saying is cartoonish at best, and don't think there's much percentage to responding further to you. So cool.
  #136  
Old 01-10-2020, 05:23 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
Is it cool? You lay out the 7 types of ignorant racist, the optimal strategy for each but hey, you're a humble guy. No expert. Aw, shucks just doin my little bit.
  #137  
Old 01-11-2020, 01:44 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 23,113
It is SO cool!


To start back at the op itself - While insulting Ambi as white patriarchy incarnate was way off the mark, it seems clear that a well intended white dude looking for advice on how to help fight racism from his Black friend is looking for expertise where there is no reason to expect it, and maybe hijacking a vent session.

Yes, the impacted sharing personal stories is in general typically more of a potent tool for persuasion than statistics are, but runs into the "weather versus climate" problem and is a large amount of emotional work for those sharing.

So we move on to - have some coffee, talk amongst yourselves: what can we white folks do? Discuss. (To be clear non-white folk are welcome to opine too! But are not looked to as sherpas. )

Here's my stab.

To me one big task is for each of us as individuals to give our own actions a very self-critical honest unflinching assessment that does not start with the self-presumption that we are one of the good ones and that the problem is what other people do. For most of us our first reaction to that ask is defensiveness. I behave in ways that go against what I honestly believe are my core values? No I don't? Damn. Yes I do. It is hard for those of us with good intentions to work on becoming aware of how, despite our conscious goals and good intentions, our implicit beliefs lead us to still behave in ways that have racist impacts, of how we participate in systems that have racist impacts without even recognizing it, and trying to alter those patterns, just like we try to change other bad harmful habits. Personally I have a hard time even stopping picking at my hangnails, no matter how much my wife yells at me about it, and these harmful ingrained subconscious habits of thought are more pernicious than that. Catching ourselves when we are without realizing it engaging in a lazy bad habit of mind and substituting it with a different behavior, is hard ... but it is impossible if we don't even accept that we do it and make a plan to change. (There's even research on what are effective tactics to reduce our implicit biases.) And of course we should try to have positive impact within the institutions we participate in.

Calling out explicit racism in the context of being within a group in which that gains you social currency, in real life or virtually, is possibly okay, but being the one bystander to speak up when someone is casually engaging in speech that demeans others, when no one else is speaking up, when others may not agree with you and it likely gains you no social currency with that crowd, quite the opposite, being the voice that says it is not okay to tell that joke whatever, that is more impressive and more meaningful. Doing that does not change minds but it does help to establish better norms of social behavior.

Be honest with ourselves that doing things that are social currency in the room we are in is self-pleasuring behavior more than things that matter. Preaching to the choir saves no souls. It just gives you the fun of hearing some "Amen!"s. Sometimes we need that but we can be honest with ourselves about it.

Support policies and candidates that would make a positive difference and help get the like-minded vote out.

Work on persuading that large group of fellow white folks who like you think "racism is bad" as a value statement and that it is a serious problem, yet do not believe that Blacks are systematically disadvantaged relative to whites in our society, do not believe anything they do has racist impacts, and/or are resistant to supporting policies and candidates that you think would help make that positive difference. As we try to do that we should reflect on the difficulty each of us has with seeing how our own actions have racist impacts despite our conscious beliefs and values. Making a respectful human connection and appealing to their values, recognizing that telling someone who is dropping down the SES ladder that they are solely the privilege beneficiaries without any empathy for their real problems is not likely to persuade too many, is not "flattery and cajoling." It is basic sales smarts.

Recognize that calling someone who is of even a slightly open mind (and that is a pretty big number, even if we don't make the sale too often) "racist" pushes them further into the tribe that reassures them that they most certainly are not.

Last edited by DSeid; 01-11-2020 at 01:47 PM.
  #138  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:07 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 8,187
I have always wished that the discussion on race would start addressing human nature more than it does the superficial symptoms that we see every day. Once we understand human nature we become less prone to blaming and carrying resentments. I don't believe there is any sinister plot at work keeping racism alive. Whites could obviously do more to try and understand the plight of the minorities and take steps to make changes but they simply lack the incentive to do so. Minorities might do well to realize that their best strategy to becoming mainstream is to become mainstream as much as possible and still realize they are fighting an uphill battle If we are looking for fairness we are setting ourselves up to be angry because no where in nature does fairness play a part in anything.
  #139  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:49 PM
Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
No one would ever advise someone who expressed a sincere desire to do good and learn how to be anti-racist and was castigated and called names for it, with condescension and the implication they were to blame.
Suppose I live in a household that keeps selfishly throwing their trash in the neighbors' yard, and the neighbors have had to spend years cleaning up our household's trash.

And I eventually come to the realization that throwing trash in the neighbors' yard is shitty behavior, and I have a sincere desire to do good and learn how to effectively combat my household's shitty selfish trash-throwing proclivities.

If I go over to the neighbors' yard where they're busy cleaning up my household's trash and ask them to teach me how to stand up against our trash-throwing, I think a very reasonable case can be made that I'm being kind of clueless and inconsiderate.

I mean, isn't it bad enough that the neighbors have had to cope with our thrown trash all these years? Now they're also being expected to devote time and energy to helping me figure out how to be a better anti-trash-throwing advocate?

I don't see how you can really blame the neighbors for not being so super impressed and grateful about my "sincere desire to do good" that they jump at the chance to become my unpaid life coach.
  #140  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:54 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 36,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
I have always wished that the discussion on race would start addressing human nature more than it does the superficial symptoms that we see every day. Once we understand human nature we become less prone to blaming and carrying resentments. I don't believe there is any sinister plot at work keeping racism alive. Whites could obviously do more to try and understand the plight of the minorities and take steps to make changes but they simply lack the incentive to do so. Minorities might do well to realize that their best strategy to becoming mainstream is to become mainstream as much as possible and still realize they are fighting an uphill battle If we are looking for fairness we are setting ourselves up to be angry because no where in nature does fairness play a part in anything.
Racism isn't human nature -- the system was set up with a purpose. Before 1700, there were actually wealthy black landowning families in Virginia. There were even mixed-race families! But all this was purposefully outlawed -- not because of human nature, but because wealthy white landowners were afraid of the competition, and afraid that poor whites might find common cause with poor blacks.

Racism is a tool (one of many) for the system to maintain corruption, wealth, and power. It's not in any way "natural". America was set up with racism embedded within on purpose.
  #141  
Old 01-11-2020, 03:09 PM
Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
Once we understand human nature we become less prone to blaming and carrying resentments. I don't believe there is any sinister plot at work keeping racism alive. Whites could obviously do more to try and understand the plight of the minorities and take steps to make changes but they simply lack the incentive to do so.
Wait, are you saying that people who lazily and selfishly perpetuate an unfair oppressive status quo because "they simply lack the incentive" to act ethically shouldn't be blamed and resented for that behavior? How you figure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC
Minorities might do well to realize that their best strategy to becoming mainstream is to become mainstream as much as possible and still realize they are fighting an uphill battle
"Becoming mainstream"? What's that even mean? Plenty of minorities are "mainstream" in the sense of being law-abiding middle-class conventionally-behaved "ordinary people", and they still have to deal all the time with the effects of systemic societal racism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC
If we are looking for fairness we are setting ourselves up to be angry because no where in nature does fairness play a part in anything.
Very true, fellow white person. Amazing how much easier it is to serenely accept the natural inevitability of injustice when we're the ones reaping the benefits of it, eh?
  #142  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:04 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
I remember one old black man I used to work with, Cecil. Nice man. professional acting. Friendly but pretty quiet. Until he was around a group of other black men and women and then Cecil would let loose and talk up a storm and he would also change his speech patterns. But if a white guy walked in suddenly he would get quiet again. So nobody is being rude or anything. Cecil just had his preferences of who he liked to open up with..
Or possibly he had a long life's worth of experiences with white people that had led him to conclude that it's safer and simpler to just shut up around all of us, rather than continuing to put time and energy into figuring out which individual white people he can open up around. Nobody in the room at that moment may intend to be rude; but there may have been lots of people during Cecil's life who have been very rude indeed.
  #143  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:11 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Racism isn't human nature -- the system was set up with a purpose. Before 1700, there were actually wealthy black landowning families in Virginia. There were even mixed-race families! But all this was purposefully outlawed -- not because of human nature, but because wealthy white landowners were afraid of the competition, and afraid that poor whites might find common cause with poor blacks. .
I think you are overplaying your hand here. Racism hardened as slavery was formalized but the vast majority of black people in Virginia were servants, indentured or otherwise. Before 1700 it was just more possible for people to buy their freedom. To do away with that, sure, racism was used as a tool but it didn't spring out of nowhere.
  #144  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:30 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 36,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
I think you are overplaying your hand here. Racism hardened as slavery was formalized but the vast majority of black people in Virginia were servants, indentured or otherwise. Before 1700 it was just more possible for people to buy their freedom. To do away with that, sure, racism was used as a tool but it didn't spring out of nowhere.
The American system of institutionalized white supremacism was what caused 99% of the race-based suffering in America, and that was set up, purposefully, as a tool.
  #145  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:33 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 21,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Or possibly he had a long life's worth of experiences with white people that had led him to conclude that it's safer and simpler to just shut up around all of us, rather than continuing to put time and energy into figuring out which individual white people he can open up around. Nobody in the room at that moment may intend to be rude; but there may have been lots of people during Cecil's life who have been very rude indeed.
It might also be that Cecil has white friends a-plenty. They just don't work with him.

I'm guessing that Cecil has more white friends than Urbanredneck has black friends.
  #146  
Old 01-11-2020, 04:54 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 19,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The American system of institutionalized white supremacism was what caused 99% of the race-based suffering in America, and that was set up, purposefully, as a tool.
You're not making your point, which at least started out as "racism isn't human nature". Just because something is used as a tool, doesn't remove it from human nature. "Think of the children!" is abused, but protecting children is still human nature.
  #147  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:11 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,064
I stand by my assertion that there is nothing at all wrong with asking and if he is a friend or just a decent person, he should answer you when you ask in a post where he is complaining about how racist white people (of which you are one) are. That's just good manners.

Here is the basic issue. If you take a middle class white person who gets up, goes to work, comes home, drinks 3 beers and goes to bed each day, he likely meets a few black people here and there, maybe has a couple of black friends/acquaintances/neighbors but doesn't really think about racial issues a lot.

He knows that there used to be slavery and segregation in the country, but that was before he was born and he also knows that there are laws in place to ensure that blacks are treated equally in public accomodations and at the job. Maybe he heard a few racists jokes when he was younger and laughed at them, but he never treated blacks differently or joined the KKK and really he is indifferent about them because he has other things on his mind and his wife is bitching at him to clean out the garage.

So when the accusation is made that there is systemic racism today and especially that HE is part of the problem, it is simply not too much to demand that people, especially if they want to solve the problem, to inform him and tell him what he is doing, or allowing to be done, that perpetuates the system. He doesn't think he is privileged. He is treated like shit at work just like some blacks.

Now, simply informing him does not mean, as it does not in any other area of life, that he must agree with all of your assertions and perform all of his assigned tasks at your demand. Opening a respectful dialogue is important. What happens is that we cannot have such a dialogue because anything short of full face value acceptance is met with assertions that whites simply "don't want to see it' or are secretly racist or some other such thing. So people retreat and we have the uncomfortably tense stalemate where blacks think all whites are racists and whites thing that blacks are just wanting a handout and blaming everything on racism.

If someone cannot be asked to provide this explanation then they should cease posting such provocative things. There's no sense in bitching about a problem if you aren't working towards a solution. And that solution involves everyone. We're in this ride together and an attitude of "I'm a victim because I'm black so fuck you white man, you figure it out or google it" is most unhelpful and serve to perpetuate the silence and lack of dialogue.

My contribution: Many of the things that blacks complain about with regard to being treated improperly is applicable to poor whites as well. West Virginia doesn't have many blacks, so it is sort of a control group. I find that when I am in my lawyer garb, I am treated much better in public than on the weekends when I put on a hat, old shirt and jeans. My appointed clients are treated like shit by the police whereas my paying clients are given a good deal of respect.

I am troubled when it is (sometimes implicitly) suggested that when a black man gets a career or does anything to be a part of mainstream society he is "selling out" or some such thing.

There are more, but I've got to clean the garage. Many things like this and more need discussed so we can see the problem and correct it. It's not about being lectured to and told that we are wrong. Chances are like most things in life, I can tweak a few things, you tweak a few things and we come to an understanding. Cries of racism for questioning things are counterproductive.

Last edited by UltraVires; 01-11-2020 at 05:11 PM.
  #148  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:11 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 36,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
You're not making your point, which at least started out as "racism isn't human nature". Just because something is used as a tool, doesn't remove it from human nature. "Think of the children!" is abused, but protecting children is still human nature.
Something like tribalism might be related to human nature -- wanting to protect one's in-group from outsiders. But that's only twisted into racism by purposeful manipulation. No one is born thinking black or white people are better or worse.
  #149  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:32 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
If I go over to the neighbors' yard where they're busy cleaning up my household's trash and ask them to teach me how to stand up against our trash-throwing, I think a very reasonable case can be made that I'm being kind of clueless and inconsiderate.
Please tell me you are not attempting to characterize my actions with this here.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-11-2020 at 05:35 PM.
  #150  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:40 PM
Ambivalid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 14,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Please tell me you are not attempting to characterize my actions with this here.
If you are, then you've made it clear you've read virtually nothing that *I've* actually said, in my OP or the many, many subsequent posts.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 01-11-2020 at 05:42 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017