I was thinking about this on the 4th. Why are there “minority” groups in America, I mean are we not all Americans. this being said for all legal ones. I think calling certain sects of people that live in the United States different minorities builds up walls instead of making this a melting pot like it should. I know some say we need these titles for “facts” about how some are doing is different socio-economic enviroments and such, but I think in a day where terrorism and the likes is growing that Americans should band together and be Americans and not seperate groups.
Ever read “Ten Things You Can’t Say In America” by Larry Elder? You ought to, if for nothing else, it’ll give you cites for your opinion.
BTW, I read it, and I loved it.
Fine. Just discard the word “minority” from your vocabulary. It’s meaningless anyway. There’ll still Korean immigrants and Muslims and gays, though, just no one word to clumsily lump them all together.
“Ten Things You Can’t Say In America” by Larry Elder? I had a friend give similar sentaments about that book, I will have to pick it up.
I’ve got no problem with your suggestion. Of course, when someone is denied housing or a job or a promotion because they have darker skin and their ancestors were brought here from Africa or moved up from Central America or lived here before thew Europeans arrived or were brought over to build railroads or they have a name that suggests that some ancestor might have been Jewish (whether or not the person, himself or herself is an observant Jew), it would be a bit awkward to try to describe what happened without words that identify the reasons they were descriminated against.
The people who are going to discriminate against or oppress individuals based on their perceived membership in a group are certainly going to have words to describe that group, (nigger, spic, kike, slope, injun, etc.). It probably is appropriate for the people who oppose such actions to be able to identify the groups they wish to defend.
I’m offended. You forgot gook. I feel left out, as my minority status has been ignored. It just goes to show that you can’t be a racist all the time I’m just kiddin’, though.
In reality, my own take on it, being a former serviceman and having served alongside dozens of niggers, spics, kikes, wops, slopes, a handful of injuns, and a few gooks too, is that given motivation (screw ability, ability can be learned!) no man can be held down.
I’d go so far as to say that racism has almost no power in America, and even when and where it rears its ugly head, it’s defeated by our commonness (being American, as Nomadic_One
said) and by motivation and enterprising spirit. The ‘motivation’ aspect can be seen with a statement from Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson in a draft statement on Brown v. Board of Education “Negro progress under segregation has been spectauclar and, tested by the pace of history, his rise is one of the swiftest and most dramatic advances in the annals of man.” (CITE: “Brown ,Racial Change, and the Civil Rights Movement,” Virginia LawReview 80:7 (1994), ;. 66-67. Also, Jackson Draft Opinion, Brown v. Board of Education 1 (mar 15, 1954), LoC, Jackson papers, Box 184, case file :segregation cases, on file with Virginia Law Review Assc, p66.) Justice Jackson shows his astonishment that blacks had risen so highly when faced with LEGALLY MANDATED RACISM! With motivation, and spirit, and hard work, blacks rocketed skyward faster than whites. The second is a simple statement, by National Review editor John Sulivan: “Racism exists. But its social power is weak, and the social power against it overwhelming.”
This gook couldn’t agree more. (Oh yea, and my daddy’s a kike, so where does that put me? )
My personal experience suggests that John Sullivan has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. (This would be true of most of Sullivan’s comments, but is particularly true in this case.)
I am not suggesting that no progress has been made, but the notion that some vague and ill-defined moral superiority is stamping out the effects of racism, and that no one is harmed by the residual racism that exists, is ludicrous.
Uh… isn’t National Reviewwell-known as a conservative periodical?
I’ve got to call you on this one. Hell, let me quote a buddy of mine, an 81-year old black guy nicknamed “Stick.” I wish I knew his real name, but we’ve always called him Stick. He plays pool with me and a few other younger guys at Phil’s Billiards, in Sumter SC. Once, we were talking about politics, and one of my buddies, A1C Matt Sergeant made the statement that he was going to vote for Jessie Jackson for president. Stick kinda guffawed and said “Boy, you just another nigger with a chip on the shoulder.” Matt replied along the lines of “But we have to fight racism, and Jackson’s our best bet to lead America in the right direction.” To which Stick replied “Nigger, I was marchin’ with Revrend King when Jackson was a pup. Those were the days when being a nigger was a bad thing. Now, well, look at your friends. See, Jackson’s in the ‘we shall overcome business.’ And we done overcome.”
Of course, I’m just paraphrasing, but then again, it’s a helluva statement.
Tomndebb, let me pose to you a question. Which ethnicity are you? I’m serious. And, if you’re of a minority status, tell me, in your own words, ONE experience of MAJOR racism, with proof, that was levied against you. When I say major, I mean a passing for a promotion despite being more highly qualified, or being passed up for a loan, or being assaulted/robbed/deliberately targeted by criminals (now, don’t lie on that one, the FBI has a public database on all ‘hate’ crimes going back to 1992, and we can check :p).
I’m a minority twice over, and I have experienced racism. Indeed, it could have scarred me. When I was a kid, a group of black kids beat me up because I was “Chineese” (mind you, I’m Korean, but children rarely know the difference. Hell, I doubt most adults can pick out different asian backgrounds without some help.) When I entered the USAF? Well, I was passed up for an early promotion to E-4…but the white guy who got it also had an Air Force Commendation Medal, which I did not. He was more qualified, I wasn’t. I’ve been turned down for loans, but not because I’m a minority. Instead, it’s because I had really, really crappy credit. I was passed up for flight school when I went into college on an ROTC scholarship. Racism? No, poor eyesight.
Now, I know you’re gonna say, “These are just the excuses that racists use against you.” No, because that’s illegal. I saw a CMSgt get bumped down to Airman Basic (E-9 to E-1) because of a cross burning he participated in. I say, good for the SJA who prosecuted it. I’ve seen blacks prosecuted for doing ‘racist’ things against whites. In the end, the books balance, because US, as AMERICANS, value justice and freedom over perceived racism. Racism is a negative aspect. And a weak one at that. Anyone who taps into racism, either by being a racist, or by being a self-perceived victim of racism, taps into the negative. They don’t see the silver cloud, they see the dark lining.
No, racism isn’t gone, but to say that only minimal progress has been made (as you implied) is ludicrous. I haven’t seen a man in politics with the background of, say, David Duke in my lifetime. I know I never will. Because for the most part, we as AMERICANS are beyond that.
(climbs off soapbox, goes back to doing typically gook things, like reading other threads in Great Debates :p)
Yes, the National Review is neo-conservative (just right of center, much akin to say, Sen. John McCain’s viewpoint.) I believe that moderate would be a better term.
I’m white. I saw it from the other side.
When I moved into the city of Detroit I went looking for lodging and found a fairly cheap and moderately well maintained apartment. I lived there for a year, and because of my schedule (retail) I rarely saw most of my neighbors. However, as the year wore on, I did notice that I never seemed to encounter any blacks in the building, depsite the fact that I was just off Jefferson, near Chalmers–a neghborhood that was over 90% black. When I was transferred out of the area, I notified my landlady that I was moving. She asked if I knew any white people who were looking for housing, and noted that she was not going to rent to a black. (Being white, I had passed the color bar coming in.)
Similarly, I have had a couple of jobs in which I discovered that they were simply ignoring black applicants. There was nothing in writing and the EEOC office noted they could only keep an eye on the employers because I had no charge to bring. (I had been hired; I could not claim that I had been discriminated against and had only hearsay evidence that they were discriminating).
I also worked in a place that had an active outreach program, but was told by more than one manager that he was sabotaging the outreach effort because he was not going to hire “one of them.” Those guys were getting away with it because there were other guys who were not sabotaging the effort, but it was pretty easy to tell which departments were or were not accepting non-white applicants.
Things have greatly improved in the last 40 years, but claims that there is no discrimination (I’m not talking prejudice, I am talking about denied jobs and housing), are simply nonsense.
The National Review is “moderate” only when measured against Ms. Coulter. They are not fringe, but they are solidly on the political Right. I’d be curious who you consider extreme if you think the NR is “moderate.”
The National Review is modete only in the same sense it’s ideological mirror image, the Nation is moderate. Neither is.
Obviously that should be moderate.
I’d like to second Tom by the way on the discrimination issue. I saw it in my professional life directed against blacks, and good friends of mine recounted credible stories of the same. I speak to otherwise conservative and very much ‘assimilated’ black friends and colleagues.
Further to that, for example in re housing, testing by agencies and private actors have found clear practices of discrimination in both rental and buyers markets in some areas, largely against blacks.
Very clearly, as Tom notes, while conditions have vastly improved, pretending we have undone history is at best foolishly ignorant, at worst a dishonest ideological gambit.
Btw treason looks to be an interesting read.
Tom, “Things have greatly improved in the last 40 years, but claims that there is no discrimination (I’m not talking prejudice, I am talking about denied jobs and housing), are simply nonsense.”
Stemba, you are my new best friend.
Well, what about David Duke? He won a majority of the white vote in his famous run for governor of Louisiana (while running on, essentially, a white supremacist platform).
As I’m white, other white people tend to let slip their uncensored opinions on race in front of me. It’s frequently disturbing.
But, as tom’s post made clear, I think, the idea is to keep the proof of discrimination away from the person being discriminated against.
An anecdote: When I was 12 or 13, my father set me up with a job delivering videos at a friend’s store. When I called the store owner for the first time (to set up hours, etc.), he told me that he’d fire one of their current delivery boys to make room for me. When questioned about this from someone next to him, he justified it by describing me as a “good white kid.”
While this particular case may have had more to do with nepotism than racism, it remains that the owner made up an excuse to fire a (presumably competent) hispanic kid so he could hire the white boy he preferred. (Incidentally, I was terrible at that job). This wasn’t a huge corporation conspiring to keep minorities down – it was a small business owner and a minor act of institutionalized racism.
The problem is this: After 23 years of hearing white people say foul, foul things about blacks, asians, etc., I have no problem believing that “little” things like this happen millions of times a year in this country, usually without anyone knowing about it. In the long run, it makes a big difference.
This is how bad it seems to me in New York City, where I’ve lived all my life. When I talk to people outisde the city, it seems worse.
You’re a kook.
Example of racism:
The fact that “minorities” are so under-represented in high-paying jobs.
The fact that when they appear in movies or television, with rare exceptions, they are in highly stereotyped roles.
The result of this is that black youths have as role models mostly bling-bling hip hop stars or basketball players. East Asian youths have scientists and other “nerds.” Don’t even ask about aboriginal people - most of their role models are too depressing to be named. It is very easy for us white people to underestimate the value of seeing “people who look like me” represented in popular culture.
Black people are represented as “black” first, and “people” second. The “neutral” or “default” image of a person - an American, a consumer, a driver, a parent, a child - is white.
Moderator’s Note: Stemba, I realize you are being “ironic”, but let’s ease up on the racial slurs, m’kay? (And, Gjorp, I realize that was a joke, but that goes for everyone in the thread.)