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Old 08-10-2019, 03:09 PM
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MLK's vision: Are we moving towards it or away from it?


MLK famously said that he hoped for a society in which people were assessed on the basis of their character rather than their skin color.

But half a century later, society seems to be just as hyper-focused on skin color. We seem to have made almost no progress at all towards disregarding color; indeed, the advent of identity politics is putting more and more emphasis on someone's characteristics (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) Notably, the rise of white identity politics arguably played a key role in Trump's 2016 win.
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Old 08-10-2019, 03:46 PM
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MLK famously said that he hoped for a society in which people were assessed on the basis of their character rather than their skin color.

But half a century later, society seems to be just as hyper-focused on skin color. We seem to have made almost no progress at all towards disregarding color; indeed, the advent of identity politics is putting more and more emphasis on someone's characteristics (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) Notably, the rise of white identity politics arguably played a key role in Trump's 2016 win.
Assessing the character of someone based on their skin color is certainly incorrect.

Assessing the difficulties that they may have encountered in their lives due to their skin color is not.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:41 PM
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Assessing the character of someone based on their skin color is certainly incorrect.

Assessing the difficulties that they may have encountered in their lives due to their skin color is not.
And with one fell swoop, we have devolved into a nothingness argument because it is most assuredly false, just as the argument FOR any sort of racial divide is completely wrong. This applies to affirmative action as well

The world should be color blind.

Last edited by Kearsen1; 08-12-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:54 PM
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The world should be color blind.
Is it though?

Will simply wishing it, or expecting it to be that way make it so? If we all collectively pretend that it is, will that actually do anything?
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Last edited by Airbeck; 08-12-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:13 PM
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Is it though?

Will simply wishing it, or expecting it to be that way make it so? If we all collectively pretend that it is, will that actually do anything?
Yes actually , it will. Before too long , all of our genetic make up will be so muddied that colors of skin tone won't matter one iota.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:16 PM
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And with one fell swoop, we have devolved into a nothingness argument because it is most assuredly false, just as the argument FOR any sort of racial divide is completely wrong. This applies to affirmative action as well

The world should be color blind.
Congratulations, you've gotten your wish. The world is now completely colorblind! You literally cannot see skin color or any other phenotypical differences between black people and white people. The only way anyone can tell you're white is that you spend a whole lot of time on the internet being very happy that nobody can tell what race you are any more.

So how would you propose dealing with the massive wealth disparity that comes from one (no-longer-recognizable) group spending the last 300 years aggregating wealth and power, and the other (no-longer-recognizable) group spending almost all of the last 300 years de facto or de jure enslaved, discriminated against, and abused? Do we just accept these class differences and expect them to eventually sort themselves out, or what?

We have racial divides whether you like it or not. These divides come from centuries of racism. Slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, blockbusting, the war on drugs, police brutality against black men, and much more. All acts of aggression by white people against black people that left deep wounds on countless communities. And now you want to say "forget all that" and pretend that we're even? Even if we assume that we can be colorblind (we aren't, as countless studies have shown, even close to that point), how does one ignore countless historical misdeeds and come out with justice?

(For anyone interested in how this sort of thing plays out in practice, Contrapoints did a deep dive into the way racist policies affected Freddie Gray, destroyed his life, and ultimately led to his death at the hands of the police. You can find it here - "Baltimore - Anatomy of an Uprising".)
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:31 PM
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So how would you propose dealing with the massive wealth disparity that comes from one (no-longer-recognizable) group spending the last 300 years aggregating wealth and power, and the other (no-longer-recognizable) group spending almost all of the last 300 years de facto or de jure enslaved, discriminated against, and abused?
The real problem facing most of the members of this group is poverty. It doesn't matter how anyone fell into poverty - and oh yes, the last 300 years definitely pushed a lot of black people into it - but there is no racial solution to poverty and attempting to approach it as a race problem doesn't actually lead to any viable solutions. Fight poverty and you eliminate the problem.

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Do we just accept these class differences and expect them to eventually sort themselves out, or what?
Our economic system is not designed to decrease class differences, it is designed to amplify and reinforce them. Counter-trend mechanisms must be put into place, or the mechanisms that cause this divergence must be softened. Measures like California trying to eliminate the fee-for-not-being-able-to-pay-fees loop, or eliminating bail. Medicare for All would also be a boon, as would an automatically inflation adjusted minimum wage... and these are just a few of the glaringly obvious, low hanging fruit.

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We have racial divides whether you like it or not.
Race is a less significant factor than poverty in virtually any meaningful statistic. There certainly is racism, but class has vastly more influence than race, and this is reflected virtually across the board. Poverty is a nasty cycle, and the "divides" between races virtually vanish as soon as you control for poverty.

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These divides come from centuries of racism. Slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, blockbusting, the war on drugs, police brutality against black men, and much more. All acts of aggression by white people against black people that left deep wounds on countless communities. And now you want to say "forget all that" and pretend that we're even? Even if we assume that we can be colorblind (we aren't, as countless studies have shown, even close to that point), how does one ignore countless historical misdeeds and come out with justice?
No one is asking you to forget. I'm trying to get you to solve, rather than divide.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:22 PM
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Congratulations, you've gotten your wish. The world is now completely colorblind! You literally cannot see skin color or any other phenotypical differences between black people and white people. The only way anyone can tell you're white is that you spend a whole lot of time on the internet being very happy that nobody can tell what race you are any more.

So how would you propose dealing with the massive wealth disparity that comes from one (no-longer-recognizable) group spending the last 300 years aggregating wealth and power, and the other (no-longer-recognizable) group spending almost all of the last 300 years de facto or de jure enslaved, discriminated against, and abused? Do we just accept these class differences and expect them to eventually sort themselves out, or what?

We have racial divides whether you like it or not. These divides come from centuries of racism. Slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, blockbusting, the war on drugs, police brutality against black men, and much more. All acts of aggression by white people against black people that left deep wounds on countless communities. And now you want to say "forget all that" and pretend that we're even? Even if we assume that we can be colorblind (we aren't, as countless studies have shown, even close to that point), how does one ignore countless historical misdeeds and come out with justice?

(For anyone interested in how this sort of thing plays out in practice, Contrapoints did a deep dive into the way racist policies affected Freddie Gray, destroyed his life, and ultimately led to his death at the hands of the police. You can find it here - "Baltimore - Anatomy of an Uprising".)

So the world is colorblind , except those who feel wronged, them, they still are pissed at "those others"

This is where personal responsibility steps in. You go to school. You learn. You don't have kids out of wedlock. You get a job. You make money. You live. By continuing your tirade against those "others", the ones whom you think have been aggregating power, money and prestige, you are encouraging racism (or something eerily like it) from those who would have maybe never experienced it. Trying to unite one demographic, DIVIDES them from others. When we should all be trying to be one.

My cite is the world today.

You know who gains from that? Politicians and those you are trying to stop.

If things are bad, legislate them to be bad for everyone. Make it so the enforcing of them is color blind (which it would be in a color blind world. You know what it wouldn't do? It wouldn't fix classism, but then again, nothing will fix classism.

Poor people all over, red, blue, white, black, they would still be hard up against the rock and left without things that the wealthy or better to do are.

But it fixes racism.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:21 AM
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Congratulations, you've gotten your wish. The world is now completely colorblind! You literally cannot see skin color or any other phenotypical differences between black people and white people. The only way anyone can tell you're white is that you spend a whole lot of time on the internet being very happy that nobody can tell what race you are any more.

So how would you propose dealing with the massive wealth disparity that comes from one (no-longer-recognizable) group spending the last 300 years aggregating wealth and power, and the other (no-longer-recognizable) group spending almost all of the last 300 years de facto or de jure enslaved, discriminated against, and abused? Do we just accept these class differences and expect them to eventually sort themselves out, or what?

We have racial divides whether you like it or not. These divides come from centuries of racism. Slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, blockbusting, the war on drugs, police brutality against black men, and much more. All acts of aggression by white people against black people that left deep wounds on countless communities. And now you want to say "forget all that" and pretend that we're even? Even if we assume that we can be colorblind (we aren't, as countless studies have shown, even close to that point), how does one ignore countless historical misdeeds and come out with justice?

(For anyone interested in how this sort of thing plays out in practice, Contrapoints did a deep dive into the way racist policies affected Freddie Gray, destroyed his life, and ultimately led to his death at the hands of the police. You can find it here - "Baltimore - Anatomy of an Uprising".)
White people as a group have not spent 300 years aggregating wealth and power. Almost all the wealth a person accumulates over their lifetime is spent during their lifetimes. According to this study 75% of white people receive no inheritance at all.
The highest earning ethnic group in the US are Indians and most of those came in the last 20 years.
The history of the US is a history of persecuted groups coming to the US, and achieving huge gains in wealth with little or no help from the government.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:23 AM
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The history of the US is a history of persecuted groups coming to the US, and achieving huge gains in wealth with little or no help from the government.
Somehow this history is different for the groups that were either brought against their will, or who already lived here when the Europeans arrived. I wonder if that history could have something to do with the difference in statistical outcomes?
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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White people as a group have not spent 300 years aggregating wealth and power. Almost all the wealth a person accumulates over their lifetime is spent during their lifetimes. According to this study 75% of white people receive no inheritance at all.
As opposed to black people, where the number is... *checks notes* 13%.

And the figure that study found for white people was 41%.
The differences that they found between black and white families were stark. ďAmong college-educated black families, about 13 percent get an inheritance of more than $10,000, as opposed to about 41 percent of white, college-educated families,Ē Taylor said in a release announcing the new research. More specifically, white families that receive such an inheritance receive, on average, more than $150,000 from the previous generation, whereas that figure is less than $40,000 for black families.
The article goes into detail the many ways that these generational wealth transfers make a huge difference. The scope of the study is different (it deals specifically with wealth in families where someone went to college), but in a way this study is considerably more telling, given that "people who went to college" tend to have significantly more impact on society than those who don't - or does your company's CEO not have a degree?

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The highest earning ethnic group in the US are Indians and most of those came in the last 20 years.
The history of the US is a history of persecuted groups coming to the US, and achieving huge gains in wealth with little or no help from the government.
Y'know, I'm no expert on the discrimination faced by Indian immigrants or the effects it has on their wealth. Would you like to go over some of the studies looking into it?
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:03 PM
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And with one fell swoop, we have devolved into a nothingness argument because it is most assuredly false, just as the argument FOR any sort of racial divide is completely wrong. This applies to affirmative action as well

The world should be color blind.
If a black person applies at 10 companies, and the first 9 pass him by for a white guy with equal qualification, you cannot call any of them racist, they all can say they just flipped a coin; but the tenth company sees the difficulty that person has had to overcome, and hires him over a slightly more qualified white guy, that last company is the racist one, correct?

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Old 08-12-2019, 04:23 PM
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If a black person applies at 10 companies, and the first 9 pass him by for a white guy with equal qualification, you cannot call any of them racist, they all can say they just flipped a coin; but the tenth company sees the difficulty that person has had to overcome, and hires him over a slightly more qualified white guy, that last company is the racist one, correct?
If that guy got a bump over someone else simply for the color of his skin, YES.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:37 PM
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If that guy got a bump over someone else simply for the color of his skin, YES.
Okay, thank you for that random statement.

Were you actually going to answer the question I asked though?
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:05 AM
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If a black person applies at 10 companies, and the first 9 pass him by for a white guy with equal qualification, you cannot call any of them racist, they all can say they just flipped a coin; but the tenth company sees the difficulty that person has had to overcome, and hires him over a slightly more qualified white guy, that last company is the racist one, correct?
I did answer this question, with a resounding yes.

If a slightly more qualified candidate gets rejected due to the color of his skin, that is racist.

Clearly you disagree, because difficulty something something.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:33 AM
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I did answer this question, with a resounding yes.

If a slightly more qualified candidate gets rejected due to the color of his skin, that is racist.
It's not about hating or discriminating against the white guy because of the color of his skin.

It's about recognizing that racism has made life harder for the black guy at every step of the way, and that that necessarily must play into their evaluation.

And of course, there's absolutely nothing racist about the other companies going for the equally qualified white guy all those other times. That's just a thing that happens. Totally normal. That's never a racist thing.

Remember, folks, the only real racism is when someone explicitly does something based on skin color (regardless of why, and especially if it's making up for racial biases), and never when subconscious biases lead to discrimination based on race.

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Old 08-12-2019, 01:07 PM
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Assessing the character of someone based on their skin color is certainly incorrect.

Assessing the difficulties that they may have encountered in their lives due to their skin color is not.
Er, no, that's still race based discrimination (read: racism). Stop doing that if you care at all about MLK's teachings. He was NOT a fan of oppression olympics. They don't help anyone.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:23 PM
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Er, no, that's still race based discrimination (read: racism). Stop doing that if you care at all about MLK's teachings. He was NOT a fan of oppression olympics. They don't help anyone.
From an interview between Dr. King and author Alex Haley, in 1965, as reported here:

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In 1965 the writer Alex Haley interviewed King for an interview that ran in Playboy Magazine. Haley asks him about an employment program to help "20,000,000 Negroes." After expressing his approval for it, King estimates that such a program would cost $50 billion.

Haley then asks: "Do you feel it's fair to request a multibillion-dollar program of preferential treatment for the Negro, or for any other minority group?"

King: "I do indeed. Can any fair-minded citizen deny that the Negro has been deprived? Few people reflect that for two centuries the Negro was enslaved, and robbed of any wages--potential accrued wealth which would have been the legacy of his descendants. All of America's wealth today could not adequately compensate its Negroes for his centuries of exploitation and humiliation. It is an economic fact that a program such as I propose would certainly cost far less than any computation of two centuries of unpaid wages plus accumulated interest. In any case, I do not intend that this program of economic aid should apply only to the Negro; it should benefit the disadvantaged of all races."
So... sounds like you're kind of wrong about what ideas MLK supported and what ideas he opposed.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:53 AM
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MLK famously said that he hoped for a society in which people were assessed on the basis of their character rather than their skin color.

But half a century later, society seems to be just as hyper-focused on skin color. We seem to have made almost no progress at all towards disregarding color; indeed, the advent of identity politics is putting more and more emphasis on someone's characteristics (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) Notably, the rise of white identity politics arguably played a key role in Trump's 2016 win.
Possibly a silly question, but... how much do you actually know about MLK? Like, have you spent any significant amount of time looking into what he's said, his writings, the background of his movement? Or did you go over "I have a dream" once in high school? Because I've found that people who complain about "identity politics" usually belong to the latter category:
The most significant issue to be addressed by this essay is how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy has been misused in support of the colorblind thesis. As noted in the prologue, King dreamed that one day his "four little children [would] live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." This statement has been wrenched out of the social and political context in which King lived and died and has been misappropriated by some proponents of colorblindness who erroneously argue that "if colorblindness was good enough for Martin Luther King. . .then it ought to be good enough for a society that still aspires to the movement's goals of equality and fair treatment." This incorrect and ahistorical perversion of King's statement distorts his actual views and legacy, and illustrates the dangers of the misuse of "acontextual snippets."
It's not hard to figure this out, because the effect of colorblind ideology is never actually removing racism, but rather removing any tools we have to talk about racism. Most racism is subconscious - you can't just turn it off. (And if it is active, most of those people aren't interested in being colorblind.) For many of us, raised in a society that is deeply racist, surrounded by media that is deeply racist, those stereotypes and differences are ingrained in our subconscious. Ignoring them enables them.

(None of these are new or interesting critiques of "colorblindness", mind you. There really ought to be a rule that anyone who cites "I have a dream" in favor of colorblindness without reading his writings from the Birmingham jail about "white moderates" gets flogged on a plantation or something.)

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  #20  
Old 08-12-2019, 01:17 PM
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Er, no, that's still race based discrimination (read: racism). Stop doing that if you care at all about MLK's teachings. He was NOT a fan of oppression olympics. They don't help anyone.
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Possibly a silly question, but... how much do you actually know about MLK? Like, have you spent any significant amount of time looking into what he's said, his writings, the background of his movement? Or did you go over "I have a dream" once in high school? Because I've found that people who complain about "identity politics" usually belong to the latter category
...But I repeat myself. If your definition of "racism" includes affirmative action, your definition of racism is pretty awful, and/or you don't actually know what affirmative action actually is.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:59 AM
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If we successfully overcome overt prejudice, then all racism would be as unimportant as black racism against white people is today, which most people would consider unimportant.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:35 AM
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If we successfully overcome overt prejudice, then all racism would be as unimportant as black racism against white people is today, which most people would consider unimportant.
That doesn't really work because power relations are absolutely a thing. Assuming that black people have the same subconscious biases against white people (not sure that's the case), you don't have black people running almost every fortune 500 company, black people don't run most HR departments, black people don't overwhelmingly control the levers of power in society. Maybe if we overcome overt prejudice and completely redo the last 400 years of history, we could get there.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:41 AM
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I think we were moving towards it, in something like a several steps forward a few steps backwards type of way. I think sometime in the middle of Obamaís second term, for a reason that till this day completely eludes me, some people here in the US and around the world started becoming more nationalistic and racist. Since then weíve been slowly losing ground. Now itís a few steps forward several steps back loss of progress. I have a few thoughts on what may have happened, but I have no idea if everyone of these things contributed some, if some didnít contribute at all, or which factors are more important in the recent increase of racism. Here are two of my thoughts, one specific to the US and one for the world as a whole.

1. We (American society in general) may have become too complacent and willing to tolerate hate speech from the far right. The thinking may have been, at least in part, that if a black man has become president, that means racism is over. Therefore what could be the harm of letting a few loonies spread there crazy theories. Now weíre finding out what the harm is.

2. I think something changed in the world overall in the last 5 to 10 years or so that has encouraged the rise of nationalism. Iím not sure what triggered this. This isnít a problem limited to countries where the majority are people of European decent. Sure we have Trump, Boris Johnson, Viktor Orban, etc. But there are also Rodrigo Duterte, Narendra Modi, JaŪr Bolsonaro, and so on. Racism isnít limited to white people, and whatever is causing some white people to become more racist might be contributing to the same problem in non-European countries, the only difference being who the targets of discrimination are.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:50 AM
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I think we were moving towards it, in something like a several steps forward a few steps backwards type of way. I think sometime in the middle of Obamaís second term, for a reason that till this day completely eludes me, some people here in the US and around the world started becoming more nationalistic and racist. Since then weíve been slowly losing ground. Now itís a few steps forward several steps back loss of progress. I have a few thoughts on what may have happened, but I have no idea if everyone of these things contributed some, if some didnít contribute at all, or which factors are more important in the recent increase of racism. Here are two of my thoughts, one specific to the US and one for the world as a whole.

1. We (American society in general) may have become too complacent and willing to tolerate hate speech from the far right. The thinking may have been, at least in part, that if a black man has become president, that means racism is over. Therefore what could be the harm of letting a few loonies spread there crazy theories. Now weíre finding out what the harm is.

2. I think something changed in the world overall in the last 5 to 10 years or so that has encouraged the rise of nationalism. Iím not sure what triggered this. This isnít a problem limited to countries where the majority are people of European decent. Sure we have Trump, Boris Johnson, Viktor Orban, etc. But there are also Rodrigo Duterte, Narendra Modi, JaŪr Bolsonaro, and so on. Racism isnít limited to white people, and whatever is causing some white people to become more racist might be contributing to the same problem in non-European countries, the only difference being who the targets of discrimination are.
Bolding mine

I think Obama was the reason for the change. From the day he took office it felt like every [conservative / republican / right wing whatever] made it their mission to ensure he failed. He was supposed to be a one term president and serve as warning to majority white nations everywhere that this is what happens when you put one of "those people" in charge. When he managed to succeed despite all of the obstacles their inbred belief in white superiority came off the rails, they lost their shit and started to fight back using the same tactics their grandparents employed to great success.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:14 AM
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It takes time and effort to judge based on character. This was true then and it is true now. Are individuals more willing to devote time and effort before judging someone? Probably not. Corporations and other large organizations on the other hand do devote time and effort to this judgement because it is profitable to do so. There is clearly some value in more accurately judging someone.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:58 AM
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To answer the OP:

Once upon a time I used to think that we all at least tried to live up to the MLK ideal. But after the election of Trump, and resurgence or white nationalism and participating in several threads on the dope about why skin color is so super important in cosplay (or why Bond can't be black, or why Superman can't be black, or why Ariel MUST be white) I can no longer convince myself that white folks have ever judged any of us solely by the content of our characters. If we can't even do make believe without making skin color being a critical factor then what chance does reality have?

Yes, I am painting with a wide brush...#notallwhitepeople
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:56 PM
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It depends on the color of the skin. There used to be massive prejudice against Chinese, Japanese, Indians (from India) in the U.S. Now it has mostly disappeared.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:32 PM
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@Miller: Jesus, it's in the quote YOU provided, man:

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I do not intend that this program of economic aid should apply only to the Negro; it should benefit the disadvantaged of all race
  #29  
Old 08-12-2019, 02:00 PM
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@Miller: Jesus, it's in the quote YOU provided, man:
Yes, and...? Are you under the impression that only black people can benefit from Affirmative Action?
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:14 PM
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I think we are separating even more. Look at all the colleges which now have separate events for "students of color".
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:41 PM
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I think we are separating even more. Look at all the colleges which now have separate events for "students of color".
As opposed to the good old days when there were almost no students of color attending major universities. But events were targeted at all the students who were enrolled, gosh darn it.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:31 PM
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Yes, and...? Are you under the impression that only black people can benefit from Affirmative Action?
For one, I haven't mentioned that, you have. And for two, I said oppression olympics are bad and contrary to MLK's teachings. Care to establish relevance? I mean, are you saying that affirmative action is an example of oppression olympics or something?
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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For one, I haven't mentioned that, you have. And for two, I said oppression olympics are bad and contrary to MLK's teachings. Care to establish relevance? I mean, are you saying that affirmative action is an example of oppression olympics or something?
Fair enough, you didn't say anything about AA, and it was a mistake for me to think that's what you were referring to.

As for relevance, MLK was pretty explicit in feeling that the legacy of racism in the US justified some pretty sweeping government programs to be properly addressed. That attitude seems entirely in keeping with what k9befriender posted, which you called out as racist and "oppression olympics," and contrary to the values espoused by MLK. Can you support that assertion? Can you show where MLK ever called out "oppression olympics" (in those words, or others) as something to which he was opposed? You'll probably have to define "oppression olympics," while you're at it. Like, I don't think that white people face significant racial discrimination in this country. I do think that black people face significant racial discrimination in this country. Am I engaging in "oppression olympics" for stating that? Do you think MLK would have disagreed with me if he heard me expressing that opinion?
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:28 PM
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As for relevance, MLK was pretty explicit in feeling that the legacy of racism in the US justified some pretty sweeping government programs to be properly addressed.
Yes but that has nothing to do with oppression olympics. Acknowledging oppression isn't competing over it.

For clarity, "oppression olympics" refers to one group trying to demonstrate greater oppression than another group, usually in the context of "I am more oppressed than you, therefore..." usually followed with "I deserve more sympathy/attention/care/relevance in dialogue." The problem is, this does nothing to help anyone and usually makes groups which are facing the exact same problem into enemies who are fighting each other over a meaningless prize. It has severe consequences, such as when it feeds into identity politics by turning poor whites against poor blacks. That's why we have a President Trump. Instead of focusing on fixing poverty, people focused dog-whistled on issues of race.

Like I said, MLK was not trying to win the oppression olympics. He said, in the very quote you provided, that Affirmative Action should be for all disadvantaged people. He was consistent with that across the board. Yes, he would highlight the specific oppression of the african american peoples, but it wasn't to "win" the most support for blacks, it was just to highlight an example of systemic oppression to support a general solution to the harms facing all disadvantaged people.

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That attitude seems entirely in keeping with what k9befriender posted, which you called out as racist and "oppression olympics," and contrary to the values espoused by MLK. Can you support that assertion?
The part I quoted was an example of race based discriminatory behavior. That's racist. It may be well meant, but it's racist all the same. I can be a racist by supporting a positive or a negative thing if the grounds for my support of discriminatory treatment are based on race.

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Can you show where MLK ever called out "oppression olympics" (in those words, or others) as something to which he was opposed?
The term arose long after MLK was dead, so there won't be a direct quote.

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Like, I don't think that white people face significant racial discrimination in this country.
So what? It's not a contest. Your way of thinking is, whoever is most worse off deserves all of the attention. Do you believe that the "real problem" is that one particular group of people are the worst off of all people, or that decent human beings are being subjected to poverty regardless of membership of any particular group? Is what happened before more relevant than what's happening to children and families right now? I care about the current effects of poverty and the damage it causes to people. I believe that must be addressed. I don't care about the history, I care about the situation right now.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:20 PM
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MLK famously said that he hoped for a society in which people were assessed on the basis of their character rather than their skin color.
Why is that the only line that some people seem to have latched on to? And why is that considered the whole of his vision? There were lots of other portions of his vision in that speech and many other speeches and writings that more fully explained the entirety of his vision.

Taking that line out of context is not a good way to understand his ideas.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:42 PM
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Why is that the only line that some people seem to have latched on to? And why is that considered the whole of his vision? There were lots of other portions of his vision in that speech and many other speeches and writings that more fully explained the entirety of his vision.

Posting the whole speech, or even a big summary of it, gets TL'DR syndrome.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:58 PM
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Posting the whole speech, or even a big summary of it, gets TL'DR syndrome.
That speech was, admittedly, the single best speech ever given in the English language, and possibly in any language. However, it's only a small part of King's work.

And its most famous line is so famous because it's a great thing to teach in elementary school, partly because it's so unobjectionable to everyone but white separatists; and King's stuff that's more controversial doesn't get taught.

You gotta go out and look it up yourself.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:46 PM
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Posting the whole speech, or even a big summary of it, gets TL'DR syndrome.
But that sentence isn't really even the essence of that speech; it's just one of the more quotable lines. So when someone (for example the title and OP) implies that it is, it makes it easy to infer that that person hasn't read or heard beyond that line.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:49 PM
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Like... a prescient example, Kearsen1.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=880014

Is that racist?

From what I can tell, you have no way to tell. We can't see into the cops' hearts, so for all we know, they would have done that to anyone, and not just to a black man.

That said, everyone in that thread seems to be under the impression that this was super fucking racist. Why do you reckon that is?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:49 AM
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Also, just a pattern I've noticed.

Whenever people make a racial analysis of class structures, the call comes - "it's not about race, it's about class". Well, not in those words, but the appeal is always about dealing with poverty instead of race.

Then, when the discussion is about class and poverty, the same people who object to talking about race this way seem to be against any means to reduce the wealth gap.

It just feels like a distraction, is all.
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  #41  
Old 08-14-2019, 10:13 AM
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Sometimes, you gotta have a little back-and-forth with someone in order to figure out how seriously to take their posts.

With you? That step's complete.
Likewise, I'm sure.

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Also, just a pattern I've noticed.

Whenever people make a racial analysis of class structures, the call comes - "it's not about race, it's about class". Well, not in those words, but the appeal is always about dealing with poverty instead of race.

Then, when the discussion is about class and poverty, the same people who object to talking about race this way seem to be against any means to reduce the wealth gap.

It just feels like a distraction, is all.
I've seen that in some people. Usually because they lack empathy in general, which is how they managed to internalize racism in the first place, and why they don't care about the plight of the poor. I suspect that they cling to the argument about class because it's easier to own up to (and looks better) than "screw the coloreds," but however wrong they may be in reasoning, even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

Class is a vastly superior indicator than race for most outcomes. Addressing our system that is neigh-on perfectly designed to reinforce class distinction and punish poverty ruthlessly would do a lot to alleviate the plight of minorities. Focusing on race, however, is far less likely to produce the necessary society reforms that would benefit the most people in the most drastic ways.

This is why I am staunch opponent of fiat currencies and the cantillon effect, why I support M4A, advocate for ending private prisons, argue fiercely against fee-for-being-poor structures, oppose the war on drugs and treating drug abuse as a moral failing, advocate for getting money out of politics, advocate for vastly increased education spending, just to name a few. They're all aimed at reducing poverty. Doing so would end the economic segregation that keeps minorities concentrated in low income zones and thereby isolated from wealthier populations. The most effective cure to racism is exposure. It's easy to demonize "that thing that I only see on COPS doing bad stuff" and much harder to demonize "My neighbor who invites me to barbeques." It's also harder to sustain systemic racism when you give the economic power to everyone rather than concentrate it in one particular population's hands.
  #42  
Old 08-14-2019, 01:54 PM
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And rereading that thread, I'd misremembered it: I thought folks from other nations had a lot more awareness of the speech than they did. My apologies for misrepresenting it. Still and all, I'm not sure there's a more famous speech out there.
  #43  
Old 08-14-2019, 01:57 PM
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And rereading that thread, I'd misremembered it: I thought folks from other nations had a lot more awareness of the speech than they did. My apologies for misrepresenting it. Still and all, I'm not sure there's a more famous speech out there.
Are you just looking for political speech? I'd suspect "To be or not to be" would be more widely recognized.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:03 PM
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Are you just looking for political speech? I'd suspect "To be or not to be" would be more widely recognized.
Yeah, I was definitely not including oratory from drama; otherwise Shakespeare takes it in a walk . More thinking about things people said in public that are their own words, and that the event of the speech is part of what's known.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:55 PM
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Yeah, I was definitely not including oratory from drama; otherwise Shakespeare takes it in a walk . More thinking about things people said in public that are their own words, and that the event of the speech is part of what's known.
Maybe Churchill's "Fight them on the beaches" speech, then? I can see people outside the US seeing MLK as addressing a specifically American problem, whereas fighting Nazis was everybody's problem.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:59 PM
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Maybe Churchill's "Fight them on the beaches" speech, then?
This and IHaD are my personal favorite two speeches, not for their content but just for their poetry and delivery.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:55 PM
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I obviously think this is an interesting question, but it's kind of a hijack from the main point of this thread. Maybe we should continue discussion of it in the previous thread, even though it's a second grader by now?
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:16 PM
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Trump's most recent incoherent rambling about trucks and how he knew as a child that he'd be president has to be up there. Maybe not the up to the Churchill one (Never surrender!), but right there with "Ask not what your country can do for you." Just wait and see. Only time will tell.
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