Ever know any bigots who changed their attitudes?

It was complicated. Tensions had been simmering for a while, and the Soon Ja Du thing plus the Rodney King case was just the last straw for a lot of people.

Of course the riots were wrong, but as a Korean I can kind of see how the black community might have resented the Koreans. Koreans in general are quite racist and I doubt they took much trouble to hide their opinions on black people.

It is my experience that minorities can actually be harsher on other minorities.

George Wallace of Alabama.

I was once talking to a 75 year old guy who made a crack about not liking “what gays do.” I immediately went into my spiel “What gays do? You mean like going to work? Owning property? Paying taxes? Raising children? Going to the movies? Or are you judging them on what they do for one hour every week?”

He laughed and said “One hour if I’m lucky.”

Later he told me that had changed his whole attitude on the subject. I taught an old dog a new trick.

"Went all Jesus on his ass … "

I love it! Mark my words, I will be stealing and using that. Sooner rather than later. You’ve been warned. :slight_smile:

In Chicago, it seems to me that the biggest (open) racial tensions exist between Mexicans and blacks.

I don’t know if there’s a word for that phenomenon, but I think there should be, because I see it around too. It is very complicated though, so maybe that’s why there is no general term for it because none adequately describes the precise motivations and other factors across the board for all people.

Where I first saw it occur was in people who were born into a (dominant) culture but didn’t actually ‘belong’ to that (dominant) culture. I think in that case, they try so hard to assimilate into the dominant culture, from their very early school-kid days, and continually get knocked back again and again buy officials of the dominant culture, that they end up with an ingrained belief that EVERYTHING not from that culture is to be looked down upon. Even though that dominant culture might still not fully accept them!

I find it strange but I think I can understand the psychological aspect.

As a famous example, D. W. Griffith, who made the very racist Birth of a Nation then followed it up with a movie condemning Intolerance. Griffith’s racism may have been just a case of his accepting the racism of his time and upbringing (he grew up in Kentucky, the son of a former Confederate officer) and discovering there were other viewpoints.

I’ve known a few people who act like they’ve heard that routine and sort of morphed the racism of their youth into a similarly angry classism (“I don’t care about your skin color. I like whites, blacks, and hispanics; but crackers, niggas, and wetbacks should all be jailed.”)

I read a similar story about a KKK guy and a synagogue. Not only did the guy change his viewpoint, he ended up converting to Judaism.

I know two people who moved in opposite directions, based on the same type of experience, but from different starting points.

#1 was a lifelong liberal who got a job in the school system, teaching the Homebound (kids who were sick and/or disabled, and were taught at home). She got a lot of exposure to inner city kids and their families and lifestyles, and came to see many of the problems they faced as being largely of their own making.

#2 was probably what you’d consider a racist, who mellowed out somewhat by becoming - of all things - a slumlord. As a result of his experiences with his tenants and their lifestyles, he came to the conclusion that most of these people were doomed by their surroundings, and the ability of any individual to rise above it was very limited. (For example, he had one tenant who he considered a good and decent person - and he is convinced that the guy was turned down for a mortgage because of his ethnicity - but who was unable to prevent his son from hanging with what was or became a drug gang, and eventually dying in a gang war.)