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ImaginaryFriend
07-23-2009, 05:21 PM
OK this is my first time starting a new thread so please bear with me :)

I know that not all the facts are known about the issue with the harvard professor but the whole thing got me thinking about race relations. Are people too quick to cry 'racism'?

In this particular incident it is hard to believe the man was arrested for being black and easier to belive that he was just being rude to the cops. I live in britain and no matter who you are, if you are rude, aggressive or disorderly towards the police you get arrested.

What im asking is this
Doesnt crying 'racism' over trivial issues like this cause further strains on race relations? I would hate to see a world where police are to afraid to arrest someone because they dont share the same skin colour.

And how will we ever be able to resolve and get past racism if everytime something goes wrong for a member of a minority they blame everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own lives?

papayahed
07-23-2009, 06:00 PM
In this particular incident it is hard to believe the man was arrested for being black and easier to belive that he was just being rude to the cops. I live in britain and no matter who you are, if you are rude, aggressive or disorderly towards the police you get arrested.


I find it very easy to believe. I personally know police officers that use their power to intimidate and badger in an attempt to get people to behave badly. (Edit: to add I also know very fine upstanding police officers)

It's not an easy subject and I don't think one sweeping judgement can be made for all cases.

Emil Miller
07-23-2009, 06:43 PM
OK this is my first time starting a new thread so please bear with me :)

I know that not all the facts are known about the issue with the harvard professor but the whole thing got me thinking about race relations. Are people too quick to cry 'racism'?

In this particular incident it is hard to believe the man was arrested for being black and easier to belive that he was just being rude to the cops. I live in britain and no matter who you are, if you are rude, aggressive or disorderly towards the police you get arrested.

What im asking is this
Doesnt crying 'racism' over trivial issues like this cause further strains on race relations? I would hate to see a world where police are to afraid to arrest someone because they dont share the same skin colour.

And how will we ever be able to resolve and get past racism if everytime something goes wrong for a member of a minority they blame everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own lives?

I don't know the incident to which you refer but your post will inevitably generate a wealth of replies from self-righteous head-in-the-sand wishful non-thinkers who have been brought up in the ultra-liberal sixties and beyond.
As somebody who is English you should be aware that the greatest recruitment officers for the British National Party, who have recently won seats in the European Parliament, are those whose stupidity has created and are perpetuating the very sitaution that you are now beginning to question.

Jozanny
07-23-2009, 07:17 PM
From what I know of the story, the whole thing was pretty silly. The professor contacted the Harvard police to vouch for his identity and his home ownership, but the campus cops had to cede jurisdiction to the city police, who apparently made the arrest because the old scholar became annoyed.

My ex is a cop though, and he said if the police ask you to step outside, it is best not to argue.

Virgil
07-23-2009, 07:45 PM
Before people rush to judgement I believe the news mis-reported this story initially. He was not arrested for breaking into his own home. He was arrested for disorderly conducted - he was verbally berating the police when then simply asked for identification. The police had twice asked him to stop with the insults and just show identification, and he just carried on. And while the main cop at the scene was white, along side him were a hispanic officer and a black officer. All the cops have denounced Gates' conduct. This is not a case of racial profiling, but of a disorderly person that refuse to cooperate.

Emil Miller
07-24-2009, 12:30 PM
From what I know of the story, the whole thing was pretty silly. The professor contacted the Harvard police to vouch for his identity and his home ownership, but the campus cops had to cede jurisdiction to the city police, who apparently made the arrest because the old scholar became annoyed.

My ex is a cop though, and he said if the police ask you to step outside, it is best not to argue.

I couldn't agree more, I have only ever been stopped twice by the police, once in London and again in Paris. On both occasions I co-operated fully with their questions. As far as I'm concerned, they are the thin blue line between a diminishing order and total anarchy.

ImaginaryFriend
07-24-2009, 01:23 PM
Before people rush to judgement I believe the news mis-reported this story initially. He was not arrested for breaking into his own home. He was arrested for disorderly conducted - he was verbally berating the police when then simply asked for identification. The police had twice asked him to stop with the insults and just show identification, and he just carried on. And while the main cop at the scene was white, along side him were a hispanic officer and a black officer. All the cops have denounced Gates' conduct. This is not a case of racial profiling, but of a disorderly person that refuse to cooperate.

Exactly! if he had just done as he was told there would be no problem as it just sounds more like a personality clash than anything else.

So why is he claiming racism? and why are people like obama jumping on the bandwagon (i expected it from al sharpton but not him)?

Does saying this was racist, when it obviously was not, just make a mockery of the fight agaisnt racism and perhaps even set it back?

The Atheist
07-24-2009, 02:14 PM
This a damn shame, and the whole thing is going to be no more than a typical "he said/he said" dogfight where people will choose to believe one side or the other.

Are the cops lying each other up to cover for a gross mistake?

Did the Prof. come over the smart-arse with the cops and get himself righteously booked?

Was the Prof. right to be angry that cops walked straight into his own house without so much as knocking at the door?

I have to confess that I would not be best pleased at cops wandering into my house, whether or not some idiot neighbour had called the cops. I'd also hope my neighbours would recognise me breaking in, so maybe there's a lesson there as well.

Great fuel for both sides of the debate. If you have a lead suit and bulletproof vest, check out some of the racist sites for a good laugh. (Assuming you have strong stomachs)

Virgil
07-24-2009, 02:33 PM
So why is he claiming racism? and why are people like obama jumping on the bandwagon (i expected it from al sharpton but not him)?

Does saying this was racist, when it obviously was not, just make a mockery of the fight agaisnt racism and perhaps even set it back?

The real racist in all this is Mr. Gates. He was the one being race conscious. The police were doing their duty. He automatically jumped to a racial conclusion. He automatically decided that any scrutiny had as a absolute given be racially motivated.

I have said it many times, do not trust what the media puts out. In every case where I have been intimately knowledgable of a news story facts (either because it was a neighborhood event or related to my line of work) there are incredible mistakes in every news article. There is a reason that news is not consider solid history.

For the ramifications of this, since our President appears to have put his foot in his mouth, you can read through this:


Obama stirs racial passions in Harvard case

By Jason Szep
BOSTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama plunged his presidency into a charged racial debate and set off a firestorm in one of America's most liberal bastions by siding with a black Harvard scholar who accuses police of racism.

Saying he was unaware of "all the facts" but that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" in their arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Obama whipped up emotions on both sides of an issue that threatens to open old wounds in America.

His comments marked his biggest foray into the hot-button issue of race since taking office in January, and underline how racial issues remain very much alive despite advances embodied by his election as the first black U.S. president.

"Unfortunately, the racial divide is still there. It's still very raw. I think he was trying to let the majority of non-minority Americans have a sense of what it is like to a black or Latino," said Boston University professor of politics Thomas Whalen.

But many in Massachusetts said he crossed a line by passing judgment on police while acknowledging he did not have all the facts. Online polls in Massachusetts show strong support for the white arresting officer. A police union and his department's chief also came out strongly in his defense.

"Based on what I have seen and heard from the other officers, he maintained a professional decorum during the course of the entire situation and conducted himself in a professional manner," Cambridge Police Department Commissioner Robert Haas told a news conference.

Obama's comment stunned the city's policemen, Haas added. "They were very much deflated." He said he has appointed a panel to review Gates' arrest.

Others questioned whether Obama should have so strongly backed Gates, a friend, over the police without knowing fully what took place.
[Snip] http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE56M5NM20090723

I've also said this. Anyone who thinks they understand the workings of another country by simply reading their newspapers and watching their movies is seriously deluding themselves.


This a damn shame, and the whole thing is going to be no more than a typical "he said/he said" dogfight where people will choose to believe one side or the other.

Are the cops lying each other up to cover for a gross mistake?

Did the Prof. come over the smart-arse with the cops and get himself righteously booked?

Was the Prof. right to be angry that cops walked straight into his own house without so much as knocking at the door?

I have to confess that I would not be best pleased at cops wandering into my house, whether or not some idiot neighbour had called the cops. I'd also hope my neighbours would recognise me breaking in, so maybe there's a lesson there as well.

Great fuel for both sides of the debate. If you have a lead suit and bulletproof vest, check out some of the racist sites for a good laugh. (Assuming you have strong stomachs)

I don't think so. Their was a substantial part of the neighborhood that were witnesses. As far as I can tell, the cops have been substantiated.


I couldn't agree more, I have only ever been stopped twice by the police, once in London and again in Paris. On both occasions I co-operated fully with their questions. As far as I'm concerned, they are the thin blue line between a diminishing order and total anarchy.

Quite right Brian. The officers at the home were of mixed race:


Black officer at scholar's home supports arrest

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Ė A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation.

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been."

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley "100 percent."

Gates has said he was the victim of racial profiling.

President Barack Obama says the officers "acted stupidly." Lashley called Obama's remark "unfortunate" and said he should be allowed to take it back.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) ó A multiracial group of police officers on Friday stood with the white officer who arrested a prominent black Harvard scholar and asked President Barack Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick to apologize for comments the union leaders called insulting.
[Snip] http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090724/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_arresting_officer;_ylt=Ak.xO6Nv _q.EBl1qQ4zz6Uis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNtam84MG1wBGFzc2V0 A2FwLzIwMDkwNzI0L3VzX2hhcnZhcmRfc2Nob2xhcl9hcnJlc3 Rpbmdfb2ZmaWNlcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzcEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnNf Y29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNibGFja29mZmljZX I-

The Atheist
07-24-2009, 03:14 PM
I don't think so. Their was a substantial part of the neighborhood that were witnesses. As far as I can tell, the cops have been substantiated.

How is that possible given that the main interaction occurred inside the house?

Were other people within earshot of what was said?

ImaginaryFriend
07-24-2009, 04:57 PM
The real racist in all this is Mr. Gates. He was the one being race conscious. The police were doing their duty. He automatically jumped to a racial conclusion. He automatically decided that any scrutiny had as a absolute given be racially motivated.

I completely agree with you on that and have often thought that sometimes racism is in the eyes of the beholder as it were.

As to the neighbour being 'an idiot', atheist, i only wish my neighbours were so civically minded enough to care if someone were breaking into my home. I would probably thank them even if it was all a mistake and would certainly have seen the funny side of the situation. I wouldnt have let the situation get to the stage where i am being arrested.

And on a lighter note, could i claim they only did it because my great-great-grandfather was jewish thus making me a minority?

The sooner we all just treat people like people and stop trying to sort everyone by race, religion, etc then maybe we will stop seeing these kinds of problems.

Anza
07-24-2009, 05:22 PM
The bottom line does not have to do with the particular incident.
As soon as people cry "racism," a bit more common sense is lost to a gaping black hole which has appeared in modern society. I'm not saying we're past hate crimes, and extreme levels of racism, but racial tolerance is gaining much ground.
And let's face it-- everyone's a little bit racist. No one has gone a lifetime without muttering under their breath a racist comment about someone. "D*** *insert nationality* cut me off." People are biased against people who are different from themselves. Even fans of different teams are made into enemies, or thought of as inferior.
It's a complex we all have, that we ourselves are superior to everyone else.
Regardless, extreme racism is becoming rare. Police don't arrest people just for being black. White drivers don't just get in fender-benders with Asians.
And one person is not ever indicative of an entire race.
Furthermore, a majority of people are aware of that, and so screaming racism is obsolete.

caddy_caddy
07-24-2009, 05:55 PM
I've also said this. Anyone who thinks they understand the workings of another country by simply reading their newspapers and watching their movies is seriously deluding themselves


have said it many times, do not trust what the media puts out.
Thx VIRGIL
But why to lie on ourselves , RACISM existed in the history of all nations and still existing in a variable degree. Marwa Alsharbini is a clear case .Crying racism should NOT be an occasion to open wounds but to seek solutions that protect human diginity all over the world.

Virgil
07-24-2009, 06:08 PM
How is that possible given that the main interaction occurred inside the house?

Were other people within earshot of what was said?

The dispute was taken outside.


Thx VIRGIL
But why to lie on ourselves , RACISM existed in the history of all nations and still existing in a variable degree. Marwa Alsharbini is a clear case .Crying racism should NOT be an occasion to open wounds but to seek solutions that protect human diginity all over the world.

Anyone looking at American racial discussions from outside the country have this notion that blacks are kept down and racism is rampant. The fact is there is very little real racism any more. Any dispute between people of different races automatically gets blown up into a racial incidence. Yes obviously racism existed and still does in people's hearts. But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt. This professor who specialized in Black Studies obviously has a chip on his shoulder. His very specialization makes him see racism where there isn't any. Let's be honest and maybe the color of one's skin will truely be insignificant. But it seems to me that the race consciousness comes from people who claim violations at every turn.

And just to point the absurdity out. We have a black President, we have the most popular media personin the country as black, Opra, we have the most widely sold musician as black, Michael Jackson, we have top paid actors such as Denzel Washington and Balley Berry, we have CEOs and other executives. Claiming institutionalized racism in today's society is a crock.

Emil Miller
07-24-2009, 06:22 PM
Now that I am au fait with the circumstances surrounding this incident, I have arrived home to find that Obama's knee jerk reaction has caused him to mollify his original claim of implied racial impropiety on the part of the police involved.

http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/article.aspx?cp-documentid=148766552

Virgil
07-24-2009, 06:27 PM
Now that I am au fait with the circumstances surrounding this incident, I have arrived home to find that Obama's knee jerk reaction has caused him to mollify his original claim of implied racial impropiety on the part of the police involved.

http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/article.aspx?cp-documentid=148766552

Yes I heard it. It was as close to an apology without apologizing. What gets me is he can go all over the world apologising for all sorts of bull **** and he can't come out with a decent apology to our own police officers.

Emil Miller
07-24-2009, 06:38 PM
Yes I heard it. It was as close to an apology without apologizing. What gets me is he can go all over the world apologising for all sorts of bull **** and he can't come out with a decent apology to our own police officers.

I am pretty sure that if all of the police officers involved had been black, nothing would have been heard of the matter.

papayahed
07-24-2009, 07:53 PM
Anyone looking at American racial discussions from outside the country have this notion that blacks are kept down and racism is rampant. The fact is there is very little real racism any more. Any dispute between people of different races automatically gets blown up into a racial incidence. Yes obviously racism existed and still does in people's hearts. But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt. This professor who specialized in Black Studies obviously has a chip on his shoulder. His very specialization makes him see racism where there isn't any. Let's be honest and maybe the color of one's skin will truely be insignificant. But it seems to me that the race consciousness comes from people who claim violations at every turn.

And just to point the absurdity out. We have a black President, we have the most popular media personin the country as black, Opra, we have the most widely sold musician as black, Michael Jackson, we have top paid actors such as Denzel Washington and Balley Berry, we have CEOs and other executives. Claiming institutionalized racism in today's society is a crock.

Bull****. A coworker asked me if racist still exists and when I told him yes and started to tell him my stories he said it didn't count. Now why wouldn't my experiences count? If you've never experienced it you will never understand. I live in a place where it very much still exists, I've seen it as an outsider and I've seen it done to me.

Institutional racism certainly doesn't exist, to an extent. There can be company mandates, there can be equal opportunity programs but you can't tell me on an individual basis racism doesn't exist. I had to tell a boss to stop telling me racial jokes, twice. You can't tell me he doesn't have a bias against that group that can affect his decision making process, nor can you tell me my boss is the only one. In this day an age it's the little things that hurt the most - being followed around a store, snide comments, odd looks. Now I know every little slight or percieved slight may not be racial motivated but I can put you in touch with a lot of people who have had similar blatant racial issues that cannot be defended on any level.

However, I also do admit that racism can be seen where none exists, and that's why I have previously stated that one can't make sweeping judgements.

AmericanEagle
07-24-2009, 08:14 PM
But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt.

Institutional racism includes the media misrepresentation of certain racialized groups. During the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina, a Black individual is described as looting food supplies, while a white couple is described as finding food supplies.

Virgil
07-24-2009, 09:04 PM
Institutional racism includes the media misrepresentation of certain racialized groups. During the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina, a Black individual is described as looting food supplies, while a white couple is described as finding food supplies.
First of all you don't say whether it was the very same media person making two separate analysis. I don't think in general the media is anywhere near racist. If anything it overwhelmingly accomodates the view of white racial bias. As it erroneously did in this case.


Bull****. A coworker asked me if racist still exists and when I told him yes and started to tell him my stories he said it didn't count. Now why wouldn't my experiences count? If you've never experienced it you will never understand. I live in a place where it very much still exists, I've seen it as an outsider and I've seen it done to me.

Institutional racism certainly doesn't exist, to an extent. There can be company mandates, there can be equal opportunity programs but you can't tell me on an individual basis racism doesn't exist. I had to tell a boss to stop telling me racial jokes, twice. You can't tell me he doesn't have a bias against that group that can affect his decision making process, nor can you tell me my boss is the only one. In this day an age it's the little things that hurt the most - being followed around a store, snide comments, odd looks. Now I know every little slight or percieved slight may not be racial motivated but I can put you in touch with a lot of people who have had similar blatant racial issues that cannot be defended on any level.


I hear italian jokes (I happen to be of Italian descent and some of them are pretty insulting), I hear Jewish jokes, I hear muslim jokes, I hear Catholic jokes, I hear polish jokes, I hear Irish jokes, I hear asian jokes, I hear American Indian jokes, I hear asian Indian jokes, I hear hispanic jokes, I hear redneck jokes, I hear black jokes. I hear all jokes. I hear women jokes, I hear men jokes, I hear gay jokes, I hear blonde jokes. So what?

We agree. There is no institutionalized racism. The Professor Gates of the world , the Jesse jacksons of the world, the Al Sharptons of the world, the Rev Wrights of the world perpetuate a victumization mentality that has done more harm to African Americans because everything that happens for the negative is blamed as some racist action. Every one of those negative things happen to white people as well. If there is a slight bias to thinking blacks commit crimes, well just look at the ratio of crimes committed by blacks. It's perfectly rational (though unfair) to jump to that conclusion. But it does not mean they are being racist.


However, I also do admit that racism can be seen where none exists, and that's why I have previously stated that one can't make sweeping judgements.
There are people with hate in their heart, whether it's hatred of blacks, or of other religions, or of northerners in the south or southerners in the north. There are people that think in that kind of mentality. Professor Gates obviously thinks in that kind of mentality. I doubt that will ever change. But that does not mean there is institutionalized racism. Among the highest earning ethnic groups in this country happen to be asian and muslim. If institutionalized racism existed, I doubt either of those groups would be doing so well.

I leave you with the words of Thomas Sowell, one of the most brilliant (in my opinion) thinker in the US. "If Jews had waited for the end of anti-semetism to make it in this country, they would still be waiting." Just ponder that for a while.

papayahed
07-24-2009, 10:08 PM
I hear italian jokes (I happen to be of Italian descent and some of them are pretty insulting), I hear Jewish jokes, I hear muslim jokes, I hear Catholic jokes, I hear polish jokes, I hear Irish jokes, I hear asian jokes, I hear American Indian jokes, I hear asian Indian jokes, I hear hispanic jokes, I hear redneck jokes, I hear black jokes. I hear all jokes. I hear women jokes, I hear men jokes, I hear gay jokes, I hear blonde jokes. So what?



Ask your HR department about that. I am speaking of highly offensive derogatory jokes, My boss would have been fired had I gone to HR.




We agree. There is no institutionalized racism. The Professor Gates of the world , the Jesse jacksons of the world, the Al Sharptons of the world, the Rev Wrights of the world perpetuate a victumization mentality that has done more harm to African Americans because everything that happens for the negative is blamed as some racist action. Every one of those negative things happen to white people as well. If there is a slight bias to thinking blacks commit crimes, well just look at the ratio of crimes committed by blacks. It's perfectly rational (though unfair) to jump to that conclusion. But it does not mean they are being racist.

There are people with hate in their heart, whether it's hatred of blacks, or of other religions, or of northerners in the south or southerners in the north. There are people that think in that kind of mentality. Professor Gates obviously thinks in that kind of mentality. I doubt that will ever change. But that does not mean there is institutionalized racism. Among the highest earning ethnic groups in this country happen to be asian and muslim. If institutionalized racism existed, I doubt either of those groups would be doing so well.


Please read what I said again. I said racism exists, I have said that I have experienced it personally and as a bystander. It seems like you are trying to negate what I am saying because it doesn't fit your view of the world. It's way easier to take the stance that it doesn't exist rather then acknowledge that as a society we still have issues.



I leave you with the words of Thomas Sowell, one of the most brilliant (in my opinion) thinker in the US. "If Jews had waited for the end of anti-semetism to make it in this country, they would still be waiting." Just ponder that for a while

No where have I said that racism is an excuse for anything. Why you would lump Dr. Gates in with the Rev. Wrights on that one incident? Being proud of your heritage and trying to advance and be a role model for other African Americans doesn't mean "perpetuate a victumization mentality" Dr. Gates has a PhD from Cambridge University does that sound like someone who is waiting for racism to end?

I'm afraid this will turn into a "no it doesn't" - "yes it does" arguement. I have my experiences, you have yours.

JBI
07-24-2009, 10:16 PM
Here's an interesting question - a classmate of mine pushed the argument to me, that when someone is rich, racism and race divisions no longer exist - he argued that Rich people, this is the really rich, generally don't look toward the race of someone, but rather their wallet, and that on the top, whatever the race, everything comes down to business, rather than "sociological" issues.

Anyone think that an interesting question?

Virgil
07-24-2009, 10:34 PM
Here's an interesting question - a classmate of mine pushed the argument to me, that when someone is rich, racism and race divisions no longer exist - he argued that Rich people, this is the really rich, generally don't look toward the race of someone, but rather their wallet, and that on the top, whatever the race, everything comes down to business, rather than "sociological" issues.

Anyone think that an interesting question?

I've known more than one rich (not sure what we consider a definition of rich) person who let out racial views. I don't think it means anything. I can see how being rich makes one look down on others and justify it with race.

JBI
07-24-2009, 11:07 PM
I've known more than one rich (not sure what we consider a definition of rich) person who let out racial views. I don't think it means anything. I can see how being rich makes one look down on others and justify it with race.

No, I mean toward other rich people, like would a rich American think himself better than a slightly richer Hong Konger? does that sort of division exist, or is there a sort of mutual respect attached to everyone with money by the rich?

I have a feeling, for instance, a lot of poor people justify their lack of success in racist banter, but how would that form itself in someone who essentially has nothing to gain by being racist, and nothing truly to complain about, relative to his own status in the world? .

Jozanny
07-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Virgil, I live in a building and a city that is majority A.A., and being a white cripple in this environment isn't easy, and I experience backlash bias against me as much as I am biased against urban black culture--and yes, I am biased--not proud of it but without deliberately denigrating anyone, I admit it. 20 plus odd years in this city has made me loathe it, it's poverty, poor health, violence, but with this disclosed, I think you protest a bit much. I esteem PhD's, minority or otherwise, and I can see why Gates would react unpleasantly. I'd react unpleasantly if the Philadelphia police knocked on my public housing door demanding identification, and unlike Gates, I am poor, paranoid, and fear HUD like the devil come home to roost. Gates has to lose his burr up the butt, and so do the MA police.

But the old man shouldn't have been arrested. It was, indeed, stupid.

Virgil
07-25-2009, 12:49 AM
No, I mean toward other rich people, like would a rich American think himself better than a slightly richer Hong Konger? does that sort of division exist, or is there a sort of mutual respect attached to everyone with money by the rich?

I have no idea.


I have a feeling, for instance, a lot of poor people justify their lack of success in racist banter, but how would that form itself in someone who essentially has nothing to gain by being racist, and nothing truly to complain about, relative to his own status in the world? .
I know of no one that justifies anything in terms of genetic racial abilities. Race comes into play perhaps in terms of cultural and sub-cultural characteristics.


Virgil, I live in a building and a city that is majority A.A., and being a white cripple in this environment isn't easy, and I experience backlash bias against me as much as I am biased against urban black culture--and yes, I am biased--not proud of it but without deliberately denigrating anyone, I admit it. 20 plus odd years in this city has made me loathe it, it's poverty, poor health, violence, but with this disclosed, I think you protest a bit much. I esteem PhD's, minority or otherwise, and I can see why Gates would react unpleasantly. I'd react unpleasantly if the Philadelphia police knocked on my public housing door demanding identification, and unlike Gates, I am poor, paranoid, and fear HUD like the devil come home to roost. Gates has to lose his burr up the butt, and so do the MA police.

But the old man shouldn't have been arrested. It was, indeed, stupid.

Feelings toward groups is not the same thing as racism. I doubt you really think that all blacks are criminals. I don't know if you know the facts of the Gates incident. He was not arrested for breaking into his house. He was arrested for the verbal tirade he went off on after they asked for identification. He was obviously beligerant and the police asked him to stop with the insults on two occaisions. The police had no idea he owned that house and no one hsa a right to be so beligerant when police are conducting an investigation. They had a call that someone was breaking into that house. When police ask me for something I accomodate.

AmericanEagle
07-25-2009, 12:54 AM
To say that institutionalized racism does not exist is to ignore the foundation on which Canada and the United States was built. European colonists forcibly took Native lands, actively took measures to systematically annihilate the Native populations (smallpox blankets, deliberate slaughtering of their main food source: the buffalo, and just simply murdering them). Cultural genocide also took place through residential schools.

It is this history of colonialism and genocide that form the basis of how Native peoples are treated. Issues that affect Native populations are often ignored by the government, and there has yet to be an apology for the broken treaties.

In Canada, there are hundreds of missing Native women, and these cases go unnoticed by most Canadians because mainstream news outlets do not pick up the story. If these had been white women, the media would have been all over it.

The Canadian government continues to marginalize Native peoples to this day. In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology for Canada's role in the creation of residential schools. However, he failed to mention that the Canadian government committed an act of genocide. According to the UN Genocide Convention, "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group," and "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group," constitutes an act of genocide. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to fully acknowledge and take responsibility for their horrendous treatment of Natives, and this lack of accountability continues to this day. For example, Native communities suffer from a shortage of clean drinking water (Kashechewan water crisis in 2005). Many Native reserves continue to be under boil-water advisories. Does this happen in communities where whites are the majority? Probably not.

The lack of acknowledgement of the genocide of Native populations around the world is also a form of institutional racism. When one mentions the word 'genocide,' the first thing that pops to mind is the Holocaust. While I'm not diminishing the horrific events that occurred during the Nazi regime, why is it that the Holocaust is privileged over other genocides? There were more victims of Native genocide than in the Holocaust, and the motives were the same.

The Canadian government also fails to adequately provide money for Native students' post-secondary tuition. This isn't free money by any means because all of these monies have been pre-paid when the treaties were made. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to give money to Natives that is rightly theirs.

I realize that most of my examples are Canadian because that is where I live, but I'm sure that similar injustices occur in other parts of the world, and that institutional racism exists.

JBI
07-25-2009, 12:57 AM
I have no idea.


I know of no one that justifies anything in terms of genetic racial abilities. Race comes into play perhaps in terms of cultural and sub-cultural characteristics.

Oh, sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear - I meant in the sense that "I got laid off today because all the jobs are going to them Chinese", or "the black people are sucking all the money out of the economy, and now I lost my job", or "it's because of the Jews that we lost the war."


To say that institutionalized racism does not exist is to ignore the foundation on which Canada and the United States was built. European colonists forcibly took Native lands, actively took measures to systematically annihilate the Native populations (smallpox blankets, deliberate slaughtering of their main food source: the buffalo, and just simply murdering them). Cultural genocide also took place through residential schools.

It is this history of colonialism and genocide that form the basis of how Native peoples are treated. Issues that affect Native populations are often ignored by the government, and there has yet to be an apology for the broken treaties.

In Canada, there are hundreds of missing Native women, and these cases go unnoticed by most Canadians because mainstream news outlets do not pick up the story. If these had been white women, the media would have been all over it.

The Canadian government continues to marginalize Native peoples to this day. In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology for Canada's role in the creation of residential schools. However, he failed to mention that the Canadian government committed an act of genocide. According to the UN Genocide Convention, "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group," and "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group," constitutes an act of genocide. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to fully acknowledge and take responsibility for their horrendous treatment of Natives, and this lack of accountability continues to this day. For example, Native communities suffer from a shortage of clean drinking water (Kashechewan water crisis in 2005). Many Native reserves continue to be under boil-water advisories. Does this happen in communities where whites are the majority? Probably not.

The lack of acknowledgement of the genocide of Native populations around the world is also a form of institutional racism. When one mentions the word 'genocide,' the first thing that pops to mind is the Holocaust. While I'm not diminishing the horrific events that occurred during the Nazi regime, why is it that the Holocaust is privileged over other genocides? There were more victims of Native genocide than in the Holocaust, and the motives were the same.

The Canadian government also fails to adequately provide money for Native students' post-secondary tuition. This isn't free money by any means because all of these monies have been pre-paid when the treaties were made. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to give money to Natives that is rightly theirs.

I realize that most of my examples are Canadian because that is where I live, but I'm sure that similar injustices occur in other parts of the world, and that institutional racism exists.


There weren't more victims in this "native genocide" but that defeats the point (it wasn't an act of aggression that killed most of the people in these parts, but the exchange of diseases, which, for instance, wiped off literally the entire native population of Newfoundland).

The sort of pastoral picture you try to paint, though in a sense true, isn't exactly true either - for instance, if you read Samuel Hearne's travel log, you will note that these poor people had no problem going to massacre an Inuit (recorded as Esquimaux) encampment - racist and generational feuding exists even amongst these societies, and it was perhaps the introduction of Westerners that really made them destructive - was it not Champlain, for instance, who rode with the Hurons and set off a couple hundred years of hostility in the Quebec region? Of course, the White men weren't better, but to limit things to merely a colonial problem is to miss much of the point.

The residential school system is unjustifiable, and there are many social issues still rooted in it today - notably the fact that they gave these kids to clergymen, which everyone knows is a bad idea (and that isn't a jab, testimony has showed that these kids were severely sexually abused), but, in a sense, there are other factors to consider, for instance, Native Canadians don't pay many forms of tax, and don't pay tuition to schools.

Not that I am defending policy - I think the quality of life on reserves is pretty bleak, with rampant addiction and poor housing, but I am unsure whether to justify that as a "racist" program today, or as a generational problem that hasn't righted itself yet. There is certainly more nuance there.


That being said, I wouldn't doubt that many cops in Canada are racist - the ones in Toronto I would think are perhaps more tolerant, given that enough people on the force are of mixed descent, but I think the general feeling about cops is they are essentially the schoolyard bully with a gun and taser, and there is a reason why people do not like them, whereas people generally regard firefighters, for instance, as civil heroes.


Who knows though - my general view is that Canada is really two countries - based on the diversification of the population centre - people in Vancouver, I would think, are probably more tolerant than people in rural Alberta, simply because Vancouver is a diversified city, whereas in rural Alberta generally all the exposure to non-white, non-native Canadian perspectives are limited to press, or minimal exposure (generally these townships tend to have one Chinese restaurant, for instance, which sells Americanized food of low quality).

In truth though, political "correctness", or non-racism, is essentially a 70s or 80s phenomenon, which still hasn't taken hold. Small steps come, but they come slowly, because it's a generational problem that is very hard to remedy, and has a long history.

I think the best counter here would be the high immigration rate, which essentially makes people in major population centres diversified, and therefore less militantly racist, as in these places, everyone is something really (go to Universities like University of Toronto, for instance, and you notice that being racist is essentially impossible without a giant backlash, as when everyone is a minority, everyone generally feels a sympathy with other minorities, and isn't afraid to stand up for minority rights).

Who knows though, there is a huge anti-French sentiment, and anti-Anglophone sentiment from the Francophones, so perhaps that constitutes a form of generational anxiety - nothing that has been to violent or militant in recent years, but something which significantly bends policy - I think though, the country is coming to the point where the government is functioning in less of an ideological manner, and more in a pragmatic manner, with less emphasis put on the "leadership" than on the accounting - I only hope that we reach the point where the government functions only as an accountant, but I doubt that will come anytime soon.

AmericanEagle
07-25-2009, 01:36 AM
Not that I am defending policy - I think the quality of life on reserves is pretty bleak, with rampant addiction and poor housing, but I am unsure whether to justify that as a "racist" program today, or as a generational problem that hasn't righted itself yet. There is certainly more nuance there.

The Ontario Finance Minister stated that the Canadian government should cut Native health funding and focus instead on "real people in real towns." Although he has apologized for that comment, I think that it sums up most politicians' views on Native peoples.

JBI
07-25-2009, 01:42 AM
The Ontario Finance Minister stated that the Canadian government should cut Native health funding and focus instead on "real people in real towns." Although he has apologized for that comment, I think that it sums up most politicians' views on Native peoples.

The fact that he had to apologize says differently.

AmericanEagle
07-25-2009, 01:54 AM
for instance, Native Canadians don't pay many forms of tax, and don't pay tuition to schools.

You're correct about the taxes, but Natives do not receive free tuition. Native students who attend school are charged tuition, which is paid through the money held in trust by the government. These monies were the result of treaty and monetary settlements that were made. The government then allocates this money to Native bands. Thus, it is Native money. Besides, the government doesn't allocate enough money for the Native bands, so some students may not even receive any of this money.


The fact that he had to apologize says differently.

Flaherty was running for party leadership at this time. He only apologized after Opposition parties called for his resignation. I don't want to get too political, but it seems that he apologized because he didn't want bad publicity.

kratsayra
07-25-2009, 02:47 AM
I was going to participate in this, but then I decided I better not.

Emil Miller
07-25-2009, 05:43 AM
I was going to participate in this, but then I decided I better not.

Why not? This sub-forum was set up in order that serious discussion could take place. There is no reason why potential contributors shouldn't be able to express an opinion, providing they don't resort to personal abuse and foul language or reduce the discussion to political point scoring.

wessexgirl
07-25-2009, 07:03 AM
I couldn't agree more, I have only ever been stopped twice by the police, once in London and again in Paris. On both occasions I co-operated fully with their questions. As far as I'm concerned, they are the thin blue line between a diminishing order and total anarchy.

You seem to have an inordinate amount of faith in the Police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECMVdl-9SQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh0iNo5K3Gk&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6THfDGy1hN4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK_-UicnYA0&feature=related

Disgraceful. The police think they are above the law.

Why not? This sub-forum was set up in order that serious discussion could take place. There is no reason why potential contributors shouldn't be able to express an opinion, providing they don't resort to personal abuse and foul language or reduce the discussion to political point scoring.

Interesting, as a large amount of your posts start out with a definite political viewpoint, which leave no doubts as to your feelings on the (paraphrasing) liberal, head-in-the-sand, left-leaning, erosion of values etc. that is post-war Britain. You never fail to get a dig in showing your beliefs. I don't know how you've escaped the notice of mods until now, but perhaps because some people haven't risen to responding to your statements.

ImaginaryFriend
07-25-2009, 10:28 AM
i hate to be one of these people who says this americaneagle but why should a modern government have to pay to help natives when they should move with the times and join society. get over the past. think about it, when has bringing up the holocaust (which by the way resulteed in the deaths of millions of slavs, blacks, catholics, muslims and dissenters not only jews) ever been positive to a situation or argument. it is the last reort to bring it up when an argument is being lost.

so far virgil you have made me think about a lot of issues and i see most of your points so thank you.

sniping at others will not help the situation wessexgirl. i realise that this is a touchy issue but i hope we can all take a minute to calm down and rein in the posts to be about the original issue.

Emil Miller
07-25-2009, 12:10 PM
You seem to have an inordinate amount of faith in the Police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECMVdl-9SQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh0iNo5K3Gk&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6THfDGy1hN4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK_-UicnYA0&feature=related

Disgraceful. The police think they are above the law.

Why not? This sub-forum was set up in order that serious discussion could take place. There is no reason why potential contributors shouldn't be able to express an opinion, providing they don't resort to personal abuse and foul language or reduce the discussion to political point scoring.

Interesting, as a large amount of your posts start out with a definite political viewpoint, which leave no doubts as to your feelings on the (paraphrasing) liberal, head-in-the-sand, left-leaning, erosion of values etc. that is post-war Britain. You never fail to get a dig in showing your beliefs. I don't know how you've escaped the notice of mods until now, but perhaps because some people haven't risen to responding to your statements.

Well I haven't noticed yourself being slow off the mark in responding to some of my posts. What makes you think that the liberal/left are immune to criticism in a general rather than personal sense. I don't support any of the current crop of Westminster politicians, whatever their party, so I am not trying to score political points.
As for the videos, the first two show the police trying to contain a mob and the third incident was caused by a woman breaking the law with regard to an illegal film and her refusal to hand over the mobile phone containing it. The forth incident was enacted in the immediate aftermath of the London bombings when the police were in a high state of tension in trying to prevent another. As I said, the police are the thin blue line between a diminishing order and total anarchy. Apart from some rotten apples who have thrown in their lot with criminals, I am and always will be a very strong supporter of the police.

ImaginaryFriend
07-25-2009, 12:39 PM
in the first video he was walking into the middle of a heated situation. not his fault but the police are not robots, they have emotions and sometimes make a bad call. we cant judge all cops on that.

in the second video she was told SEVERAL times that what she had done was illegal but refused to just co operate and let them see what she had filmed. no wonder the police got p****d off with her i would have too.

in the third vdieo she is screaming and swearing in the officers face so he pushes her back. after that instead of walking away like an adult she continues to do that and actually puts her hand on him. he may have used a little too much force but she has just as much responsibility for her injuries (a bruise as i remember).

and obviously the police were at fault in the fourth video ( and lied and tried to cover it up) but think of how many good officers are out there. its unfair to tar them all with the same brush.

saying that what did any of those videos have to do with the piont of this thread?

caddy_caddy
07-25-2009, 12:52 PM
Anyone looking at American racial discussions from outside the country have this notion that blacks are kept down and racism is rampant. The fact is there is very little real racism any more. Any dispute between people of different races automatically gets blown up into a racial incidence. Yes obviously racism existed and still does in people's hearts. But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt. This professor who specialized in Black Studies obviously has a chip on his shoulder.
This is the first time I know there is sth called Black Studies.
His very specialization makes him see racism where there isn't any. Let's be honest and maybe the color of one's skin will truely be insignificant. But it seems to me that the race consciousness comes from people who claim violations at every turn.

And just to point the absurdity out. We have a black President, we have the most popular media personin the country as black, Opra, we have the most widely sold musician as black, Michael Jackson, we have top paid actors such as Denzel Washington and Balley Berry, we have CEOs and other executives. Claiming institutionalized racism in today's society is a crock.
Who said so??! I think it is a good lesson for all nations to overcome their past
and have a new beginning. It is a real challenge .Yes obviously racism existed and still does in people's hearts. But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt

Well ,then you agree that it still exists in the hearts although I don't know how we can see what belies within the hearts of others.

But it seems to me that the race consciousness comes from people who claim violations at every turn.

I completely agree with you. We cannot cry racism everytime we face a problem or at any debate .
You mentioned the RACIAL CONSCIOUSNESS ;I think people who faces racism cannot get rid of it .it is indeed a big problem.For me
the most important question is how can we change this consciousness???

MANICHAEAN
07-25-2009, 01:17 PM
Is it not strange that for those of white skin that have lived, and been prepared to mix, in many "black" African states e.g Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroons, Uganda, there are very few instances of reverse discrimination.
Are the values relating to race in these countries more mature & balanced?

Virgil
07-25-2009, 02:35 PM
Oh, sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear - I meant in the sense that "I got laid off today because all the jobs are going to them Chinese", or "the black people are sucking all the money out of the economy, and now I lost my job", or "it's because of the Jews that we lost the war."

I don't know too many really rich people, but I don't think it's all that much different between different elements of society when it comes to those things. At least that's my impression.


To say that institutionalized racism does not exist is to ignore the foundation on which Canada and the United States was built. European colonists forcibly took Native lands, actively took measures to systematically annihilate the Native populations (smallpox blankets, deliberate slaughtering of their main food source: the buffalo, and just simply murdering them). Cultural genocide also took place through residential schools.

It is this history of colonialism and genocide that form the basis of how Native peoples are treated. Issues that affect Native populations are often ignored by the government, and there has yet to be an apology for the broken treaties.

In Canada, there are hundreds of missing Native women, and these cases go unnoticed by most Canadians because mainstream news outlets do not pick up the story. If these had been white women, the media would have been all over it.

The Canadian government continues to marginalize Native peoples to this day. In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology for Canada's role in the creation of residential schools. However, he failed to mention that the Canadian government committed an act of genocide. According to the UN Genocide Convention, "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group," and "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group," constitutes an act of genocide. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to fully acknowledge and take responsibility for their horrendous treatment of Natives, and this lack of accountability continues to this day. For example, Native communities suffer from a shortage of clean drinking water (Kashechewan water crisis in 2005). Many Native reserves continue to be under boil-water advisories. Does this happen in communities where whites are the majority? Probably not.

The lack of acknowledgement of the genocide of Native populations around the world is also a form of institutional racism. When one mentions the word 'genocide,' the first thing that pops to mind is the Holocaust. While I'm not diminishing the horrific events that occurred during the Nazi regime, why is it that the Holocaust is privileged over other genocides? There were more victims of Native genocide than in the Holocaust, and the motives were the same.

The Canadian government also fails to adequately provide money for Native students' post-secondary tuition. This isn't free money by any means because all of these monies have been pre-paid when the treaties were made. Thus, the Canadian government refuses to give money to Natives that is rightly theirs.

I realize that most of my examples are Canadian because that is where I live, but I'm sure that similar injustices occur in other parts of the world, and that institutional racism exists.

I can't speak for Canada or anywhere else in the world, but there is no institutionalized racism in the US. I have no idea what the past history has to do with current status. Everyone acknowledges past history and corrections have been made the last 40 years in the US.


so far virgil you have made me think about a lot of issues and i see most of your points so thank you.


Why thank you. I'm glad I made a difference. :)

wessexgirl
07-25-2009, 02:50 PM
in the first video he was walking into the middle of a heated situation. not his fault but the police are not robots, they have emotions and sometimes make a bad call. we cant judge all cops on that.

in the second video she was told SEVERAL times that what she had done was illegal but refused to just co operate and let them see what she had filmed. no wonder the police got p****d off with her i would have too.

in the third vdieo she is screaming and swearing in the officers face so he pushes her back. after that instead of walking away like an adult she continues to do that and actually puts her hand on him. he may have used a little too much force but she has just as much responsibility for her injuries (a bruise as i remember).

and obviously the police were at fault in the fourth video ( and lied and tried to cover it up) but think of how many good officers are out there. its unfair to tar them all with the same brush.

saying that what did any of those videos have to do with the piont of this thread?

So an innocent man walking home, with his hands in his pockets, and no threat to anyone, gets a baton round his legs, and gets pushed over? How many police were there? I didn't see Tomlinson causing any problems.

A woman takes a picture on her mobile phone and gets treated as if she was a major criminal. If it wasn't for the prevalence of mobile phone cameras, incidents such as Tomlinson's wouldn't have come to light. I'm shocked that you think that treatment is ok.

In the third incident, a policeman reacts to a protestor with a baton, and a slap from a gauntletted hand. She was exercising her right to protest at what had happened, namely the police giving the rough treatment to someone else. Why did that thug, in the uniform of a policeman, cover his number up before the protest? Because he had every intention of behaving as he did. I believe he's been in trouble before. If a grown man who is supposed to be a force for law and order can't restrain himself and take the protests of a woman shouting at him, he shouldn't be in the job.

As for the fourth case, how can the police follow an innocent man all the way to the tube and shoot him 7 times in the head? There are all sorts of questions to answer, which I'm sure anyone familiar with the case will know, so I won't go into detail.

As for "sniping", as you call it, and in answer to your last point, I think my post was perfectly relevant to this thread. I was responding to the statements of blind obedience to the police, when there are numerous cases where this should be questioned. No-one is above the law, police officers included, and I think I have every right to state this, as I have every right to see many of the points made on many different topics, as political.

AmericanEagle
07-25-2009, 02:56 PM
i hate to be one of these people who says this americaneagle but why should a modern government have to pay to help natives when they should move with the times and join society. get over the past.

How can they get over the past when the legacy of colonialism continues to this day?

Virgil
07-25-2009, 03:06 PM
Who said so??! I think it is a good lesson for all nations to overcome their past
and have a new beginning. It is a real challenge .Yes obviously racism existed and still does in people's hearts. But institutionalized racism does not exist and if anything people give African-Americans the benfit of the doubt

Well ,then you agree that it still exists in the hearts although I don't know how we can see what belies within the hearts of others..

I completely agree with you. We cannot cry racism everytime we face a problem or at any debate .
You mentioned the RACIAL CONSCIOUSNESS ;I think people who faces racism cannot get rid of it .it is indeed a big problem.For me
the most important question is how can we change this consciousness???


Caddy your highlighting has confused me. As best I can respond, yes there is no doubt that some racism exists in some people's heart. (Let me distinguish racism, which is prejudice, with pre-judgements which are linked to rational associations.) Some people will hold racist views, and I imagine that's around the world and universal to a degree. I'm not saying that's extinguished. But the ability for those people to affect the lives of those they hold those views against those they hate is small, and again I only speak for the US. We have all sorts of Equal Opportunity laws which enforce and investigate claims and push minorities up. For the most part those things are good, though i would like a day when we don't have to such efforts.

As to how to end this consciousness. Well, it was my contention that the Prof Gates and the Jesse Jacksons of the world actually promote race consciousness. The question has to be, why does this consciousness exist for black americans and not for asians or jews or Italians, or other ethnic groups. Perhaps given the war on terror, there may be a slight suspicion when it comes to muslims, I grant you, but they certainly aren't in a ghetto with lack of education and high crime rates. I believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous. That is what every other ethnic group has done. Their claim that racism has held them back, while once true, just doesn't square with the facts of the last forty years. There is a sub-cultural phenomena (unmarried mothers, the valuing of sports over education, drug glorification, gangster values, etc.) going on. Bill Cosby, by the way, has been very eloquent on this issue. Thos like Gates who perpetuate this race conscious attitude is diverting the black community with excuses that diverts them from real change.

I leave you with the say quote i left earlier from Thomas Sowell. "If jews had waited for the end of anti-semitism to make it in America, they would still be waiting."

The Atheist
07-25-2009, 04:02 PM
The dispute was taken outside.

Sorry mate; I know this is going back over a page, but it bothers me greatly.

You are basing your opinion on what happened on knowing what some witnesses claim to have seen at some time after the altercation started.

I find it incredible that their "evidence" would give any kind of clear picture of what had, and was, happening, yet you have decided the truth based solely upon that.

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm perfectly objective on the whole thing. It seems obvious to me that every side is seeing it through their own-coloured spectacles and taking it as gospel.

The saddest part of the entire episode is summed up by this piece (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/07/is-this-the-instance-of-police-misconduct-to-obsess-about.html)- which will also help Brian realise why some people do heavily distrust cops!

Admin
07-25-2009, 04:23 PM
The real racist in all this is Mr. Gates. He was the one being race conscious. The police were doing their duty. He automatically jumped to a racial conclusion. He automatically decided that any scrutiny had as a absolute given be racially motivated.

I have said it many times, do not trust what the media puts out. In every case where I have been intimately knowledgable of a news story facts (either because it was a neighborhood event or related to my line of work) there are incredible mistakes in every news article. There is a reason that news is not consider solid history.

For the ramifications of this, since our President appears to have put his foot in his mouth, you can read through this:

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE56M5NM20090723

I've also said this. Anyone who thinks they understand the workings of another country by simply reading their newspapers and watching their movies is seriously deluding themselves.

I agree with Virgil. The hispanic and black officers back up the white officer. Furthermore the white officer was hand picked by his black superior to teach police cadets about racial profiling, and he has a history of not being racist (ie, giving a dying black athlete mouth to mouth, something a racist isn't going to do).

Unfortunately behavior like Gates' is all too common, purposefully trying to become a victim, to be incendiary, to create a controversy.

For all we know it was all staged. Is it so far fetched to believe he concocted an idea after his home was broken into 1 month earlier that he would try to stage another break in, sitting pounding on his own door until the cops show up, then do his best to get arrested, to create a national controversy, get tons of attention for himself, and so make money by selling books? He is going to end up significantly financially benefiting from this whole fiasco. Talk shows, and speaking engagements, and book deals.

What, that kind of scheming is unlikely from a "Harvard professor"? This is the guy who was throwing "Yo momma" insults at the police, he does not seem that honorable to me.

Unfortunately he tried to pin it on the most unlikely white officer on the force.


Sorry mate; I know this is going back over a page, but it bothers me greatly.

You are basing your opinion on what happened on knowing what some witnesses claim to have seen at some time after the altercation started.

I find it incredible that their "evidence" would give any kind of clear picture of what had, and was, happening, yet you have decided the truth based solely upon that.

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm perfectly objective on the whole thing. It seems obvious to me that every side is seeing it through their own-coloured spectacles and taking it as gospel.

The saddest part of the entire episode is summed up by this piece (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/07/is-this-the-instance-of-police-misconduct-to-obsess-about.html)- which will also help Brian realise why some people do heavily distrust cops!
The problem with anecdotal evidence, is that it is worthless.

For every case of someone innocent being coerced into a confession, there is a case of a killer getting free on a technicality and murdering someone else. For every case of police abuse, there is a case of someone like Gates purposefully trying to generate police abuse either for attention, or to get off, or whatever else. There is even a whole "suicide by cop" thing where people try to get cops to shoot them so their family can sue the city. Call it "ghetto life insurance" if you will.

No, the criminal justice system is not perfect, but it sounds like in the specific incidence discussed here it was done by the book.

The Atheist
07-25-2009, 06:07 PM
The problem with anecdotal evidence, is that it is worthless.

Couldn't agree more!


For every case of police abuse, there is a case of someone like Gates purposefully trying to generate police abuse either for attention, or to get off, or whatever else.

Yep, and we never know the difference, unfortunately. Like everyone else, no cop is perfect and any confrontational situation can easily spiral into something else.

Pity so much time's being wasted on it.

Virgil
07-25-2009, 06:33 PM
Sorry mate; I know this is going back over a page, but it bothers me greatly.

You are basing your opinion on what happened on knowing what some witnesses claim to have seen at some time after the altercation started.

I find it incredible that their "evidence" would give any kind of clear picture of what had, and was, happening, yet you have decided the truth based solely upon that.

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm perfectly objective on the whole thing. It seems obvious to me that every side is seeing it through their own-coloured spectacles and taking it as gospel.

The saddest part of the entire episode is summed up by this piece (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/07/is-this-the-instance-of-police-misconduct-to-obsess-about.html)- which will also help Brian realise why some people do heavily distrust cops!

Sorry but President Obama has essentially conceded the facts. His only dispute now is whether the cop should have gone to the extent of actually arresting him or just accepted the verbal abuse. That's a judgement I can't make not being there.

What anectodal evidence? There is a police report that I read and the corroboration of two other cops. That's not anectdotal.

The actual police report: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF?loc=inte rstitialskip. I think you'll see that Gates was uncooperative from the start. If you don't believe the policeman, then what can i do.

The Atheist
07-25-2009, 07:57 PM
What anectodal evidence? There is a police report that I read and the corroboration of two other cops. That's not anectdotal.

That's exactly what anecdotal evidence is!

The cops, having taken a position, are hardly likely to contaminate themselves by not sticking to the story. All of the evidence is anecdotal.

The balance of evidence seems to indicate that the cops were reasonably within their rights - and Obama has obviously accepted that, as he must - but we still have no idea of the body-language, the verbal exchange and what actually went down inside the house to start the whole thing.

As I said, I'm not judging the thing, because it doesn't affect me, but I do think that jumping to conclusions has become a national sport.

Virgil
07-25-2009, 08:15 PM
That's exactly what anecdotal evidence is!

The cops, having taken a position, are hardly likely to contaminate themselves by not sticking to the story. All of the evidence is anecdotal.

The balance of evidence seems to indicate that the cops were reasonably within their rights - and Obama has obviously accepted that, as he must - but we still have no idea of the body-language, the verbal exchange and what actually went down inside the house to start the whole thing.

As I said, I'm not judging the thing, because it doesn't affect me, but I do think that jumping to conclusions has become a national sport.

Well then believe whatever you want to believe. But I have not heard Gates dispute the claims. Perhaps he has and I missed it, but it does not seem to be in any of the news articles.

Admin
07-25-2009, 08:15 PM
That's exactly what anecdotal evidence is!

The cops, having taken a position, are hardly likely to contaminate themselves by not sticking to the story. All of the evidence is anecdotal.

The balance of evidence seems to indicate that the cops were reasonably within their rights - and Obama has obviously accepted that, as he must - but we still have no idea of the body-language, the verbal exchange and what actually went down inside the house to start the whole thing.

As I said, I'm not judging the thing, because it doesn't affect me, but I do think that jumping to conclusions has become a national sport.
Eh... no, or rather, it depends on scope.

The interaction between Crowley and Gates would be anecdotal when putting for a statement of racism, or lack thereof, in the criminal justice system.

The interaction between Crowley and Gates is anything but when putting forth a statement of who was in the right in the interaction between Crowley and Gates.

LMK
07-26-2009, 01:36 AM
I think in general, there are those among us who cry foul when they can. There are those who are "offended" and who rush to ignite fires the best they can by pulling on those flame starters like using the word "racism." I don't know their reasons; a feeling of entitlement, a need for attention, over reaction/sensitive...?

This particular case is not one I can comment on. Mr. Gates must now deal with the fallout as must the officers involved even though all charges were dropped.

There are good and there are not-so-good people in positions of power all around us; some are police officers, some are our supervisors, country leaders, etc. and we do rely on them to make decisions fairly with utmost respect and tolerance for the dignity of the human person who ever that person may be.

But sadly, there will be some who don't respect and it might be the one in power weilding the authority who makes a bad decision or behaves poorly or it might be the other person who cries foul even when they are at fault.

Someday, I hope, we will all be considered people, not labled by things that separate us but if needed by things that unite us.

Jozanny
07-26-2009, 02:16 AM
Feelings toward groups is not the same thing as racism. I doubt you really think that all blacks are criminals. I don't know if you know the facts of the Gates incident. He was not arrested for breaking into his house. He was arrested for the verbal tirade he went off on after they asked for identification. He was obviously beligerant and the police asked him to stop with the insults on two occaisions. The police had no idea he owned that house and no one hsa a right to be so beligerant when police are conducting an investigation. They had a call that someone was breaking into that house. When police ask me for something I accomodate.

Huh, from what I have read from lawyers who know Gates, he did not meet the disorderly conduct threshold for arrest. He is a nationally respected scholar who was dressed down by a cop, and it should not have happened.

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 04:46 AM
Is it not strange that for those of white skin that have lived, and been prepared to mix, in many "black" African states e.g Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroons, Uganda, there are very few instances of reverse discrimination.
Are the values relating to race in these countries more mature & balanced?

No it is a matter of numbers. The proportion of whites to the indigenous population of the countries you have mentioned is very small compared to the number of blacks in the USA or UK. If a similar proportion of whites were to supplant themselves in those African countries, their attitude, quite rightly, would be very different.

JBI
07-26-2009, 04:57 AM
I can't speak for Canada or anywhere else in the world, but there is no institutionalized racism in the US. I have no idea what the past history has to do with current status. Everyone acknowledges past history and corrections have been made the last 40 years in the US.


You're joking, right?

Next to the American government, Canada doesn't even compare. The same sort of residential school system in Canada existed in the States too, hate to break it to you, except perhaps you guys wiped them off the map more thoroughly.

MANICHAEAN
07-26-2009, 05:11 AM
Interesting argument.
At what stage does an infux of "outsiders" cause the racial issue to emerge.
Growing up in London as a child in the 40s & 50s, a foreigner was more than likely to be a French onion seller! If the truth be told, those from Wales, Ireland & Scotland were regarded as a bit exotic as well. It was not till the 1960's if my memory serves me correct when we had the first real post war race riots in Notting Hill over mainly West Indian labour recruited to supplement the transport & hospital resources.
The point could also be made that the history of the UK was one of successive waves of new immigrants/conquerers i.e. Angles, Saxons, Danes, Vikings, Norman French etc. I presume that each new infux was regarded with resistence, ill feeling & prejudice but over time they adapted & contributed to become an updated version of what is today's Britisher.

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 06:50 AM
Interesting argument.
At what stage does an infux of "outsiders" cause the racial issue to emerge.
Growing up in London as a child in the 40s & 50s, a foreigner was more than likely to be a French onion seller! If the truth be told, those from Wales, Ireland & Scotland were regarded as a bit exotic as well. It was not till the 1960's if my memory serves me correct when we had the first real post war race riots in Notting Hill over mainly West Indian labour recruited to supplement the transport & hospital resources.
The point could also be made that the history of the UK was one of successive waves of new immigrants/conquerers i.e. Angles, Saxons, Danes, Vikings, Norman French etc. I presume that each new infux was regarded with resistence, ill feeling & prejudice but over time they adapted & contributed to become an updated version of what is today's Britisher.

Because race and politics are inextricably mixed, it is very difficult to discuss it in meaningful terms in this forum but you are right about the relative cohesion between the citizens living in London during the immediate post-war period. If, however, those from Wales, Ireland and Scotland were regarded as a bit exotic, it is not difficult to imagine what the English thought with the introduction of thousands of West Indians into their cities.
It is naive to believe that they were invited solely for the purpose of supplementing the labour force. The driving force behind the British Nationality Act of 1948, which conferred British nationality on all Commonwealth citizens, was the internationalist mentality that characterised the Socialist government of the day and the need to maintain a supply of raw materials from what had formerly been the British Empire. This Act was passed without reference to the indigenous population and set the scene for the first race riots that broke out in London and Nottingham 1n 1958.

As for the waves of immigrants/conquerers arriving in in the what constitutes the present day UK, it is important to make a distinction. The conquerers had to fight their way in and the others were allowed in, but whereas the others had been a handful of religiously persecuted people from Europe, the West Indian influx was of a completely different order and culture that had a disruptive impact on the way of life as experienced by indigenous UK citizens.
In my view, the racial and cultural differences are irreconcilable and will remain so. Which brings us neatly back to the thread's original post.

MANICHAEAN
07-26-2009, 12:42 PM
I take the point about the difficulty on this venue of discussing race without dovetailing in the political aspects.You will therefore no doubt bear with me if I do not pursue that path.
But let us look at a couple of other items mentioned by you:
1. " the West Indian influx was of a completely different order and culture that had a disruptive impact on the way of life as experienced by indigenous UK citizens."
I agree that in the initial stages, yes. But since then, the West Indian immigrants of two generations have substantially adapted to us / as we have adapted to them and I am appreciative of the richness of their contribution to the British scene for example in; music, cuisine & dance. Don't be niave enough to get caught up in the sterotype yardie/rude boy/drug dealing/violence prone mugger. Your stance would have in earlier years suggested the temptation to rebuild Hadrians Wall, drive the Welsh back up into hills and issue a coracle & compass at Fishguard to everyone from the Emerald Isle who strayed outside of Kilburn High Road.
2. "The racial and cultural differences are irreconcilable and will remain so."
No they are not, as time will tell. Take as a case in point, one of the West Indian islands, Jamaica. The population are a cocktail mix mainly of: european, negro, indian & chinese descent. They also have an undercurrent of intolerence based upon the degree of skin darkness, (or as they express it: musty, fusty & dusty!).But overall they are proud to be Jamacian.

Finally, returning dutifully to the original thread:
Yes, some elements are too quick, (and I might add superficial), to cry "racism"
Yes, it does cause strain & irritation on race relations.
But you have to move beyond that and have more faith in the ability of individuals to find common ground. What does cause more of a strain, is trying to take more immigrants into a country than they can reasonably absorb in too short a period.

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 02:54 PM
I'm afraid you are reading too much into what is a very limited contact between blacks and whites in the UK. Despite enormous efforts by various governments since 1948 to integrate West Indians into the prevailing culture, the vast majority of whites do not have contact with them unless forced to by virtue of their work or some other situation that cannot be avoided. Go into any public house in central London at any time of day and you will see proportionately fewer blacks than their numbers would imply. After a dispute with the staff at my usual pub, I have recently been drinking at various other venues and, although most of them have been packed in the evenings, I have not seen one black person among the clientele. Whether the government like it or not, the great majority of white people will not agree with an act of parliament that was forced on them without their consent, often moving abroad or out of urban areas rather than suffer what many regard as an unacceptable situation. It's a known fact that many parents have actually moved house rather than send their children to schools in predominately black areas.

Virgil
07-26-2009, 03:10 PM
You're joking, right?

Next to the American government, Canada doesn't even compare. The same sort of residential school system in Canada existed in the States too, hate to break it to you, except perhaps you guys wiped them off the map more thoroughly.

What are you talking about? No one is prevented from going to any school within their district. The problem is that people live in uniform neighborhoods and so schools tend to be predominantly of the neighborhood ethnicity. In order to try to alliviate this concern, which seems to be a concern more by intellectual think heads than anyone actually living in neighborhoods, black or white, there has been a forced busing effort in many districts to cross pollinate ethnicities. There is no institutionalized forcing of people to segragated schools as your comment implies. There is nothing wrong with residential school systems. People don't want to ship their kids across the city or state.

JBI
07-26-2009, 03:42 PM
What are you talking about? No one is prevented from going to any school within their district. The problem is that people live in uniform neighborhoods and so schools tend to be predominantly of the neighborhood ethnicity. In order to try to alliviate this concern, which seems to be a concern more by intellectual think heads than anyone actually living in neighborhoods, black or white, there has been a forced busing effort in many districts to cross pollinate ethnicities. There is no institutionalized forcing of people to segragated schools as your comment implies. There is nothing wrong with residential school systems. People don't want to ship their kids across the city or state.

You completely misunderstood the posts - the residential school system, which existed in the US as well, was a system set up to assimilate Aboriginals into white society - generally, it involved essentially kidnapping children, and sending them to religious schools, where their culture would be destroyed, language rights removed, and where the not so holy priests would have their way with them, as is want for priests.

Of course, the American system didn't last as long, and pretty much went out in the 20s, but the general damage had been done. Of course, the difference between the systems is, whereas Canada's aboriginal affairs is based on treaties and reservations, in the US aboriginals are treated as any minority, essentially, without any special treatment. In that sense then, the US is not "as racist" in that their policies aren't inadequate - they simply do not exist. The criticism in Canada essentially deals with Canada not doing enough, and not providing enough, whereas in the US, the government does nothing, and doesn't intend to do anything, as, quite simply, the vast majority of the Aboriginal communities have been all but wiped out, and the Native population base isn't very substantial in the country, in contrast to Canada.

As for not having racist policies - perhaps in practice, but keep in mind, country policy involves Domestic and foreign affairs, on all levels of government, including the police, which is a government institution, and is the issue here. Canada doesn't have racist "Policies" in the legal sense, there just are racial issues that haven't been addressed properly, such as lack of funding for reserves, and poor education and living standards in certain areas, not unlike the US.

In general, neither country is particularly racist, but it's a bit ridiculous to deny at least on some level racist programs (I am not allowed to get into contemporary politics, so I will leave it at that).

wessexgirl
07-26-2009, 03:44 PM
I'm afraid you are reading too much into what is a very limited contact between blacks and whites in the UK. Despite enormous efforts by various governments since 1948 to integrate West Indians into the prevailing culture, the vast majority of whites do not have contact with them unless forced to by virtue of their work or some other situation that cannot be avoided. Go into any public house in central London at any time of day and you will see proportionately fewer blacks than their numbers would imply. After a dispute with the staff at my usual pub, I have recently been drinking at various other venues and, although most of them have been packed in the evenings, I have not seen one black person among the clientele. Whether the government like it or not, the great majority of white people will not agree with an act of parliament that was forced on them without their consent, often moving abroad or out of urban areas rather than suffer what many regard as an unacceptable situation. It's a known fact that many parents have actually moved house rather than send their children to schools in predominately black areas.

Not only do I think you're wrong, a lot of what you're saying is offensive. Where is your proof on the statements you're making? Where is your proof that the "great majority of white people.........suffer what many regard as an unacceptable situation....." and where is it "a known fact that many parents have actually moved house.........." etc?

I don't know where you live, but I live in a relatively ordinary, middle-class area, and work in a good school, in what is seen as a rather posh area. I have black neighbours, and the school is multicultural. I have many friends from different ethnic backgrounds, and I can honestly say that I don't see parents trying to move to get out of the catchment area of our school. It's a popular choice, people are trying to get in. Your limited contact statement is a nonsense, it certainly is where I live and work.

MANICHAEAN
07-26-2009, 03:49 PM
You really should get out more & explore areas & pubs especially in & around London where you would come into contact with a whole range of ethnic minorities whose company I'm sure you would appreciate.
When in the UK on home leave, I frequent abodes in Hatfied, St Albans & Potters Bar outside of London where fellow topers of Polish, Nigerian & Chinese ethnicity indulge in boozing as a heroic sign of humanity and are quite prepared to mix.
In London proper I range between Irish pubs in Cricklewood, West Indian pubs in Harlesden, Jewish pubs in Golders Green, pubs at the south end of Edgeware Road frequented by Arabs dressed in mufti & pubs in Erith where the ethnic English still hold out.
Please don't take this unkindly, but how we tangentally got off the original thread again beggers belief. Like Falstaff down at the Eastcheap tavern; "It ascends me into the brain... makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit."

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 04:09 PM
Not only do I think you're wrong, a lot of what you're saying is offensive. Where is your proof on the statements you're making? Where is your proof that the "great majority of white people.........suffer what many regard as an unacceptable situation....." and where is it "a known fact that many parents have actually moved house.........." etc?

I don't know where you live, but I live in a relatively ordinary, middle-class area, and work in a good school, in what is seen as a rather posh area. I have black neighbours, and the school is multicultural. I have many friends from different ethnic backgrounds, and I can honestly say that I don't see parents trying to move to get out of the catchment area of our school. It's a popular choice, people are trying to get in. Your limited contact statement is a nonsense, it certainly is where I live and work.

The fact remains that if you were to go to a cinema, concert hall, theatre or virtually any public place, with the possible exception of pop concerts and sports venues, you will not see blacks and whites together in any numbers. It is merely a fact that can be observed virtually anywhere in the UK unless of course you don't wish to observe it. I also live in an area where both races live and there is no visible interaction between them.
Education being the hot potato that it is in the UK, it features regularly in the media and there are plenty of reports to the effect that parents cannot find the schools of their choice, only the naive and disingenuous refuse to understand what that means. I personally know of one family where the woman and her daughter actually cried when the girl was accepted for the school of their choice.

Virgil
07-26-2009, 05:24 PM
You completely misunderstood the posts - the residential school system, which existed in the US as well, was a system set up to assimilate Aboriginals into white society - generally, it involved essentially kidnapping children, and sending them to religious schools, where their culture would be destroyed, language rights removed, and where the not so holy priests would have their way with them, as is want for priests.

Of course, the American system didn't last as long, and pretty much went out in the 20s, but the general damage had been done. Of course, the difference between the systems is, whereas Canada's aboriginal affairs is based on treaties and reservations, in the US aboriginals are treated as any minority, essentially, without any special treatment. In that sense then, the US is not "as racist" in that their policies aren't inadequate - they simply do not exist. The criticism in Canada essentially deals with Canada not doing enough, and not providing enough, whereas in the US, the government does nothing, and doesn't intend to do anything, as, quite simply, the vast majority of the Aboriginal communities have been all but wiped out, and the Native population base isn't very substantial in the country, in contrast to Canada.

Perhaps I miss understood. Coming from New York City I really have no idea how we tried to assimilate Native Americans. My thoughts on Native American culture is that it's caught between two bad choices. Yes, they can assimilate into the big city centers, but that would essentially wipe out their way of life. If they segregate themselves into Indian nations, then they essentially condem themselves to a lack of opportunity and agrarian poverty.


As for not having racist policies - perhaps in practice, but keep in mind, country policy involves Domestic and foreign affairs, on all levels of government, including the police, which is a government institution, and is the issue here. Canada doesn't have racist "Policies" in the legal sense, there just are racial issues that haven't been addressed properly, such as lack of funding for reserves, and poor education and living standards in certain areas, not unlike the US.
We do have a similar problem in pockets. Yes, we try to emphasize local government, especially of school systems for the very reason that local communities have individual and specific values. But that does create less funding for education for lower class communities, many of which happen to be black. That is an issue. But I would contend that's not out of racism but a by product of striving for local governance. It is a problem and a struggle. New York City doesn't really have this issue because it spreads it's city costs across many neighborhoods, but New Jersey, for various demographic reasons does.


In general, neither country is particularly racist, but it's a bit ridiculous to deny at least on some level racist programs (I am not allowed to get into contemporary politics, so I will leave it at that).
I would agree that neither (I would assume for Canada) are not racist. But what you consider racist may be unfortunate struggles between various values.

Emil Miller
07-26-2009, 06:13 PM
You really should get out more & explore areas & pubs especially in & around London where you would come into contact with a whole range of ethnic minorities whose company I'm sure you would appreciate.
When in the UK on home leave, I frequent abodes in Hatfied, St Albans & Potters Bar outside of London where fellow topers of Polish, Nigerian & Chinese ethnicity indulge in boozing as a heroic sign of humanity and are quite prepared to mix.
In London proper I range between Irish pubs in Cricklewood, West Indian pubs in Harlesden, Jewish pubs in Golders Green, pubs at the south end of Edgeware Road frequented by Arabs dressed in mufti & pubs in Erith where the ethnic English still hold out.
Please don't take this unkindly, but how we tangentally got off the original thread again beggers belief. Like Falstaff down at the Eastcheap tavern; "It ascends me into the brain... makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit."

Thanks, I do not take it unkindly and agree that I might find the company of those you have mentioned congenial, but this is the trouble with liberal thinking, the fact that I find a certain situation agreeable, doesn't mean that others will. Attempts to cajole or coerce will be met with resistance from those whose opinion is different.

MANICHAEAN
07-27-2009, 02:51 AM
Agreed.
But I would not regard myself as particularly either liberal or conservative.
If I had stayed a Londoner & worked in London all my life, very likely I would have been influenced by the dramatic changes in racial diversity that have evolved. And age anyway brings with it a nostalga for "the old days".
Because I have spent the last 30 years working in: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroons, the West Indies, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar & Canada, I've seen it from the other side in many aspects of life, inclusive the racial issue.

MarkBastable
07-27-2009, 03:24 AM
The fact remains that if you were to go to a cinema, concert hall, theatre or virtually any public place, with the possible exception of pop concerts and sports venues, you will not see blacks and whites together in any numbers. It is merely a fact that can be observed virtually anywhere in the UK unless of course you don't wish to observe it.


Having lived in South London for fifty years, I have to say that's not a fact at all. It might be an observation you make if you wish to perceive things that way though.

You might say that mine is just anecdotal or personal evidence - and that's true - but so's yours.

A more objective indicator might be, for instance, the proportion of mixed marriages over the last forty-odd years in those areas with significant immigrant populations.

Emil Miller
07-27-2009, 04:20 AM
Having lived in South London for fifty years, I have to say that's not a fact at all. It might be an observation you make if you wish to perceive things that way though.

You might say that mine is just anecdotal or personal evidence - and that's true - but so's yours.

A more objective indicator might be, for instance, the proportion of mixed marriages over the last forty-odd years in those areas with significant immigrant populations.

Well you obviously live in a different part of South London to mine.
As for mixed " marriages," whilst it is true that I have observed the occasional black/white couple, they represent a miniscule number if one considers the great number of blacks who live in London and elsewhere.

MarkBastable
07-27-2009, 06:18 AM
Well you obviously live in a different part of South London to mine.
As for mixed " marriages," whilst it is true that I have observed the occasional black/white couple, they represent a miniscule number if one considers the great number of blacks who live in London and elsewhere.





The Office Of National Statistics (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=455) supplies figures indicating that 7.9% of the UK population is "from a non-White ethnic group" (2001).

It also records that in that year 2% of marriages were 'inter-ethnic'. In London the figures for ethnic population is 3.15%. In other words, two percent of people (four, if you count both parties in a marriage) are marrying outside their ethnic group, which given an ethnic population of three percent is a pretty significant proportion.

From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/uk/2002/race/changing_face_of_britain.stm)

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics in 2001 revealed the number of mixed race people grew by more than 75% during the 1990s to around 415,000, 10% of the total ethnic minority population in the UK.

By 1997 already half of black men and a third of black women in relationships had a white partner according to a major study of ethnic minorities published by the Policy Studies Institute (PSI).

It also revealed that other inter-racial relationships were flourishing with a fifth of Asian men and 10% of Asian women opting for a white partner.

From Wikipedia:

In 2000, The Sunday Times reported that "Britain has the highest rate of interracial relationships in the world" and certainly the UK has the highest rate in the European Union. The 2001 census showed the population of England (a sub-section of the UK) to be 1.4% mixed-race..

By 2020 the mixed race population is expected to become Britain's largest ethnic minority group with the highest growth rate.

2005 birth records for the country state at least 3.5% of new born babies as mixed race.

Integration is a generational process, but it seems to be happening. It always has. When's the last time you walked down a London street and remarked on the huge number of unintegrated Huguenots?

Emil Miller
07-27-2009, 07:03 AM
The Office Of National Statistics (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=455) supplies figures indicating that 7.9% of the UK population is "from a non-White ethnic group" (2001).

It also records that in that year 2% of marriages were 'inter-ethnic'. In London the figures for ethnic population is 3.15%. In other words, two percent of people (four, if you count both parties in a marriage) are marrying outside their ethnic group, which given an ethnic population of three percent is a pretty significant proportion.

From Wikipedia:

In 2000, The Sunday Times reported that "Britain has the highest rate of interracial relationships in the world" and certainly the UK has the highest rate in the European Union. The 2001 census showed the population of England (a sub-section of the UK) to be 1.4% mixed-race..

By 2020 the mixed race population is expected to become Britain's largest ethnic minority group with the highest growth rate.

2005 birth records for the country state at least 3.5% of new born babies as mixed race.

Integration is a generational process, but it seems to be happening. It always has. When's the last time you walked down a London street and remarked on the huge number of unintegrated Huguenots?

As I have had cause to mention on these forums before, Disraeli's statement that there are lies,damned lies and statistics needs to be born in mind.
As for that old canard about the Huguenots, I suspect that the statistics would show that there were many more than originally came to these shores.
Either way, I prefer to believe what my own eyes tell me and will continue to do so.

MarkBastable
07-27-2009, 07:07 AM
Either way, I prefer to believe what my own eyes tell me and will continue to do so.

Do. But don't address the forum as if you expect the rest of us to believe what your eyes tell you.

Incidentally, my eyes tell me that your spelling's a bit suspect.

It's minuscule and borne.

Emil Miller
07-27-2009, 07:29 AM
Do. But don't address the forum as if you expect the rest of us to believe what your eyes tell you.

Incidentally, my eyes tell me that your spelling's a bit suspect.

It's minuscule and borne.

Members of the forum are quite at liberty to disagree with my observations as I am to disagree with theirs.
I am always pleased to receive corrections to errors of spelling, typing or grammatical inaccuracies.

Nightshade
07-27-2009, 04:37 PM
Not only do I think you're wrong, a lot of what you're saying is offensive. Where is your proof on the statements you're making? Where is your proof that the "great majority of white people.........suffer what many regard as an unacceptable situation....." and where is it "a known fact that many parents have actually moved house.........." etc?

I don't know where you live, but I live in a relatively ordinary, middle-class area, and work in a good school, in what is seen as a rather posh area. I have black neighbours, and the school is multicultural. I have many friends from different ethnic backgrounds, and I can honestly say that I don't see parents trying to move to get out of the catchment area of our school. It's a popular choice, people are trying to get in. Your limited contact statement is a nonsense, it certainly is where I live and work.



The fact remains that if you were to go to a cinema, concert hall, theatre or virtually any public place, with the possible exception of pop concerts and sports venues, you will not see blacks and whites together in any numbers. It is merely a fact that can be observed virtually anywhere in the UK unless of course you don't wish to observe it. I also live in an area where both races live and there is no visible interaction between them.
Education being the hot potato that it is in the UK, it features regularly in the media and there are plenty of reports to the effect that parents cannot find the schools of their choice, only the naive and disingenuous refuse to understand what that means. I personally know of one family where the woman and her daughter actually cried when the girl was accepted for the school of their choice.

Ok abit of a convaluted answer to these two posts but Ill get there in the end ( I hope). First off I think if it isn't obvious I mght as well say I am not white. Im not Black, in fact annoyingly most ethnic origins forms doesnt even have a tick box for me .. and Ive had a cupole of times where the makes forgot to add the any other mixed category and so I couldnt asnwer the question at all ( I did on the otherhand get to jump up and down and scream you are discriminating aginst me- mind the person who wrote those was a friend of mine so I did it as a joke to her, but also as a warning becasue she was involved in the student union adminstration and in MAnchetsre there are more than a few people in my position or rather of a similar brand of ethnicity). When I am not in manchetesr I live in a small village Almost completly white although there are afew obvious non white inhabitants - we all tend to stick out and every now and then a new family appears on the scene. ( Kind of a bit like eastenders really :rolleyes: ) But in general ecxcept for 2 or 3 occasions Ive been treated really well and really welccomed. There are the occcasional moments of schoking racisim that people say without even realisng it. like a 2 year old who wanted to know if I was a "flithy stinking paki" ( I should have answered "no darling Im a Pharoh"- instead I stumbled and tripped in shock). Then there were the school boys who yelled there ain't no black in the union jack so F*** off and don't come back ( this time I was better prepared I rolled up my sleve and yelled OI look here I am whiter then you you idiot! " at least this is the story I tell myslef about what I did the true story is around here somewhere and I cant really rember what I said or did.
But Like I was saying there is alot of unmeant I am not going to use the word racisim but how about hurtful ignorance. At work one day they came up with this oh so hilarious BOOM joke... which I didnt find at all amusing but its kind of hard to say you know what you should say that becasue its tupid and ignorat and biggoted and racisit so I bit my tounge and smiled. And recntly I had a guy in ( The same guy who called me fat christmas eve, who thought I would like to read a cbook on how evil muslims are... now really?!
Or once we were out to dinner and this complete stranger stops me and goes good for you you are allowed out and you wear colours, because I was weraing a bright pink hijab.

I do know that there were some kind of statistics about black children failing schools, but these have since been replaced with teh white WASP boys are the failing group in uk schools. Aisin kids coming up the highest followed by Arab- middleeastern children then black children then white girls then finally the boys. ( I could have got the middle bit wrong but I am sure on the aisian kids being the highest and the WASP boys being the lowest.

But even though some places are supposedly very multicutlural from my limited experiance they aren't really, take machester. leaving out the city cntre and move down. Rusholm or the curry mile is filled mostly with aisians and arabs, longsight is mostly black people. And the shops all reflect this. But move on down and fallowfield is like another country orr rather more like the white england. ( comparativley speaking of course there were alot of nonwhites in fallowfield I am sure but they arent as apparnat and obvious as in places like rusholme, hulme mossside or longsight ... and concidering mosside-hulme and longsight are 2 of the most deprived areas in england Brian bean may have a point.

Id like to make a load of political comments especially concidering reccent political events and a 40+ anniversery of a british political event. But I shall refrain I will say though I dnt think that institional racisim is as much a problem in the UK as it could be. I have a black friend in her mid fourties who I am niavie about it all. And I may be.
I do think though the over sensitivity to hints of racisim - Im atlking about the maddess of politcal correctiness) somtimes makes the issues worse. I mean the chalk board balck borad nosesne was just going too far you know? It makes the minority look stupid and oversenstive and its just blame I cant even think of a word for how idiotic it is. It also makes everyone feel a bit uncomfortable a is barraier against integraion its highlights the difference more than anything else.

on another personal note earlier this year I went to a County services Cultural services day I was a room of well over 200 people of all levels of staff of the County council cultural services divsion and I suddenly realised that in the whole room I was only obviously nonwhite member of staff. ( well there was a greek looking woman but I think greeks, italians and spanish are counted as white aren't they?) And I realised that the sudden introcutionof racial incednt report form after Id ben working a month or so , and the requests for me to provide my 'minority' experiance of working for the local government and the request that come in every so often when they dont want a 'typical' librarian for a job is because I am it. I am the token non white person.

on the whole I am glad I didnt know earlier, it is an uncomforatble bit of knowledge and kind of scary. Not that I suspect racisim or any other cause its just its wierd knowing that they had to introducce things becasue of me- akward like.

But like I was saying before stressing the difference is the wrong way to go about sorting out the differcens. You end up in a Dr. Money type bind, which not where you want to be. Not on excalyty racce realted but I have sat in rooms filled with muslim students fretting and seeking perscusion and discrimination everywhere they look. Now whetehr its all or at least partially just a case of the preciving it where it isnt ther is aside question, as is the fact taht it could be ajitators at work fanning the flames of fear. But the fact remains that if people feel they are being persecuted then they get nasty. and this where trouble begins. And talking about rasicim just brings it to peoples minds makes look for it everywhere precive it everywer and feel perscuted and act upon it.

Drkshadow03
07-29-2009, 12:32 AM
Caddy your highlighting has confused me. As best I can respond, yes there is no doubt that some racism exists in some people's heart. (Let me distinguish racism, which is prejudice, with pre-judgements which are linked to rational associations.) Some people will hold racist views, and I imagine that's around the world and universal to a degree. I'm not saying that's extinguished. But the ability for those people to affect the lives of those they hold those views against those they hate is small, and again I only speak for the US. We have all sorts of Equal Opportunity laws which enforce and investigate claims and push minorities up. For the most part those things are good, though i would like a day when we don't have to such efforts.

As to how to end this consciousness. Well, it was my contention that the Prof Gates and the Jesse Jacksons of the world actually promote race consciousness. The question has to be, why does this consciousness exist for black americans and not for asians or jews or Italians, or other ethnic groups. Perhaps given the war on terror, there may be a slight suspicion when it comes to muslims, I grant you, but they certainly aren't in a ghetto with lack of education and high crime rates. I believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous. That is what every other ethnic group has done. Their claim that racism has held them back, while once true, just doesn't square with the facts of the last forty years. There is a sub-cultural phenomena (unmarried mothers, the valuing of sports over education, drug glorification, gangster values, etc.) going on. Bill Cosby, by the way, has been very eloquent on this issue. Thos like Gates who perpetuate this race conscious attitude is diverting the black community with excuses that diverts them from real change.

I leave you with the say quote i left earlier from Thomas Sowell. "If jews had waited for the end of anti-semitism to make it in America, they would still be waiting."

So the last 40 years have been nothing but prosperity and moving on up for blacks, but at the same time they are plagued by poverty, unmarried mothers, valuing the wrong aspects of culture, low graduation rates, etc.? You try to square these contradiction away by pinning this on a sub-group within the larger community that makes up the black population of America, but at the same time use imprecise language that also makes it sound like you're speaking of the black community in general, not just a minority:

"I believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous."

Racism exists. Institutional Racism exists. By institutional racism we don't just mean it exists in a few individuals in society, but it is a system of biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions that proliferates through our institutions, such institutions may include: our businesses, our banks, our schools, our literature, our stores, etc. If institutional racism didn't exist then there wouldn't be publishers who consistently white-wash characters on book covers by turning characters who are black into white people (see link (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2009/07/24/publisher-bloomsbury-white-washes-book-by-using-white-girls-face-on-cover-to-depict-black-character/)). This is evidence that racism is inherently attached to many of our institutions, such as the fabled publishing industry. If institutional racism didn't exist this story (http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/Pool-Boots-Kids-Who-Might-Change-the-Complexion.html) about black kids being excluded from using the pool in the "white-only" club never would've happened. Racism in America goes far beyond a few nasty individuals.

Also, why do you assume race consciousness doesn't exist for Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laos, etc. as there is no one Asian group), Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrahi, Ethiopian), or other ethnic groups?

Jozanny
07-29-2009, 11:48 AM
1. I agree with Chris (Admin) that the post-MLK civil rights leaders push identity politics, but this fact in and of itself does not mean that racism--to Drk's point, has vanished, and I think Gates' arrest points to this, and Philadelphia itself points to it.

I lived in the inner city proper for 8 yrs, and I witnessed episodes that destroyed my naive sense that integration was justice too long delayed. What I experienced scarred and hardened me, despite my educated conscience.

What I experience in this section 202 housing adds to this, minus the toll of violence, which is admittedly rare in this unit.

But there is a Foucaultan conflict--the seniors most active on the tenant council are overtly hostile to the disabled population--which, as I previously indicated, is just as bad, if not worse, than racial prejudice.

And I'm damned if I know how to square it, ultimately, for myself.

I doubt I'll last here another five years--because I push back against management, and they have increased the pressure on me, and what I've been through since winter,well.

I don't know where I will wind up, but I am very jaded about what Ellison calls *social equality*, because there are so many differences, and stereotypes.

mortalterror
07-29-2009, 01:35 PM
Racism exists. Institutional Racism exists. By institutional racism we don't just mean it exists in a few individuals in society, but it is a system of biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions that proliferates through our institutions, such institutions may include: our businesses, our banks, our schools, our literature, our stores, etc.
I know what happened, your WHITE PERSONS EMAIL must have gone straight to spam. Racism is over, Eric. We're onto bigamy now.

Oh, and I saw a report about that swim club thing on the news. They kicked a couple of white groups out too; so it was more of a rich vs poor thing.

Emil Miller
07-29-2009, 07:00 PM
[QUOTE=Drkshadow03;755861] Racism exists. Institutional Racism exists. By institutional racism we don't just mean it exists in a few individuals in society, but it is a system of biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions that proliferates through our institutions, such institutions may include: our businesses, our banks, our schools, our literature, our stores, etc.

Have you ever wondered why?



[QUOTE=mortalterror;756032]. Racism is over, Eric.

Racism ( a word propagated by liberals for the unquestioning masses) will never be over while so many people have a stake in it.

Nightshade
07-30-2009, 03:47 AM
But there is a Foucaultan conflict--the seniors most active on the tenant council are overtly hostile to the disabled population--which, as I previously indicated, is just as bad, if not worse, than racial prejudice.

.

I missed this the first time round,but yes I have to agree disability related prejudices in some ways more insidious than racial prejudice and worse is people can find ways to get away with it.

MarkBastable
07-30-2009, 06:51 PM
Racism a word propagated by liberals for the unquestioning masses) will never be over while so many people have a stake in it.

Libersls - a word propagated by besieged conservatives to disconcert the unquestioning bourgeoisie.

Hey - this dismissive-definition-on-the-run thing is very satisfying. I think we should make this central to all debates here.

JuniperWoolf
07-30-2009, 09:12 PM
Who knows though - my general view is that Canada is really two countries - based on the diversification of the population centre - people in Vancouver, I would think, are probably more tolerant than people in rural Alberta, simply because Vancouver is a diversified city, whereas in rural Alberta generally all the exposure to non-white, non-native Canadian perspectives are limited to press, or minimal exposure (generally these townships tend to have one Chinese restaurant, for instance, which sells Americanized food of low quality).


I know that this is going back a bit and kind of deviating from the point, but you're not from Alberta, are you? If you were, you'd know that most places in rural Alberta have a native reserve almost every 20 km, and therefore plenty of exposure (side note: have you ever noticed that Canadians are quite prejudiced against Albertans? I've been called a stupid racist hick who only cares about money so many times...).

Now back to the subject at hand. Papaya is completely right in her assertion that the trouble lies in the subtle things: being followed around stores, the cops picking you out of a crowd, stupid comments... and, although it may seem like a cop-out, she was also correct when she said that unless you experience being a minority, you will NEVER understand. I have a lot of native friends. There's a reason why the highest suicide rate in Canada is native females. I know, because I've seen it literally THOUSANDS of times. The problems faced by aborigionals are so very much more complex then a lot of people realize. Its not just segregation vs. assimilation, they have had their pride and self-respect completely stripped away and half-assed government programs really do make it so much worse. If you were told that your culture were backwards and silly, then had the land that you loved taken away, then you were given a little tiny villiage where you were treated like a child in that you didn't have to pay taxes and were given money from the government every week, what would you do? I know what I would do: I'd get very depressed, start fights and maybe get wasted. Not to mention the fact that many people (not just a couple) HATE natives because these people honestly believe that those who live on reserves and recieve governemt funds are stealing their money. No, I don't have a source or a government-funded poll to support me here, all that I have are my own experiences and those of my friends. This isn't just an "oh, that happened hundreds of years ago, get with the times and get over it" kind of thing, it really does happen today, and often. (NOTE: I don't have a solution. This is a very complicated issue. The point that I'm trying to make is that to simplify racism or to pretend that it doesn't exist will only exacerbate the problem)

One of my friends in high school got suspended because she had just removed her nail polish, and a teacher (having smelled the nail-polish remover) asked her if she had been drinking. My friend lost it. From the outside, this looks like a slip on her part, but unless you've seen the build up, the hundreds of little comments and insinuations, the snide remarks, you don't get it. It wasn't just the teacher, it was everything, over a looong period of time. That little incident just happened to be the one that pushed her over the edge. I wouldn't be suprised if it were the same situation in the case of the professor.

I find it insulting that there are people who imply that racism is a thing of the past, or a rarity, in the same way that I feel sick when I hear people ask "what's the big deal with feminism? According to law, men and women ARE equal. What more do those b****es want?" especially with the rate of domestic violence and sexual assault in this county, not to mention the nauseating media portrayal (has anyone here ever seen a show called "Keys to the VIP?") Officially and legally, racism and sexism don't exist. The problem isn't legal, its social, and I don't see it ever going away.

Nightshade
07-31-2009, 03:00 AM
If you were told that your culture were backwards and silly, then had the land that you loved taken away, then you were given a little tiny villiage where you were treated like a child in that you didn't have to pay taxes and were given money from the government every week, what would you do? I know what I would do: I'd get very depressed, start fights and maybe get wasted. .

See thats my point treating people differantly because of their race, and not just differantly badly but in some cases the dilberate obvious overcompensating just highlights the differances and makes the matter worse. for instance I have had people get them sleves into an absalout flap worrying and trying to help me when Ive been at work (or on a visit to a differant work place) and said I wanted to pray. And I usually end up having to explain that they needed worry if I need something Ill ask, but I usally have everything I just I need 10 minutes of my tea break at a slightly different time. Or take my currnt work place, they wont give me overtime in Ramadan because after 4 years they still aren't convinced that I wont collapse aqnd die one day while I am fasting As if I havent been doing it for 15 years and know exactly what I am doing. :rolleyes:

On a side note wellkind of, I was seriouslly annoyed in 06 or 07 which ever it was at the official apology for salvery thing. ALthough some of my black friends where pleased by it. I felt it belittled it all. Plus what good is an apology by decdants to decndants? It happened and we all have to live with tyhat. Apologising means it could possibly be forgiven, and swept under the carpet. Plus it just reminded people of all the reasons people have to have grudges. And another thing until we stop having highlight race at every turn and have to stress equal oppertunities they we are not really past rascism at all. What we need is a day when it matters so little what race a person is that it never ever ever comes up, except in context of desribing people, like blonde green eyed, or a darkskinned etc.

Emil Miller
07-31-2009, 08:20 AM
. The problem isn't legal, its social, and I don't see it ever going away.

Exactly the point I made earlier.



And another thing until we stop having highlight race at every turn and have to stress equal oppertunities they we are not really past rascism at all. .

Your experiences underline a very important aspect of the race problem. I am sorry to say that liberals are going to continue harping on race because it gives them an air of moral superiority. They believe they have the keys to the kingdom and are not prepared to give them up. As I have already pointed out, too many people have a vested interest in racism.

Lynne50
07-31-2009, 10:14 AM
I have read with much interests many of the posts so far. In my humble opinion, what we should do is instead of saying racism doesn't exist, we should all imbrace racism. What I am attempting to say is, that we are all, deep down, racists. We all are proud of our cultural backgrounds, which we should be. We should be celebrating our differences. And, like others have said already, racism will never go away. It's clearly impossible. It's just the way the world is. I do think that people, of all ethncities, need to be able to laugh at themselves a bit more. If you can laugh at a joke about yourselves within your own ethncity, then it should be fair game for others too.

There is a difference between making blatant racial remarks that are hurtful, and ones that are said out of ignorance and being uneducated about the facts. I think it is all of our duties, to educate these people, as respectfully as one can, and not let people get away with these attitudes.

I guess I'm naive. I grew up in an all white suburb. My city, was known for it's racism. I should say,that my hometown city is considered middle-low income and economically is probably even lower now. However, I never heard anyone speak badly about minorities, except for my grandfather, and I didn't see him that often. I never met a black person, for my whole entire school career. There was only one Jewish person in our school. Talk about being isolated. I don't consider myself the least bit racist, though. I enjoy interacting with all types of people.

Let me get back to my orginal thoughts, And they were?? :confused:

We can not wipe out racism.. It's too important to us all. On the one hand we need to celebrate our differences, yet on the other we have to use commonsense. Racial profiling should not be used, but you can understand where it comes from, esp. in these times.
I think some of the burden should rest with our schools. They should promote differences, rather than deny them. I think we should have more school assemblies on this subject. Maybe there should even be public forums, like President Obama's small town meetings, to address these matters.
Opening dialogues is the only way to lessen people's fears. I think fear drives racism and why should we all be living in a fearful society. How time consuming and wasteful is that!

Drkshadow03
07-31-2009, 11:06 AM
What I am attempting to say is, that we are all, deep down, racists. We all are proud of our cultural backgrounds, which we should be. We should be celebrating our differences. And, like others have said already, racism will never go away.


"The poor you will always have with you." - Jesus.

Just because racism will most likely never go away doesn't mean one should stop trying their best to mitigate its effects as much as possible, no less than one should stop trying to help the poor.

Lynne50
07-31-2009, 12:05 PM
"The poor you will always have with you." - Jesus.

Just because racism will most likely never go away doesn't mean one should stop trying their best to mitigate its effects as much as possible, no less than one should stop trying to help the poor.

I agree with your statement completely, DarkShadow. I hope I didn't give the impression we should just stick our heads in the sand and do nothing. I think we need to address the situations as they arise both in our private conversations and in more public settings.

Emil Miller
07-31-2009, 02:24 PM
I have read with much interests many of the posts so far. In my humble opinion, what we should do is instead of saying racism doesn't exist, we should all imbrace racism. What I am attempting to say is, that we are all, deep down, racists. We all are proud of our cultural backgrounds, which we should be. We should be celebrating our differences. And, like others have said already, racism will never go away. It's clearly impossible. It's just the way the world is. I do think that people, of all ethncities, need to be able to laugh at themselves a bit more. If you can laugh at a joke about yourselves within your own ethncity, then it should be fair game for others too.

There is a difference between making blatant racial remarks that are hurtful, and ones that are said out of ignorance and being uneducated about the facts. I think it is all of our duties, to educate these people, as respectfully as one can, and not let people get away with these attitudes.

I guess I'm naive. I grew up in an all white suburb. My city, was known for it's racism. I should say,that my hometown city is considered middle-low income and economically is probably even lower now. However, I never heard anyone speak badly about minorities, except for my grandfather, and I didn't see him that often. I never met a black person, for my whole entire school career. There was only one Jewish person in our school. Talk about being isolated. I don't consider myself the least bit racist, though. I enjoy interacting with all types of people.

Let me get back to my orginal thoughts, And they were?? :confused:

We can not wipe out racism.. It's too important to us all. On the one hand we need to celebrate our differences, yet on the other we have to use commonsense. Racial profiling should not be used, but you can understand where it comes from, esp. in these times.
I think some of the burden should rest with our schools. They should promote differences, rather than deny them. I think we should have more school assemblies on this subject. Maybe there should even be public forums, like President Obama's small town meetings, to address these matters.
Opening dialogues is the only way to lessen people's fears. I think fear drives racism and why should we all be living in a fearful society. How time consuming and wasteful is that!

Thanks for the most HONEST and sensible contribution to this thread.

wessexgirl
07-31-2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the most HONEST and sensible contribution to this thread.

Are you going out of your way to be offensive? Are you suggesting that people who don't see things the way you do are liars? I can assure you, I'm no liar. I don't post on forums to lie. I say what I truly believe, and it seems that because it's not what you want to hear, then I'm assumed to be dishonest.

Drkshadow03
07-31-2009, 03:09 PM
Are you going out of your way to be offensive? Are you suggesting that people who don't see things the way you do are liars? I can assure you, I'm no liar. I don't post on forums to lie. I say what I truly believe, and it seems that because it's not what you want to hear, then I'm assumed to be dishonest.

No, he was just noting that Lynne's was the most honest and sensible post in this thread, including his own naturally, which were clearly far less honest and sensible according to Brian Bean's own words. Not to mention the post is clearly sensible because Lynne on the one hand states, "we are all, deep down, racists" while simultaneously claiming that he doesn't "consider [him]self the least bit racist, though." See, perfect sense! Not the least bit contradictory at all. Nothing to see here . . .

mortalterror
07-31-2009, 03:46 PM
No, he was just noting that Lynne's was the most honest and sensible post in this thread, including his own naturally, which were clearly far less honest and sensible according to his own words. Not to mention the post is clearly sensible because Lynne on the one hand states, "we are all, deep down, racists" while simultaneously claiming that he doesn't "consider [him]self the least bit racist, though." See, perfect sense! Not the least bit contradictory at all. Nothing to see here . . .
Have you ever seen Avenue Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNSNLPIfw)?

Drkshadow03
07-31-2009, 04:15 PM
Have you ever seen Avenue Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwNSNLPIfw)?

Of course. Why do you ask?

Lynne50
07-31-2009, 04:22 PM
No, he was just noting that Lynne's was the most honest and sensible post in this thread, including his own naturally, which were clearly far less honest and sensible according to his own words. Not to mention the post is clearly sensible because Lynne on the one hand states, "we are all, deep down, racists" while simultaneously claiming that he doesn't "consider [him]self the least bit racist, though." See, perfect sense! Not the least bit contradictory at all. Nothing to see here . . .

Thank you Drkshadow for calling me on that so obvious contradiction I made. I hope that one little statement " I don't consider myself a racist" doesn't totally negate what I was trying to say. The word 'racist' has ugly connotations, I guess it should be included in the Ugly Word thread. I guess I was trying to use the word in the purest sense, if that's possible, to mean, that whatever your ethnic background, you hold that in the highest regard, which is only natural. Acting on a feeling of superiority, however, is where we get into trouble. Maybe the word
I guess what I was trying to get at, is that I think that we want everyone in the world to assimilate as fast as possible, which would make some things much easier for us, but what a boring world that would be.
I hope this clarifies my ideas a little better. Thanks for your imput. DrkShadow.

mortalterror
07-31-2009, 05:11 PM
Of course. Why do you ask?
The link was to the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist."

Emil Miller
07-31-2009, 06:22 PM
Are you going out of your way to be offensive? Are you suggesting that people who don't see things the way you do are liars? I can assure you, I'm no liar. I don't post on forums to lie. I say what I truly believe, and it seems that because it's not what you want to hear, then I'm assumed to be dishonest.

No, what I am saying is that those who keep trying to iron out racial differences in the belief that they are doing good, are making the situation worse and deceiving themselves rather than other people.

MarkBastable
07-31-2009, 07:20 PM
No, what I am saying is that those who keep trying to iron out racial differences in the belief that they are doing good, are making the situation worse and deceiving themselves rather than other people.

No one wants to iron out racial differences. They simply want to encourage acceptance of the differences.

Emil Miller
07-31-2009, 07:41 PM
No one wants to iron out racial differences. They simply want to encourage acceptance of the differences.

Why? People should be able to decide for themselves whether to accept those differences or not.

MarkBastable
07-31-2009, 07:50 PM
Why? People should be able to decide for themselves whether to accept those differences or not.

Of course they should. I didn't say 'enforce'; I said 'encourage'.

If you can trot out the evidence of your own eyes as an argument, with the caveat that people are free to disagree with you, then presumably you'd concede that anyone can encourage any behaviour they feel is a good idea, with the same proviso that others may choose to decide for themselves.

Deciding for oneself is never a bad idea. But that's not an argument against others presenting possible choices for that decision. In fact it's an argument for the presentation of those choices.

Drkshadow03
07-31-2009, 09:22 PM
The link was to the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist."

I saw what the song was, and I agree to an extent everyone is a little racist, but I'm not seeing what point you're trying to make . . .

Niamh
08-01-2009, 05:28 AM
Hey Brian.... Have you ever been the butt of a racist remark, or had someone you respected make a comment about someone who not the full shilling in your presense and say that they "must be <insert race/ nationality> so"? I have and the first time it happened, i can tell you it hurt. And why is that? because they didnt think and said something they must obviously believe regardless of me.

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 01:57 PM
Deciding for oneself is never a bad idea. But that's not an argument against others presenting possible choices for that decision. In fact it's an argument for the presentation of those choices.

Why the need to proselytize? Encouraging people to think along lines of one's own choosing is presumptuous.


Hey Brian.... Have you ever been the butt of a racist remark, or had someone you respected make a comment about someone who not the full shilling in your presense and say that they "must be <insert race/ nationality> so"? I.

As a matter of fact I have. There was a man working in the same office as myself and, because he knew that I had a Chinese girl friend, took it upon himself to make a 'racist' joke, in my presence, about the chinese.
Did I hold it against him? No, because although he was in many ways an ignorant person, he has every right to his opinion and it is not my business to try to persuade him to be otherwise.

MarkBastable
08-01-2009, 02:02 PM
Why the need to proselytize? Encouraging people to think along lines of one's own choosing is presumptuous.

When you put it like that, I see you're right. There's no point in conversation at all. I look forward to you setting an example by keeping your opinions to yourself.

Drkshadow03
08-01-2009, 02:06 PM
Why the need to proselytize? Encouraging people to think along lines of one's own choosing is presumptuous.

Why the need to write or debate about anything? Or share any ideas, forget ones just involving racism?

Does this make all philosophy and literature or political thought essentially presumptuous? People don't write first and foremost to create pretty aesthetic objects; they write to share ideas.


As a matter of fact I have. There was a man working in the same office as myself and, because he knew that I had a Chinese girl friend, took it upon himself to make a 'racist' joke, in my presence, about the chinese.
Did I hold it against him? No, because although he was in many ways an ignorant person, he has every right to his opinion and it is not my business to try to persuade him to be otherwise.

He has every right to his opinion, and every right to express his opinion, but you also have every right to respond and call him a racist idiot.

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 02:27 PM
Why the need to write or debate about anything? Or share any ideas, forget ones just involving racism?

Does this make all philosophy and literature or political thought essentially presumptuous? People don't write first and foremost to create pretty aesthetic objects; they write to share ideas.


He has every right to his opinion, and every right to express his opinion, but you also have every right to respond and call him a racist idiot.



There is a marked difference between debate and propaganda

I would never resort to personal invective because someone holds views contrary to my own. It's usually a sign of a flawed point of view.

Lynne50
08-01-2009, 02:34 PM
Brian

Not calling that coworker on his offensive remarks, you're, in essence, agreeing with him and he will continue to think that those comments are acceptable. I can't imagine your girlfriend liking the fact that you didn't stand up for her.[/B][/B]

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 03:18 PM
Brian

Not calling that coworker on his offensive remarks, you're, in essence, agreeing with him and he will continue to think that those comments are acceptable. I can't imagine your girlfriend liking the fact that you didn't stand up for her.[/B][/B]

Well it was a joke for heaven's sake and quite a funny one at that.
I never mentioned it to my girl friend who wouldn't have understood it anyway. In any case the chinese can be quite 'racist' themselves on occasion. When president Nixon made his historic trip to China in 1972, the Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai told him that China would eventually surpass the USA because China didn't have 20 million blacks to worry about.

MarkBastable
08-01-2009, 03:40 PM
I would never resort to personal invective because someone holds views contrary to my own. It's usually a sign of a flawed point of view.


Actually, when it's not down to contrary views, but down to the other person being an idiot, I think there's nothing in the least flawed in pointing out to such a person that he's an idiot.

wessexgirl
08-01-2009, 03:55 PM
As a matter of fact I have. There was a man working in the same office as myself and, because he knew that I had a Chinese girl friend, took it upon himself to make a 'racist' joke, in my presence, about the chinese.
Did I hold it against him? No, because although he was in many ways an ignorant person, he has every right to his opinion and it is not my business to try to persuade him to be otherwise.

Following that logic, anyone is free to say and do anything they want, no matter how bad. I suppose it was ok for Hitler to rant his obscene bile, as it was just his opinion? It doesn't matter that said opinion resulted in the outcome it did. As for laughing along with the co-worker, at your girlfriend's expense, do you have no shame? It doesn't matter whether she was there or not. How gallant. Paraphrasing a literary gentleman, it was badly done, Brian, badly done indeed.

Virgil
08-01-2009, 04:11 PM
Oh how did I miss this.


So the last 40 years have been nothing but prosperity and moving on up for blacks, but at the same time they are plagued by poverty, unmarried mothers, valuing the wrong aspects of culture, low graduation rates, etc.?
Obviously you're in a mentality that rationalizes outcomes. You seem to hold the outdated notion that has this equation: Racism causes poverty which leads to sub cultural dysfunctions. Baloney. Sub cultural dysfunctions cause poverty. The average white person doesn't give a damn about keeping blacks down. If he holds prejudiced views he holds them for asians, Indians, muslims, and jews and others. But it's only blacks that have this cultural dysfuntionality. Just look at the number of black men who have spent time in jail. I think it's something like one in three have commited some sort of crime that sent them to jail. Between unmarried mothers, drug use, crime, high school drop out rates, you couldn't devise a more dysfunctional set of variables to cause poverty.


You try to square these contradiction away by pinning this on a sub-group within the larger community that makes up the black population of America, but at the same time use imprecise language that also makes it sound like you're speaking of the black community in general, not just a minority:

"I believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous."
You're damn right I'm saying that; there is no one to blame but themselves. Compare the results of blacks from carribean and african countries? They don't have anywhere near this generational poverty. Once they out grow their immigration growing pains, they do quite well. There is a sub cultural problem with american blacks.


Racism exists. Institutional Racism exists.
Show me. Show me. I can point out all the Equal Opportunity laws, the EEO's in every company that ensures blacks get equal consideration for promotions and hiring, all the law suits that have gone on in the past forty years to ensure this is enforced, the afirmative action that goes on in hiring and college entrences. Today we have a black president, the biggest media star is Opra (and media is a genre that requires visual idnetification), the biggest musical star is Michael Jackson, and there are black CEO at a number of companies. That's on my side of the ledger, what's on yours? I fail to see what's on yours. Do you live in the real world? I haven't checked your age or your occupation but I would guess you're either a college student or a college professor.



By institutional racism we don't just mean it exists in a few individuals in society, but it is a system of biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions that proliferates through our institutions, such institutions may include: our businesses, our banks, our schools, our literature, our stores, etc. If institutional racism didn't exist then there wouldn't be publishers who consistently white-wash characters on book covers by turning characters who are black into white people
Anyone that is a benefit to a business, they will be hired and promoted. It doesn't matter if they're green, orange, or purple. Any group of people, white or asian or any ethnicity, who have those dysfuntions will have the same poverty. All you have to do is look at poor white demographics.


Also, why do you assume race consciousness doesn't exist for Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laos, etc. as there is no one Asian group), Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrahi, Ethiopian), or other ethnic groups?
I have no idea what this means. When I was talking about Gates, I said he was being race conscious. He was thinking in terms of race, not the cop. I think everything that has come out supports that.

I don't expect to convince you. I'm sure this notion is locked in for you. I will leave you for the third time with the quote from Thomas Sowell: "If jews had waited for the end of anti semitism to make it in America, they would still be waiting." Do yourself a favor and look up Thomas Sowell: http://www.tsowell.com/.

MarkBastable
08-01-2009, 04:18 PM
Following that logic, anyone is free to say and do anything they want, no matter how bad. I suppose it was ok for Hitler to rant his obscene bile, as it was just his opinion? .

Actually, although I profoundly disagree with Brian Bean on this one, I do believe that anyone is free to say anything they want, no matter how bad. I wouldn't censor speech because that's tantamount to censoring thinking.

So I do think it was okay for Hitler to rant his obscene bile. I think it was not okay for the German people to act on it. I contribute to various anti-fascist organisations, but I would argue for the right of the BNP to campaign in elections.

My position on racism, and on everything, is best expressed in the words of the French thinker Charles de Russon: I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death my right to make fun of it.

Petrarch's Love
08-01-2009, 05:11 PM
I have only been able to skim this thread, and have no time to make a lengthy response to the many, many points in it. I did, however, notice Lynne50's post and Brian's approval of it and felt that I should respond to Lynne's post on one crucial point. What Lynne said:


I have read with much interests many of the posts so far. In my humble opinion, what we should do is instead of saying racism doesn't exist, we should all imbrace racism. What I am attempting to say is, that we are all, deep down, racists. We all are proud of our cultural backgrounds, which we should be. We should be celebrating our differences. And, like others have said already, racism will never go away. It's clearly impossible. It's just the way the world is. I do think that people, of all ethncities, need to be able to laugh at themselves a bit more. If you can laugh at a joke about yourselves within your own ethncity, then it should be fair game for others too.

There is a difference between making blatant racial remarks that are hurtful, and ones that are said out of ignorance and being uneducated about the facts. I think it is all of our duties, to educate these people, as respectfully as one can, and not let people get away with these attitudes.

I guess I'm naive. I grew up in an all white suburb. My city, was known for it's racism. I should say,that my hometown city is considered middle-low income and economically is probably even lower now. However, I never heard anyone speak badly about minorities, except for my grandfather, and I didn't see him that often. I never met a black person, for my whole entire school career. There was only one Jewish person in our school. Talk about being isolated. I don't consider myself the least bit racist, though. I enjoy interacting with all types of people.

Let me get back to my orginal thoughts, And they were?? :confused:

We can not wipe out racism.. It's too important to us all. On the one hand we need to celebrate our differences, yet on the other we have to use commonsense. Racial profiling should not be used, but you can understand where it comes from, esp. in these times.
I think some of the burden should rest with our schools. They should promote differences, rather than deny them. I think we should have more school assemblies on this subject. Maybe there should even be public forums, like President Obama's small town meetings, to address these matters.
Opening dialogues is the only way to lessen people's fears. I think fear drives racism and why should we all be living in a fearful society. How time consuming and wasteful is that!

Lynne--I can tell that you have put some sincere thought into this post, which is why I wanted to respond to some of your points. I think that I agree with the core of what you are saying, but I think in some places you are a bit muddled, either in the way you express your ideas or in your uncertainty about a complex issue. The line that most concerns me is your suggestion that we should "embrace racism." I think this is a problem with a lot of discussions on race, which end up confusing issues of "racism" with issues of cultural difference. The OED definition of "racism":


The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Hence: prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races, esp. those felt to be a threat to one's cultural or racial integrity or economic well-being; the expression of such prejudice in words or actions. Also occas. in extended use, with reference to people of other nationalities.

Racism does not mean simply that you are proud of your own race or nationality. It means that you think that other people are fundamentally different than you based on their racial group and that some of these racial groups are inherently superior to others. This is, flat out, a wrong belief. The moral guideline as far as "racism" is concerned is absurdly simple. Whenever we find ourselves making a judgment about a person based solely on the racial group that they were born into, it is a wrongly motivated judgment. If racism does exist within us, we must not embrace it.

The more complex issue, which is the issue that I believe you are raising, is that of cultural difference. Difference in cultural background is a tremendously complex issue, and one that is sometimes linked to race, but sometimes unconnected, and sometimes linked to race in a false way. For example, in the US, people may refer to "black culture," but that is a very difficult thing to define. Does it mean a ghetto style rap culture? Does it mean a celebration of African ancestry and of the African American music and art that stems from that ancestry? Do these two cultures overlap? Is it safe to assume that any given black person in America identifies with either of these cultural backgrounds? I've known black people who get bothered each way. My friend who isn't that fond of rap culture, has no desire to reconnect to her roots in Africa and really just wants to do a good job in her career and go about her life like any normal person gets remarks from some black people about being an "oreo" and betraying her race, and remarks from some white people about only getting into her high end professional position because of affirmative action (which she has never asked for or benifitted from). She also gets people from all races occasionally assuming that she should speak a certain way or should be wearing certain things purely based on her race. On the other hand, I know another young woman who grew up in a home and an area where people did have a way of talking that is characteristic of what many would think of as "black" and who is very involved in and proud of trying to preserve many of the postive aspects of the music, speech patterns, customs, etc. that come from the distinct culture of some black communities and in which she finds much to be proud of. She gets sweeping judgments from some people about all black culture being "ghetto" or violent, or poor, or generally lowbrow and unworthy of serious attention (even some personal assumptions about herself based on her clothing style). She also gets some people making the assumption that because she is for "black culture" that automatically means that she's in tight solidarity with everything "black," which is not necessarily the case when it comes to, for example, certain rap lyrics that glorify misogyny or violence. (I have put the word "some" in italics several times above, because I want to stress that I am referring to "some" and not "all" of the groups I refer to).

I don't bring up these two friends of mine as the examples of how race and culture interact, but as suggestions of the many ways that race and culture do and do not necessarily line up and the ways that judging the culture and experience of a person we encounter can be much less simple than we sometimes allow it to be.

To get back to your post, I think that you are right that there are doses of both pride and prejudice (Apologies JA. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes at myself, but they're the most suitable terms for this discussion.) in each of us. We are proud of who we are, of our families, our own backgrounds, the music and language we grew up with, the values we were raised to treasure. We all have a strong instinct and desire to preserve these things, to preserve our culture because our own identities are at stake in the preservation of that culture. I think it is also true that we are all inclined, at some times more than others, to be prejudiced against cultures that seem radically different than our own, and sometimes turn very ugly when we feel that another culture threatens our own way of living and turn defensive against it. That defensiveness on the part of any cultural group can quickly harden into hatred.

This is where I think that it is absolutely essential that we keep in mind that we are not embracing racism. It is by rejecting that view that we are able to accept that all people are equally human regardless of their race. That does not mean that all people are good. It means that all groups of people are the same underneath it all. If you keep that in mind, then it takes the focus away from a "those people" mentality in which you are in a "good" group and others in a "bad" group. Instead the question becomes one of figuring out where the best in people of all groups lies. This involves looking at the good parts as well as the bad parts of a culture you are wary of. It involves, not only this, but looking at the culture you identify most with and being able to see it for its good and bad qualities. When we become comfortable with the fact that having pride in our selves and our cultural heritage does not mean that we can never admit that there are aspects of that culture that are flawed, then we may be more tolerant of the flaws in other peoples' cultures, (and perhaps even of the flaws in other people ;)). We may be able to see that it is hurting rather than helping our own culture to be blind to its flaws and blind to the positive values and ideas of another culture that could help to strengthen it.

I'm not saying that people in real life think this clearly and idealistically all or even most of the time, or that it is often in any way clear how to react to differences in culture in the real world. Keeping in mind that human beings are all of a kind regardless of race or culture, and being aware that everyone, including ourselves, has a bit of pride and prejudice, certainly is a good start at being able to keep an open mind, develop a balanced sense of humor about ourselves (a good quality for many reasons) and a sense of empathy toward others. I completely agree with you that opening candid dialogues is important for helping to sort these things out and helping them to understand how deeply true it is that we are not so different from the "other" as we may think. I also think you are right that differences between people should be recognized rather than denied as though they did not exist. The question is at what level and in what way you stress these differences. Our upbringings, our outlooks, the way we see the world, the way we dress, may be different, but the feelings and desires of the people underneath these customs are not, for better or for worse, a bit different. The latter must be heavily stressed before the former can be adequately addressed.

As long as I'm here, I thought I would post regarding the OP's question about the Harvard professor case. My personal opinion is that both parties were hot headed and over reacted. I think it's a very good case for discussion because there is much for and against both side. My first reaction when I heard about it was to roll my eyes and think, oh boy, two phenomenal egos clashing. Cops and Harvard professors are both pretty used to having their way. I think cops sometimes go over the top with expecting every single person in every single case to jump instantly or suffer the consequences. I also have a feeling that black studies professors spend their whole lives studying racial issues and may have a tendency to sometimes go over the top with seeing racial issues in every possible situation (this is not something I attribute to black studies professors alone, most academics see issues to do with their subject in every possible situation). So I have a feeling that the professor over reacted to the requests of the police (and probably not only because of racial defensiveness but because he was jetlagged and in a lousy mood after coming off a flight to China and having to bust his own door down) but I also think the police over reacted to a little ranting from some skinny 58 year old academic. Tempers clearly flared on both sides.

On the other hand, I do understand that there were some socially attributable factors on both sides that contributed to these over reactions. I do understand that the police are nervous about people obeying orders for a reason, because they do face dangerous situations and are responsible for the safety of themselves as well as the community. In this case the officer clearly was coming to the situation initially from the perspective of a good cop with a clear conscience, which I'm sure would be true of many on the police force. It really was not unreasonable for him to expect a reasonable amount of compliance to his authority.

I also do recognize, however, that there are instances when the police do react differently to people of color than they do to white people. I do not mean that this is always the case, that white people don't have bad encounters with police, or that people of color don't have perfectly fine interactions with the police, but I do think that a black man is often treated with more suspicion than a white man. There is, in any case, a profound amount of distrust for police in the black community, and many instances, both colloquial and officially documented, of problems with police officers and race, which is something this professor would be keenly aware of. Based on, either what he has seen, heard, or perhaps even experienced directly, in his mind he felt that he might be putting himself in a vulnerable position by stepping outside that door when ordered.

However justified or not it may be, it is a fact that there is distrust of the police on the part of many minorities. This is not good for the police, and it is not good for minority groups themselves to be hard line against the group that is meant to help maintain order in our society. It is not going to allay this mistrust to say that racism does not exist, that they are imagining things, or that they need to just shut up about the issue, when people know that there are racist incidents between citizens in the police, and officers with power that hold racist views, such as this member of the Boston PD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylK11FxxLCw
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/07/officer_suspend.html

I do not think that the initial incident between the professor and the officer that arrested him was anything more than some unfortunate quick tempers on both sides and a social miscommunication. However, if attention to that case helps to bring out a clearly racist officer like the one who wrote the "monkey" remarks, and occasions the very definitive response on the part of the police and the city that we won't tolerate that sort of officer in the police, then I think that the discussion has been well worth while. Sending the message that we won't tolerate racism in our police system helps everyone.

As an added note, I personally think Obama's remark that the police acted "stupidly" in this case with the professor seems pretty on target. I don't think that remark has anything to do with race. Whether he was white or black or purple, I think when you get to the home of an older, pretty non- threatening looking man who explains the problem and shows you his ID, then you could probably calm down a little and figure out that it is highly unlikely that a man in his own home is a danger to your life and limb. I can see the cops not being too happy with him yelling at them, but I doubt that they were as much scared as a little PO'd. I bet people say unpleasant things to cops a lot, and I bet they could take it. If he was getting physical and hitting the officers that would be a different matter, but a little hot headed yelling isn't really grounds for arresting someone. So I think the police acted a little stupidly: not egregiously, not with hatred, not unforgivably, and not in a way that is anything to sue over, but a little stupidly. I think the professor acted a little stupidly too, but the cops were the ones with the balance of power in this situation, so if anyone needed to exercise a little forbearance it might have been on their side. In any case, I think sitting them down for a beer was definitely the best solution. A case like this really could be settled with a little discussion. In this case, making it a national discussion as well couldn't hurt, especially since I think both men in this incident are reasonable, well intentioned people, making it easy for us to see the pros and cons for each of their sides without needing to call one right and the other wrong.

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 06:16 PM
Following that logic, anyone is free to say and do anything they want, no matter how bad. I suppose it was ok for Hitler to rant his obscene bile, as it was just his opinion? It doesn't matter that said opinion resulted in the outcome it did. As for laughing along with the co-worker, at your girlfriend's expense, do you have no shame? It doesn't matter whether she was there or not. How gallant. Paraphrasing a literary gentleman, it was badly done, Brian, badly done indeed.

Well, let me say that, being half-Irish, the idiot you refer to was a supporter of the IRA and an enthusiastic reader of the Guardian, your own preferred newspaper it would seem. Which is why I couldn't take him seriously enough to feel offended by his remark.

Jozanny
08-01-2009, 06:17 PM
Petrarch: Perhaps the word one wants to offer Lynne is ethnocentrism, which, like anything else, has positive and negative aspects, but I concede we naturally root for our tribe, whichever one it is.

Good to see you back, btw.

I am attempting to tread cautiously myself with this discussion, as much of my feelings have been shaped by anger and frustration, and the personal pain of institutional bias inflicted on me in the course of my lifetime. Many disability activists compare what the disabled are subject to with slavery and genocide, and at times I *see* why, and at times I think the analogy presumes a great deal.

But to get off my hobby horse for one moment :), I do not think Gates was profiled, really, but I do believe the escalation between Gates and Crowley had a racial component to it.

wessexgirl
08-01-2009, 06:44 PM
Well, let me say that, being half-Irish, the idiot you refer to was a supporter of the IRA and an enthusiastic reader of the Guardian, your own preferred newspaper it would seem. Which is why I couldn't take him seriously enough to feel offended by his remark.

I don't read the Guardian, so you're making a very big assumption there. And the fact that he was an idiot as you put it, doesn't alter the fact that what he said was presumably offensive. I have some sympathy with what MarkB says in the sense of letting people spout their opinions, but I'm afraid I could not let the comment pass without showing my feelings towards it, and I certainly wouldn't have laughed along with him. If such things aren't challenged, then it's tantamount to agreeing with them.

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 06:45 PM
Actually, although I profoundly disagree with Brian Bean on this one, I do believe that anyone is free to say anything they want, no matter how bad. I wouldn't censor speech because that's tantamount to censoring thinking.

So I do think it was okay for Hitler to rant his obscene bile. I think it was not okay for the German people to act on it. I contribute to various anti-fascist organisations, but I would argue for the right of the BNP to campaign in elections.

My position on racism, and on everything, is best expressed in the words of the French thinker Charles de Russon: I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death my right to make fun of it.

How very generous of you. It would seem that you still have a lot to learn.
When I lived in Germany, I was invited by my boss to dinner, and during the course of conversation, I asked him why the German people had voted overwhelmingly for Hitler, which couldn't have happened in England. He grew angry and replied " Sie haben nicht das Not gehabt!" Which means: 'You didn't have the necessity." So before we start criticising the Germans for acting as they did, it is as well to remind ourselves that with 6 million unemployed, a similar number of communist supporters and Russia breathing down their neck, they took the only way out.

MarkBastable
08-01-2009, 06:55 PM
How very generous of you. It would seem that you still have a lot to learn.
When I lived in Germany, I was invited by my boss to dinner, and during the course of conversation, I asked him why the German people had voted overwhelmingly for Hitler, which couldn't have happened in England. He grew angry and replied " Sie haben nicht das Not gehabt!" Which means: 'You didn't have the necessity." So before we start criticising the Germans for acting as they did, it is as well to remind ourselves that with 6 million unemployed, a similar number of communist supporters and Russia breathing down their neck, they took the only way out.

Oh, don't be silly.

wessexgirl
08-01-2009, 06:59 PM
How very generous of you. Let me tell you that you still have a lot to learn.
When I lived in Germany, I was invited by my boss to dinner, and during the course of conversation, I asked him why the German people had voted overwhelmingly for Hitler, which couldn't have happened in England. He grew angry and replied " Sie haben nicht das Not gehabt!" Which means: 'You didn't have the necessity." So before we start criticising the Germans for acting as they did, it is as well to remind ourselves that with 6 million unemployed, a similar number of communist supporters and Russia breathing down their neck, they took the only way out.

Russia breathing down their neck.......in 1933? I can't quote the number of communist supporters off the top of my head, but Hitler and his machinery had dealt with them, in their own inimitable way, as they did with all opposition, paving the way for his "election" victory. He did a very good job on propaganda. If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one, was his maxim I believe. He propounded the myth of the evil communists, along with the evil Jews, who incidentally were, according to him one and the same, but they were also blamed for being evil capitalists! His thinking was muddled to say the least, but hey, whatever it took to get power he did.

amarna
08-01-2009, 07:19 PM
ever crossed anyone's mind that it were capitalist corporations and concerns who had an eager economic interest in the colonization of poland and russia, in cheap slave workers and in the expropriation of jewish enterprises and who financed the rise of the german nazi party, prestige advertising inclusive? seems to be a blind spot.

Virgil
08-01-2009, 07:57 PM
As long as I'm here, I thought I would post regarding the OP's question about the Harvard professor case. My personal opinion is that both parties were hot headed and over reacted. I think it's a very good case for discussion because there is much for and against both side. My first reaction when I heard about it was to roll my eyes and think, oh boy, two phenomenal egos clashing. Cops and Harvard professors are both pretty used to having their way. I think cops sometimes go over the top with expecting every single person in every single case to jump instantly or suffer the consequences. I also have a feeling that black studies professors spend their whole lives studying racial issues and may have a tendency to sometimes go over the top with seeing racial issues in every possible situation (this is not something I attribute to black studies professors alone, most academics see issues to do with their subject in every possible situation). So I have a feeling that the professor over reacted to the requests of the police (and probably not only because of racial defensiveness but because he was jetlagged and in a lousy mood after coming off a flight to China and having to bust his own door down) but I also think the police over reacted to a little ranting from some skinny 58 year old academic. Tempers clearly flared on both sides.

On the other hand, I do understand that there were some socially attributable factors on both sides that contributed to these over reactions. I do understand that the police are nervous about people obeying orders for a reason, because they do face dangerous situations and are responsible for the safety of themselves as well as the community. In this case the officer clearly was coming to the situation initially from the perspective of a good cop with a clear conscience, which I'm sure would be true of many on the police force. It really was not unreasonable for him to expect a reasonable amount of compliance to his authority.

I also do recognize, however, that there are instances when the police do react differently to people of color than they do to white people. I do not mean that this is always the case, that white people don't have bad encounters with police, or that people of color don't have perfectly fine interactions with the police, but I do think that a black man is often treated with more suspicion than a white man. There is, in any case, a profound amount of distrust for police in the black community, and many instances, both colloquial and officially documented, of problems with police officers and race, which is something this professor would be keenly aware of. Based on, either what he has seen, heard, or perhaps even experienced directly, in his mind he felt that he might be putting himself in a vulnerable position by stepping outside that door when ordered.

However justified or not it may be, it is a fact that there is distrust of the police on the part of many minorities. This is not good for the police, and it is not good for minority groups themselves to be hard line against the group that is meant to help maintain order in our society. It is not going to allay this mistrust to say that racism does not exist, that they are imagining things, or that they need to just shut up about the issue, when people know that there are racist incidents between citizens in the police, and officers with power that hold racist views, such as this member of the Boston PD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylK11FxxLCw
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/07/officer_suspend.html

I do not think that the initial incident between the professor and the officer that arrested him was anything more than some unfortunate quick tempers on both sides and a social miscommunication. However, if attention to that case helps to bring out a clearly racist officer like the one who wrote the "monkey" remarks, and occasions the very definitive response on the part of the police and the city that we won't tolerate that sort of officer in the police, then I think that the discussion has been well worth while. Sending the message that we won't tolerate racism in our police system helps everyone.

As an added note, I personally think Obama's remark that the police acted "stupidly" in this case with the professor seems pretty on target. I don't think that remark has anything to do with race. Whether he was white or black or purple, I think when you get to the home of an older, pretty non- threatening looking man who explains the problem and shows you his ID, then you could probably calm down a little and figure out that it is highly unlikely that a man in his own home is a danger to your life and limb. I can see the cops not being too happy with him yelling at them, but I doubt that they were as much scared as a little PO'd. I bet people say unpleasant things to cops a lot, and I bet they could take it. If he was getting physical and hitting the officers that would be a different matter, but a little hot headed yelling isn't really grounds for arresting someone. So I think the police acted a little stupidly: not egregiously, not with hatred, not unforgivably, and not in a way that is anything to sue over, but a little stupidly. I think the professor acted a little stupidly too, but the cops were the ones with the balance of power in this situation, so if anyone needed to exercise a little forbearance it might have been on their side. In any case, I think sitting them down for a beer was definitely the best solution. A case like this really could be settled with a little discussion. In this case, making it a national discussion as well couldn't hurt, especially since I think both men in this incident are reasonable, well intentioned people, making it easy for us to see the pros and cons for each of their sides without needing to call one right and the other wrong.

A very good post Petrarch. But I have to disagree with one thing. I see nothing, nothing wrong in anything the cop did. Not a single thing. I don't know if you've read the transcripts, but there was no racial suggestion either by the dispatcher or Officer Crowley in response. However, Prof Gates went way over the line in first accusing the cop in something he didn't do and then insulting him at the top of his lungs repeatedly, even swearing at the Officer's mother. If anything Crowley was incredibly restrained in his apporach. In my book, anyone that insults a cop in the pocess of him doing his duty, then that person deserves to be arrested and his a$$ thrown in jail. The police department should never have dropped the charges. There may have been over reactions here, but the only person who was racial in their thinking and arttitude was Gates And Obama too for jumping to the conclusion that a white cop was being racist. Let me tell you, Obama has seriously lost whatever police vote he might have enjoyed, and that goes for black cops too.

Emil Miller
08-01-2009, 08:00 PM
Oh, don't be silly.

Obviously lost the argument.



Russia breathing down their neck.......in 1933? I can't quote the number of communist supporters off the top of my head, but Hitler and his machinery had dealt with them, in their own inimitable way, as they did with all opposition, paving the way for his "election" victory. He did a very good job on propaganda. If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one, was his maxim I believe. He propounded the myth of the evil communists, along with the evil Jews, who incidentally were, according to him one and the same, but they were also blamed for being evil capitalists! His thinking was muddled to say the least, but hey, whatever it took to get power he did.

You really should stop believing popular misconceptions and get to grips with the facts. Hitler came to power when emergency powers, known as an enabling act, giving virtual dictatorial powers to the Chancellor, had already been enacted under former Chancellor General Schleicher. He couldn't deal with the communists until after he had been elected. There is some doubt about the "big lie" theory as to whether it was uttered by Hitler or Goebels but, like so much attributed to those times, it may be apochryphal.
Whether you, or anybody else, like it, he came to power legally due to the extreme conditions of the early 1930s.

amarna
08-02-2009, 04:09 AM
An let's not forget that Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany temporarily were flattering each other. When the Molotow-Ribbentrop-pact was closed in 1939, Soviet Russia gave up any support for the left wing opposition in Germany at once and started turning jewish and communist refugees to the Gestapo. The moral effect this treason had for any antifascist opposition is certainly comprehensible.
Apart from this, the Western powers were flattering and supporting Nazi Germany as well, remember the Munich pact of 1938.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 05:33 AM
Obviously lost the argument.


The argument was about the extent to which the principle of free speech ought to be mitigated by circumstances - which began with your absurd assertion that no one should try to persuade anyone of anything. That argument seems still to be going on.

The argument about Hitler coming to power is a side issue, and what was silly was your suggestion that you have some kind of insight because you knew a German bloke once who thought something. If that were any way to run an argument, I'd simply cite my time in Germany and I'd quote another couple of Germans who think something else. And where would that get us?

wessexgirl
08-02-2009, 05:38 AM
Obviously lost the argument.




You really should stop believing popular misconceptions and get to grips with the facts. Hitler came to power when emergency powers, known as an enabling act, giving virtual dictatorial powers to the Chancellor, had already been enacted under former Chancellor General Schleicher. He couldn't deal with the communists until after he had been elected. There is some doubt about the "big lie" theory as to whether it was uttered by Hitler or Goebels but, like so much attributed to those times, it may be apochryphal.
Whether you, or anybody else, like it, he came to power legally due to the extreme conditions of the early 1930s.

Funny that, the popular misconceptions I seem to have come from my eminently qualified lecturers and text books on the subject. I'm sure they don't deal in facts, but must bow to your superior knowledge. Hitler was dealing with any opposition to him even before he was "elected". His method was to wipe out any opposition, by having his bully boys, the SA, "help" any of the public who didn't go along with him, by persuading them otherwise. It's easy to get elected when you've used strongarm tactics on a massive scale to help ease your way. As for the quote, well, of course if it wasn't Hitler but Goebbels, well that makes everything alright then doesn't it, citing it to one evil psychopath instead of another?

amarna
08-02-2009, 06:04 AM
He couldn't deal with the communists until after he had been elected

Of course Hitler (I guess you mean pars pro toto the nazis) dealt with communists before he was elected. Street disorders between SA and NSDAP members and communists/socialdemocrats, among them the paramilitary communist Rotfrontkaempferbund, were quite normal from the late 1920s on.

But I suppose my opinion is completely superfluous here.

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 06:16 AM
The argument was about the extent to which the principle of free speech ought to be mitigated by circumstances - which began with your absurd assertion that no one should try to persuade anyone of anything. That argument seems still to be going on.

The argument about Hitler coming to power is a side issue, and what was silly was your suggestion that you have some kind of insight because you knew a German bloke once who thought something. If that were any way to run an argument, I'd simply cite my time in Germany and I'd quote another couple of Germans who think something else. And where would that get us?

There is nothing silly about a statement of fact.



Of course Hitler (I guess you mean pars pro toto the nazis) dealt with communists before he was elected. Street disorders between SA and NSDAP members and communists/socialdemocrats, among them the paramilitary communist Rotfrontkaempferbund, were quite normal from the late 1920s on.

But I suppose my opinion is completely superfluous here.


You have explained the situation admirably and saved me the trouble of answering for myself.

wessexgirl
08-02-2009, 06:21 AM
Of course Hitler (I guess you mean pars pro toto the nazis) dealt with communists before he was elected. Street disorders between SA and NSDAP members and communists/socialdemocrats, among them the paramilitary communist Rotfrontkaempferbund, were quite normal from the late 1920s on.

But I suppose my opinion is completely superfluous here.

No, your opinion is not superfluous amarna, and I agree with you. The Munich Putsch was in 1923, when Hitler and his thugs attempted a coup with intimidation. Just one example of his dealing with opponents long before his "legitimate" election.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 06:29 AM
There is nothing silly about a statement of fact.


If it were a statement of fact, I think you'd have a better support for it than some bloke you knew once. Actually, it's an interpretation of events - and many others are possible.

Your notion of what constitutes a 'fact' is telling though. I quote established figures figures from the Office of National Statistics which contradict your argument, and you dismiss them with a cliche, saying you prefer to rely on the evidence of your own eyes. So - statistics aren't facts. However, an interpretation of history expressed by a German you worked for once - that apparently is a fact. Though it's not, actually, the evidence of your own eyes.

Joined-up debate is not your long suit, is it?


After a dispute with the staff at my usual pub, I have recently been drinking at various other venues...

Then again, this is becoming more and more self-explanatory...

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 07:00 AM
The Munich Putsch was in 1923, when Hitler and his thugs attempted a coup with intimidation. Just one example of his dealing with opponents long before his "legitimate" election.

Prior to the Munich putsch. the communists, led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, had attempted to overthrow the Weimar republic by their putsch of 1918 which resulted in over 1000 people being killed. In 1920 Wolfgang Kapp, a right-wing journalist, attempted to do likewise using elements of the Freikorps. So, clearly, it wasn't only Hitler who was using bully boy tactics to gain power. Factions from all the political parties were engaged in street fighting throughout the 1920s and it ended when Hitler came to power and was able to use exisiting emergeny powers legislation to ban the communist and other parties.

amarna
08-02-2009, 07:05 AM
As to the racism of the german nazis, it was a derivate from French and British racial theories of the 19th century, "Essai sur l’inťgalitť des races humaines" by Arthur de Gobineau for instance, which assumed an inferiority of africans and asians and served as a legitimation for colonial ambitions of the "whites". German nazi ideologists (actually the racial theory of the German nazis was invented by a British citizen, Houston Stewart Chamberlain) expanded the existing racial theories by the idea that the hegemony of the "white race" should exclude jews and slavs. Ideologically this was fitting much better now for the colonisation of eastern europe the nazi gouvernment planned. (Germany had lost all its overseas colonies in 1918 and was looking for new ones) Nazi Germany wasn't a closed system, as it is considered today, it was ideologically and politically cross-linked to its european neighbours in many and complex ways.


So, clearly, it wasn't only Hitler who was using bully boy tactics to gain power.

True. Hitlers personal influence on history is absolutely overrated.

Mr Endon
08-02-2009, 07:43 AM
Oh dear, do we really have to stray into Nazi Germany to talk about racism? The fact that Rosa Parks incurred 'civil disobedience' when in 1955 she refused to give up her seat for a white person is, for me, unbelievable. Or that South Africa had apartheid until 1994. Or have you guys been over these already? I've only read the last 4 pages of this thread.

(on Hitler: I agree that he's incredibly overrated. Basically what happened was that he managed to combine evil intentions with powerful means. I'm sure there are people living today who would have done far worse had they had all the power Hitler had.)

So.
Like it has been mentioned, we should neither say 'what the hell, we're all racists and there will always be racism, so why bother', nor 'we are all the same', but 'we are different, and we ought to not only tolerate but accept and celebrate difference'. This was I believe MarkB's point in page 7 and I fully agree with it.

wessexgirl
08-02-2009, 07:44 AM
as to the racism of the german nazis, it was a derivate from french and british racial theories of the 19th century (by arthur de gobineau for instance), which assumed an inferiority of africans and asians and served as a legitimation for colonial ambitions of the "whites". German nazi ideologists (actually the racial theory of the german nazis was invented by a british citizen, houston stewart chamberlain) expanded the existing racial theories by the idea that the hegemony of the "white race" should exclude jews and slavs, which ideologically fitted better for the colonisation of eastern europe the nazi gouvernment planned, sinde germany had lost all its overseas colonies in 1918 and was looking for new ones now. nazi germany wasn't a closed system, as it is considered today, it was ideologically and politically cross-linked to its european neighbours in many and complex ways.



True. Hitlers personal influence on history is absolutely overrated.

I don't understand your last statement. While everyone knows that racial and anti-semitic views weren't only the province of Hitler, but stemmed back over hundreds of years throughout Europe, no-one else acted on them with such catastrophic consequences as he did. A Second World War which led to the deaths of millions of people, and involving many countries is hardly something which leads us to think his influence was overrated. The systematic destruction of the Jews, the Final Solution, which he propounded with his henchmen, cannot seriously be considered as something which was not important, as your last sentence seems to suggest.

amarna
08-02-2009, 07:50 AM
Oh, welcome back, Mr. Endon. :)
Sure we don't have to stray into Nazi Germany to talk about racism, but it may be useful for you'll find racism there in one of its purest and unconcealed forms.

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 07:54 AM
If it were a statement of fact, I think you'd have a better support for it than some bloke you knew once. Actually, it's an interpretation of events - and many others are possible.

Your notion of what constitutes a 'fact' is telling though. I quote established figures figures from the Office of National Statistics which contradict your argument, and you dismiss them with a cliche, saying you prefer to rely on the evidence of your own eyes. So - statistics aren't facts. However, an interpretation of history expressed by a German you worked for once - that apparently is a fact. Though it's not, actually, the evidence of your own eyes.

Joined-up debate is not your long suit, is it?






Now that really is silly.

Statistics can be, and often are, used as a means of falsifying what is the true state of affairs. For confirmation I suggest you try Wickepedia under 'False Statistics' where you will find many examples.
Now coming to the my German employer, he fought in the German army during WW11 having been brought up as a child in the great depression of the 1920s, so I would rather trust his "interpretation of history" than that of someone who probably wasn't even born during that time.
Furthermore, an extensive reading of German history corroborates what he said. So if you were to rely more on facts rather than statistics, perhaps you would have a better understanding of the argument




Then again, this is becoming more and more self-explanatory...

A good example of making a false deduction on the basis of limited knowledge.

I had been using that particular establishment regularly for 15 years before
the dispute that I have mentioned and had, up until that point, never had cause to complain during the whole of that time. Moreover, since you don't know the cause of the dispute you are hardly in a position to draw any valid conclusions from it.

Then again, drawing invalid conclusions would appear to be your forte.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 07:58 AM
Oh, welcome back, Mr. Endon. :)
Sure we don't have to stray into Nazi Germany to talk about racism, but it may be useful for you'll find racism there in one of its purest and unconcealed forms.

Before we get too far down this road, we should decide which invocation of Hitler we're using.

Is it Hitler, the individual ("...Hitler had a silly moustache...") or Hitler the personification of a certain kind of conduct ("...Hitler killed six million Jews...")?

If we don't all go for the same usage, we're going to get into pointless crossfire. ("Hitler marched on Moscow." "No he didn't. He was on holiday at the time.")


A good example of making a false deduction on the basis of limited knowledge.

I had been using that particular establishment regularly for 15 years before
the dispute that I have mentioned and had, up until that point, never had cause to complain during the whole of that time. Moreover, since you don't know the cause of the dispute you are hardly in a position to draw any valid conclusions from it.

Then again, drawing invalid conclusions would appear to be your forte.

Like you I rely on years of experience to reach my conclusions. And I'm pretty sure about that one.

Would you like to address the main part of my post now?

Oh, sorry - you did. But you included it in the quoted passage.

Of course statistics can be used to support a fallacious argument. But they are not necessarily used that way, any more than the witness to a course of events is necessarily the most reliable source of an interpretation of those events.

The question is not whether my fact is more factual than your fact. It's more that you don't seem able to tell the difference between what you believe and what is a fact. That's a very dangerous place from which to argue.

amarna
08-02-2009, 08:01 AM
I don't understand your last statement. ...
It was not Hitler as a single person who did all these things, it were the nazis. He was replacable by any other of his kind.

Mr Endon
08-02-2009, 08:11 AM
Oh, welcome back, Mr. Endon. :)

Thanks, amarna! Now I might come here once a day again, so I look forward to agreeing with you again soon.


Sure we don't have to stray into Nazi Germany to talk about racism, but it may be useful for you'll find racism there in one of its purest and unconcealed forms.

Absolutely, I just think that more recent displays of unashamed racism are just as fruitful for discussion and had not, to my knowledge, been mentioned.

As for the Gates case, which has been mentioned here, I can see now, well, that doesn't count. It's just too ridiculous for words to express. Nothing really happened, it was just a chain reaction of snappy reactions to inane actions. The policeman acted according to what eye-witness accounts, Gates was hot-headed, the policeman also lost it, Obama made an incredibly naÔve comment, and the infamous American 24hmedia preyed on it for lack of something more substantial from his hour-long speech on universal health care.

amarna
08-02-2009, 08:13 AM
Before we get too far down this road, we should decide which invocation of Hitler we're using.

Is it Hitler, the individual ("...Hitler had a silly moustache...") or Hitler the personification of a certain kind of conduct ("...Hitler killed six million Jews...")?

If we don't all go for the same usage, we're going to get into pointless crossfire. ("Hitler marched on Moscow." "No he didn't. He was on holiday at the time.")

Nice idea. You forgot about Hitler, the popcultural jerk-off assistance.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 08:14 AM
It was not Hitler as a single person who did all these things, it were the nazis. He was replacable by any other of his kind.

I'm not so sure about the second of those assertions. I think that most broad sociopolitical movements require not only the right circumstances to give force to the thing, but also a figure who can focus and represent that imperative. So - for instance - in order to happen at that time, the civil rights movement needed Martin Luther King. Without Gandhi, political change in the sub-continent would not have taken place when it did. Had Pol Pot died in childhood, things would have been very different around his neighbourhood.

There's no way of telling for sure about this of course - but I do believe that the history of Germany would have been different (though not necessarily less fraught) without Hitler.

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 08:20 AM
Like you I rely on years of experience to reach my conclusions. And I'm pretty sure about that one..

So, with no knowledge whatsoever of the circumstances surrounding the event, you are "pretty sure about that one."
Which pretty much negates your line of reasoning altogether.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 08:23 AM
So, with no knowledge whatsoever of the circumstances surrounding the event, you are "pretty sure about that one."
Which pretty much negates your line of reasoning altogether.


Call it an uncanny sixth sense informed by a shrewd idea of how you might interact with a bartender.

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 08:35 AM
Call it an uncanny sixth sense informed by a shrewd idea of how you might interact with a bartender.

So suddenly the facts can be dispensed with and replaced by something as nebulous as your sixth sense. I wonder how much of it has informed your participation in this thread so far.

Niamh
08-02-2009, 09:12 AM
Can we please refrain from discussing each other and discuss the topic at hand, ie Racism. Everyone is intitled to their own opinion on the matter and if their beliefs clash with yours, that does not make them anymore unworthy.
Thank you

amarna
08-02-2009, 09:26 AM
so I look forward to agreeing with you
You made my day. :D



I'm not so sure about the second of those assertions. I think that most broad sociopolitical movements require not only the right circumstances to give force to the thing, but also a figure who can focus and represent that imperative. So - for instance - in order to happen at that time, the civil rights movement needed Martin Luther King. Without Gandhi, political change in the sub-continent would not have taken place when it did. Had Pol Pot died in childhood, things would have been very different around his neighbourhood.

There's no way of telling for sure about this of course - but I do believe that the history of Germany would have been different (though not necessarily less fraught) without Hitler.

Yes, with my second assertion I was skating on pretty thin ice. What-if-speculations on historical events are always arguable for nobody can verify them empirically. I assume that there is a complex interdependency between social structures and individual actions, but that it is depending on the parameters of the specific environment (institutions, political constellation, mental atmosphere, economic and financial lobbyism and so on), what kind of individual will be able to climb the ladder of political success.

MarkBastable
08-02-2009, 09:39 AM
So suddenly the facts can be dispensed with and replaced by something as nebulous as your sixth sense. I wonder how much of it has informed your participation in this thread so far.

Not at all. My uncanny sixth sense is very specific. And also infallible. I rely on the evidence of my sixth sense, just as you, apparently, rely on the evidence of your first sense.

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 09:55 AM
Not at all. My uncanny sixth sense is very specific. And also infallible. I rely on the evidence of my sixth sense, just as you, apparently, rely on the evidence of your first sense.

My dictionary gives the words "sixth sense" as the power of intuition.
Here's the same dictionary's definition of intuition: immediate perception by the mind without reasoning.

Nightshade
08-02-2009, 12:16 PM
I had all these good intentions about staying out of this but what can you do .
1) Did we really need to stumble into the realms of Godwin's Law? Well since we have I am evoking it.
2)


If he holds prejudiced views he holds them for asians, Indians, muslims, and jews and others. But it's only blacks that have this cultural dysfuntionality. .

Umm yeah not 100% sure if this is what you were getting at, but Virgil if you are saying what it appears to me you are saying, that is that only Black people feel oppressed and that they are the only ones who feel the 'yoke of racism' and that in point of fact that it is no more than a construct in their minds that they are using as a convenient excuse. I am going to have to disagree with you there. I think that alot of different races ARE conscious of it, but it goes deeper. If you want to look at subcultures you really need to think why these subcultures are shaped the way they are and have the attitudes to themselves and others as they do.

The black communities were historically seen as the lowest of the low, even in their own countries. Where as the muslim countries, India, and the orient all had a position in the olden days, and a measure of respect for the power they wielded. es not forget that alot of things that modern 'western' culture is based on came from these countries. So they were seen as more intelligent races than blacks, though they were frequently seen as morally weaker than ' The Great White Christian'. And though we may not like to think it alot of these outdated and indeed deliberately spurned ideas and ideals have left traces in teh way our modern day society is constructed and thinks.

Racism does cause poverty, simply because if people think you are more likely to steal from them, slack off or be lazy - or cheat, steal or lie to them, they are NOT going to give you a job where you can earn enough to drag yourself out of poverty. And poverty begets poverty. And if you want to know the true curse of racism that is it. Because even though supposedly we live in a 'multicultural society' it wasnt that long ago that racism was officially institutionalized and the people who were victims of that had children in poverty, who couldn't leave the poverty they were trapped in because of a lack of opportunities (partially because they dont have the qualifications or the opportunities of people who went the better more expensive schools ) and they in turn get minimum wage jobs and cycle continues. That is not to say that there are not people who got out of the cycle of course there are, but they do not stand as examples of the norm rather they are the amazing achievements. Not that many people of any race have the determination,
willpower and plain good luck to 'change their destinies' as it were.

Saladin
08-02-2009, 12:29 PM
Before people rush to judgement I believe the news mis-reported this story initially. He was not arrested for breaking into his own home. He was arrested for disorderly conducted - he was verbally berating the police when then simply asked for identification. The police had twice asked him to stop with the insults and just show identification, and he just carried on. And while the main cop at the scene was white, along side him were a hispanic officer and a black officer. All the cops have denounced Gates' conduct. This is not a case of racial profiling, but of a disorderly person that refuse to cooperate.

I agree with you on this. Its typical media to portray it as an act of racial profiling.

Sadly enough these days some people use the race-card to much. It starts to be like that boy who cried "Wolf, wolf".

Virgil
08-02-2009, 01:35 PM
I had all these good intentions about staying out of this but what can you do .
1) Did we really need to stumble into the realms of Godwin's Law? Well since we have I am evoking it.
2)



Umm yeah not 100% sure if this is what you were getting at, but Virgil if you are saying what it appears to me you are saying, that is that only Black people feel oppressed and that they are the only ones who feel the 'yoke of racism' and that in point of fact that it is no more than a construct in their minds that they are using as a convenient excuse. I am going to have to disagree with you there. I think that alot of different races ARE conscious of it, but it goes deeper. If you want to look at subcultures you really need to think why these subcultures are shaped the way they are and have the attitudes to themselves and others as they do.

The black communities were historically seen as the lowest of the low, even in their own countries. Where as the muslim countries, India, and the orient all had a position in the olden days, and a measure of respect for the power they wielded. es not forget that alot of things that modern 'western' culture is based on came from these countries. So they were seen as more intelligent races than blacks, though they were frequently seen as morally weaker than ' The Great White Christian'. And though we may not like to think it alot of these outdated and indeed deliberately spurned ideas and ideals have left traces in teh way our modern day society is constructed and thinks.

Racism does cause poverty, simply because if people think you are more likely to steal from them, slack off or be lazy - or cheat, steal or lie to them, they are NOT going to give you a job where you can earn enough to drag yourself out of poverty. And poverty begets poverty. And if you want to know the true curse of racism that is it. Because even though supposedly we live in a 'multicultural society' it wasnt that long ago that racism was officially institutionalized and the people who were victims of that had children in poverty, who couldn't leave the poverty they were trapped in because of a lack of opportunities (partially because they dont have the qualifications or the opportunities of people who went the better more expensive schools ) and they in turn get minimum wage jobs and cycle continues. That is not to say that there are not people who got out of the cycle of course there are, but they do not stand as examples of the norm rather they are the amazing achievements. Not that many people of any race have the determination,
willpower and plain good luck to 'change their destinies' as it were.
Holding views and institutionalized racism are two different things. Everyone holds views on everything, on whether you have tattoos or wear jeans with holes in it. That is relatively meaningless in the the nature of hiring and promotion. You don't live in the US, so I don't know how to persuade you. All one has to do is look at how successful all other ethnic groups, even those that people are prejudiced towards, in the US are in comparison to African Americans, and that goes for the blacks that come from the carribean and Africa.


I agree with you on this. Its typical media to portray it as an act of racial profiling.

Sadly enough these days some people use the race-card to much. It starts to be like that boy who cried "Wolf, wolf".

Thank you Saladin. The race card is repeatedly played in the US and the reason for that is there is political power that is gained. Race hucksters such as Jesse Jackson, get revered as some sort of leader and through playing on white guilt get all sorts of financial and political gains. The sociologist that has been extra ordinary in documenting this and pointing it out is Shelby Steele. Here is one of his articles: http://www.cir-usa.org/articles/156.html. I highly recommend looking him up and reading him.

Drkshadow03
08-02-2009, 02:16 PM
Oh how did I miss this. Obviously you're in a mentality that rationalizes outcomes. You seem to hold the outdated notion that has this equation: Racism causes poverty which leads to sub cultural dysfunctions. Baloney. Sub cultural dysfunctions cause poverty. The average white person doesn't give a damn about keeping blacks down. If he holds prejudiced views he holds them for asians, Indians, muslims, and jews and others. But it's only blacks that have this cultural dysfuntionality. Just look at the number of black men who have spent time in jail. I think it's something like one in three have commited some sort of crime that sent them to jail. Between unmarried mothers, drug use, crime, high school drop out rates, you couldn't devise a more dysfunctional set of variables to cause poverty.

It's not obvious at all what my viewpoints are from the post, actually. If you read the quote in context that youíre responding to, I was merely pointing out the contradictions of YOUR assertions. I said nothing about my views concerning the relationship between poverty and race. Youíre the one that implied in the last forty years racism hasnít prevented African Americans from prospering back in post # 49:

ďTheir claim that racism has held them back, while once true, just doesn't square with the facts of the last forty years.Ē

While simultaneously arguing that they are plagued by issues of poverty and education, despite all this so-called evidence that nothing is holding them back:

ďI believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous.Ē


In other words, I never said anything about my own viewpoint. I simply noted that there is something contradictory in implying that the last forty years have shown racism hasn't held African Americans back, but then also claiming huge issues of poverty plague African American communities.


Compare the results of blacks from carribean and african countries? They don't have anywhere near this generational poverty. Once they out grow their immigration growing pains, they do quite well. There is a sub cultural problem with american blacks.

Itís your responsibility to provide actual references/statistics with citations. Burden of proof is on you.


Show me. Show me.

I did show you. I provided two links highlighting examples of institutional racism (one in a country club, the other in the publishing industry) that also serve as evidence supporting the existence of institutional racism. Ironically and unsurprisingly you failed to place them in your quoted material from my post, which makes me think you're being a tad disingenuous.

Mortalterror is the only one so far who made any attempt to rebut either example, and was only able to partially rebut the country club example. Nevertheless, denoting the fact that some poor white kids were also included in the exclusion doesnít exactly disprove there were racist motives; it couldíve been both a class and racial issue. Then it becomes an issue of common sense; I would think itís a lot easier for the rich white members that jumped out of the pool to notice a bunch of black kids entering rather than looking at bathing suits and saying, ďWait, those arenít Armani!Ē


I can point out all the Equal Opportunity laws, the EEO's in every company that ensures blacks get equal consideration for promotions and hiring, all the law suits that have gone on in the past forty years to ensure this is enforced, the afirmative action that goes on in hiring and college entrences. Today we have a black president, the biggest media star is Opra (and media is a genre that requires visual idnetification), the biggest musical star is Michael Jackson, and there are black CEO at a number of companies. That's on my side of the ledger, what's on yours?[/QUOTE[

Well, for starters the incidents that I linked to that you disingenuously failed to quote are on my "side." Secondly, youíre naming a few select individuals, which at best proves only that a few select individuals have managed to transcend the limitations of racism. Not to mention all these individuals have claimed to experience racism at one point or another in their life (rightly or wrongly), and would agree that institutional racism exists (such as racial profiling), despite their own success (see Obama's comments in the Gates case).

However, I donít see race and poverty as necessarily the same thing; ironically, contradicting your strawman claim that I held such a view. The African American Middle-class experiences institutional racism, which has nothing to do with poverty. Likewise, just because institutional racism exists doesn't mean blacks and other racial groups aren't at all responsible for some of their own issues.

Oh sure, there are laws addressing these problems. Sometimes they work when they are enforced. Sometimes they donít; when they are not enforced. And it is always difficult to enforce laws legislating racism, hate-crimes, discrimination, etc. because it's difficult to fully get into a person's head and truly know what caused them to perform a specific action. They were instituted because we have a race-problem, which is inherent in the fact that such laws are needed in the first place. This tells us nothing about whether these laws have successfully ramified racial discrimination one way or the other; it tells us only that attempts have been made to fix the problem.

However, fixing one problem doesnít fix all the problems. If a person were to announce, ďIt is wrong to stereotype Jews as cheap money-horders, but I understand why some people canít stand looking at them since most of them are really ugly.Ē It is perfectly possible and reasonable to denounce one stereotype, while reifying another. Secondly, the example is more personal racism than institutional. You acknowledge that personal racism exists, so why is it so hard to believe that some institutional racism still lingers in our society? Basically, personal racism and institutional racism feed each other.

[QUOTE]Do you live in the real world? I haven't checked your age or your occupation but I would guess you're either a college student or a college professor. Anyone that is a benefit to a business, they will be hired and promoted. It doesn't matter if they're green, orange, or purple. Any group of people, white or asian or any ethnicity, who have those dysfuntions will have the same poverty. All you have to do is look at poor white demographics.

Indeed, poverty is an issue. But racism doesnít begin and end with issues of poverty. There are plenty of middle-class African Americans who have experienced racism; hell, there are plenty of conservative African Americans who admit to experiencing racism. One example of institutional racism that Africans Americans of the middle-class experience is the phenomenon of ďshopping while black.Ē They did a whole TV show depicting this situation to see how shoppers around such an incident would react (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2009/03/27/shopping-while-black-hidden-camera-exposes-true-feelings/ ). Many middle-class African Americans can attest to experiencing this phenomenon.

Your comments about business ignore the problem. Peopleís ideas of what are ďbeneficialĒ shifts with context and personal biases. As in the case of the publishing industry that I linked to in the previous post, which you ignored, they whitewash characters on covers to appeal to what they believe to be a white purchasing public. They are clearly doing it because they believe it will sell more books, that it will be more beneficial for them. It doesnít make it any less racist.

It isnít hard to imagine private companies in the deep south not hiring a black person because they donít believe it would be beneficial to do so. If you have a lot of ďpersonally racistĒ customers you donít want to scare business away after all and offend them. Generally any job applicant pool has multiple people that are qualified. It isn't hard to hire a white dude who is equally qualified.

Your faith in people's desire for profit over their aptitude for prejudice and bigotry is naive, and I say that as someone who mostly supports Capitalism, and thinks that, yes, people are often greedy. If people necessarily cared more about profit than arbitrary differences, there wouldn't be a need for most of the wars fought (with the exception of Imperialistic ones that create additional revenue). What profit will be had from war? The fact is even if we removed "institutional racism" from the equation and talked merely about personal racism, which you accept still exists in your previous post, people make dumb personal decisions all the time because of their prejudices that affect their convenience and wallets. There are plenty of people who refuse to shop at certain stores because, "The Jews own it," or "Only Blacks shop there." There are plenty of people who would sacrifice potential business partners or money-opportunities because of personal prejudices.




I have no idea what this means. When I was talking about Gates, I said he was being race conscious. He was thinking in terms of race, not the cop. I think everything that has come out supports that. I don't expect to convince you. I'm sure this notion is locked in for you. I will leave you for the third time with the quote from Thomas Sowell: "If jews had waited for the end of anti semitism to make it in America, they would still be waiting." Do yourself a favor and look up Thomas Sowell: http://www.tsowell.com/.

I donít know why you keep quoting that at everyone; it supports my arguments more than it does yours. As an upper middle-class Jew whose father has made it in America and who will probably make it in America himself once the economy gets better, I can say with certainty that anti-Semitism still exists and is a problem, completely in agreement with the Sowell quote. Anti-Semitism still exists, but so does racism. And many blacks who have made it in America, the middle-class, still face racism. Institutional racism. They didn't wait for racism to end just as Jews didn't wait for anti-Semitism to end. The irony is I'm not talking about impoverished blacks at all, and that you seem to think that I am.

ImaginaryFriend
08-02-2009, 04:18 PM
hi there have been away from the forum for a while due to some problems but am back.

one thing i have noticed is the constant assertion that racism stops blacks from doing well at school and causes unwed mothers.

if racism is to blame then why would blacks be the only minority who fail so much at schools? other groups seem to get on fine.

and how can racism be to blame for the number of unwed mothers? could someone please explain that to me as i honestly cant understand?

these are all down to the individuals involved and their community no one else. it seems like some people would rather act this way and then absolve themselves of all personal responsibility and just blame others.

Virgil
08-02-2009, 05:47 PM
hi there have been away from the forum for a while due to some problems but am back.

one thing i have noticed is the constant assertion that racism stops blacks from doing well at school and causes unwed mothers.

if racism is to blame then why would blacks be the only minority who fail so much at schools? other groups seem to get on fine.

and how can racism be to blame for the number of unwed mothers? could someone please explain that to me as i honestly cant understand?

these are all down to the individuals involved and their community no one else. it seems like some people would rather act this way and then absolve themselves of all personal responsibility and just blame others.

I'll respond to Darkshadow when I have more time. But absolutely! Four stars for you. :)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2a/Flag_of_four_star_general_of_Italy.svg/800px-Flag_of_four_star_general_of_Italy.svg.png

Emil Miller
08-02-2009, 06:09 PM
hi there have been away from the forum for a while due to some problems but am back.

one thing i have noticed is the constant assertion that racism stops blacks from doing well at school and causes unwed mothers.

if racism is to blame then why would blacks be the only minority who fail so much at schools? other groups seem to get on fine.

and how can racism be to blame for the number of unwed mothers? could someone please explain that to me as i honestly cant understand?

these are all down to the individuals involved and their community no one else. it seems like some people would rather act this way and then absolve themselves of all personal responsibility and just blame others.

I would like to agree with you but, without knowing where you live, how can I be sure who I am talking to? This silly, childish habit of hiding behind pointless pseudonyms makes it impossible to communicate effectively with contributors to this or any other thread

Jozanny
08-02-2009, 08:19 PM
Drk, I don't have time for a long post, but your rebuttals have been excellent, keep it up.

amarna
08-03-2009, 02:58 AM
how can I be sure who I am talking to? This silly, childish habit of hiding behind pointless pseudonyms ...

the suggestion to invite members of quirky sects and nerds who never had a girlfriend to stalk me in real life is not very appealing, brian.

The Atheist
08-03-2009, 03:51 AM
I would like to agree with you but, without knowing where you live, how can I be sure who I am talking to? This silly, childish habit of hiding behind pointless pseudonyms makes it impossible to communicate effectively with contributors to this or any other thread

I don't get this at all, and I'm a believer in less anonymity on the internet.

While I'd like to know who I'm talking to, it's pretty easy to take people at face value, which is what I do. That's why I got quite snotty in the prostitution thread when a bloke admitting to drama queening it. He did have the good grace to apologise, and I think that's indicative of most people - they generally are honest.

Even with people you know, how can you be assured they aren't chameleoning it anyway? Saying what they think you want to hear? I have to do that myself sometimes in business - if a customer wants to have a yarn to me about the All Blacks, I don't say, "Well, I'm pleased to see them lose because they're a bunch of overpaid layabouts who are the final product of the complete destruction of the game by immovably stupid people in the NZRU." even though that would sum up my feelings on the game. Instead, I say, "Yeah, they were awful, but at least Dan the Man will be back next time and they can't play that badly twice in a row" and appear to be interested and informed.

We don't always wear our hearts on our sleeves, so I see no reason to think that opinions here are any less honest than any others.

amarna
08-03-2009, 05:17 AM
if racism is to blame then why would blacks be the only minority who fail so much at schools? other groups seem to get on fine.

Intergeneratively socialized deficiency of embodied cultural capital caused by age-long racial segregation. If that's of some help.

Niamh
08-03-2009, 05:38 AM
I would like to agree with you but, without knowing where you live, how can I be sure who I am talking to? This silly, childish habit of hiding behind pointless pseudonyms makes it impossible to communicate effectively with contributors to this or any other thread

Who they are, where they are from etc are completely irrelivant to the discussion Brian. If someone wants to be anonymous on this forum, they are allowed to be, there is nothing childish about it. I for one regret not giving myself a "pointless" pseudonym. :)

The Atheist
08-03-2009, 06:57 AM
Intergeneratively socialized deficiency of embodied cultural capital caused by age-long racial segregation. If that's of some help.

Unfortunately, you've got no control data to compare it to, so that's kind of a spurious statement, really. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you can't claim it as correct as it has no evidential basis.

As a counter, I'd offer the Maori people of New Zealand. Where African-Americans were disenfranchised, Maori were enfranchised before many whites. Where Native Americans had their land stolen, Maori had their ownership enshrined in our founding document. (Yes, there have been a few disputes since, and Maori iwi (tribes) have been compensated in billions of dollars.)

Maori are one of the most privileged people on the planet, yet they are represented in prison statistics, welfare payments, teenage pregnancy, low life expectancy and sexual diseases to almost exactly the same ratio as African Amercans.

You absolutely cannot blame Maori problems on any socio-economic or cultural rationale.

The easy - and convenient - answer is quite often wrong.

I have no clue what the answer is, but I think your 21st-century friendly answer isn't it.

:)


I for one regret not giving myself a "pointless" pseudonym. :)

Huh... and I thought it was a clever reference to Monty Python's Holy Grail.

MarkBastable
08-03-2009, 08:12 AM
I would like to agree with you but, without knowing where you live, how can I be sure who I am talking to? This silly, childish habit of hiding behind pointless pseudonyms makes it impossible to communicate effectively with contributors to this or any other thread



I don't get this at all.

Neither do I - it seems a bit hypocritical.

amarna
08-03-2009, 10:12 AM
I have no clue what the answer is, but I think your 21st-century friendly answer isn't it.



No, the very 21st-century friendly answer is "I have no clue what the answer is."


Atheist, unfortunately I don't have the time to answer your post en detail now (I need a little longer for English is not my mother tongue) but I would like to do it as soon as I will have more time.

Emil Miller
08-03-2009, 10:22 AM
Who they are, where they are from etc are completely irrelivant to the discussion Brian. If someone wants to be anonymous on this forum, they are allowed to be, there is nothing childish about it. I for one regret not giving myself a "pointless" pseudonym. :)

I don't object to it in principal, I really don't care what people wish to call themselves although I do like to know who I am talking to. It certainly is relevant to the discussion. For example, a thread may concern a topic that has different ramifications in one country as opposed to another. If I know which country a fellow forum member inhabits I can speak more clearly about the issue and get similar feedback from him or her. Generally it isn't difficult to work out that many of the members are from the USA and so I can tailor my comments to fall in line with the situation as it prevails there. Sometimes, however, it is impossible to tell and I might go into a post that has very little relevance for the addressee, simply because I dont know where they are from. Obviously, it doesn't apply to most of the forum but in the case of the Serious Discussions sub-forum, knowing the country of the person concerned helps to avoid being misunderstood.

ImaginaryFriend
08-03-2009, 02:12 PM
i see no problem with pseudonyms on the internet but if people are going to start being petty then i am heather from central scotland. dont quite see what that had to do with anything, let alone the question but ok. . .

seems like you are avoiding the question by deflecting onto another subject.

love the stars :)

Emil Miller
08-03-2009, 03:16 PM
i see no problem with pseudonyms on the internet but if people are going to start being petty then i am heather from central scotland. dont quite see what that had to do with anything, let alone the question but ok. . .

seems like you are avoiding the question by deflecting onto another subject.

love the stars :)

Ok Heather,
Now I know where you are from I know that your comments are being seen from a UK perspective. Other countries experiences may be somewhat different to our own.

Whilst it is true that that whites and other races generally do better than blacks scholastically, I have never heard it suggested that racism is the cause; the usual reason given is that they are financially disadvantaged.
I think that's wrong and that the actual reason, apart from a few obvious exceptions, is that they are temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits.
I would absolutely hate to be a teacher in an inner City school where the majority of the pupils were black but, as you know, that is the unfortunate situation that some teachers find themselves in.
Coming on to your second point, I also haven't heard it claimed that racism causes unmarried mothers and since there are increasing numbers of white unmarried mothers, obviously racism cannot be to blame.
I completely agree with you that it is down to the indivduals concerned and their communities and that they would rather act that way rather than take responsibility for their actions but the reason they do this is because there are people who keep making excuses for them.

wessexgirl
08-03-2009, 04:12 PM
:eek2: Anyone?

Lynne50
08-03-2009, 04:26 PM
No thank you!! I got myself in trouble the last time I posted here.

MarkBastable
08-03-2009, 04:34 PM
I know I said that I'd support the right of anyone to express any view however vile, but - frankly - it's a tough principle to live up to sometimes.

The Atheist
08-03-2009, 06:07 PM
...then i am heather from central scotland. ...

Now, we'll just doubt your opinions in case you're a plant.

Saladin
08-03-2009, 06:13 PM
Thank you Saladin. The race card is repeatedly played in the US and the reason for that is there is political power that is gained. Race hucksters such as Jesse Jackson, get revered as some sort of leader and through playing on white guilt get all sorts of financial and political gains. The sociologist that has been extra ordinary in documenting this and pointing it out is Shelby Steele. Here is one of his articles: http://www.cir-usa.org/articles/156.html. I highly recommend looking him up and reading him.

Thank you for that article. I found it very interesting. The reason i find this discussion around racism and the over-use of race card a bit repetitive and dull to be honest, is because its putting the real problems in the shadow. As an african which have lived in Europe almost his whole life i cant identify myself with the african-americans or other groups in the US, but there is some similiarities in the problems. I doubt that anyone here is denying that there is racism in our societies, and this racism doesnt go one way as people politically correct say - white racism towards black. But believe or not there is blacks and other non-white groups which have individuals which are racist.

To portray yourself as a victim all the time as some blacks do is not favourable at all. And with some blacks i dont only mean in general african-americans.

ImaginaryFriend
08-03-2009, 07:07 PM
I think that's wrong and that the actual reason, apart from a few obvious exceptions, is that they are temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits.
I would absolutely hate to be a teacher in an inner City school where the majority of the pupils were black but, as you know, that is the unfortunate situation that some teachers find themselves in.

correct me if i am wrong but are you saying that black people cant be educated? i think your comment may have come off wrong. if you are saying that a lot of black kids dont try cos they dont think they will get anywhere then i agree with that and that teachers must have a hard time getting through to some people that there is hope out there. a lot of the problem is how to change attitudes.

i hope that was what you were trying to get across :) but then i might just be a plant, right atheist? lol

Jozanny
08-04-2009, 04:28 AM
John McWhorter seems to think that Gates-gate amounts to little more than static, that most black intellectuals will continue to see it as victimization, and that the real problem is the illegal drug trade which sucks up so many law enforcement resources, at least from what I can gather.

I have sparred with McWhorter a few times; he gets on my nerves, but I respect his level of engagement on this non-existent conversation that whites are supposedly not having with minorities--but that said, my own sense of victimization and entrapment in poverty gets in the way.

Black communities are not that different from white communities of the same caste. They may be less secular, give or take, more stoic, even more conservative. The old ladles really don't like me, and it is not simply my wheelchair. I am a libertine, offend with my lack of religious belief, and so on.

I am very close to just doing something stupid like getting on a bus and not coming back, and if I ever can get out I never will return. But Virgil, I think you understand very little about how the American welfare state punishes people like me, and African Americans who cannot break the cycle of poverty. I live it every day, which is why I cannot quite blame it all on identity politics and having a chip on the shoulder.

There are things that will always be beyond my grasp now, given my physical and economic reality: home ownership, a car. I do not experience ethnic oppression, but I get it, how the system hurts the poor and makes advancement a nearly impossible reality.

amarna
08-04-2009, 06:14 AM
now.



Unfortunately, you've got no control data to compare it to, so that's kind of a spurious statement, really. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you can't claim it as correct as it has no evidential basis.
You absolutely cannot blame Maori problems on any socio-economic or cultural rationale.

Any evidential basis? I am not experienced in Maori matters and can't really discuss them but can you prove that the cultural and social conditions for Maori and for the others are exactly the same? I can't believe it.



The easy - and convenient - answer is quite often wrong.
I have no clue what the answer is, but I think your 21st-century friendly answer isn't it.


ok, then lets deal with questions, not with answers.
a discussion on lack of social success a minority has is actually a discussion on guilt and on the ethic self-concept of modern allegedly meritocratic societies and its members. it is implying the questions:


are the rules of career advancement fair ones and does equality of opportunity really exist or is it only an ideological fiction?
what properties a person or an ethnic minority must have to climb the social ladder? (intelligence? luck? connections? money? diligence? karma? unscrupulousness? trust in god? emotional skills? balanced diet basing on fish? protestant work ethic? early education in harpsichord playing?)
is success or lack of success resulting from an innated intellectual or moral inferiority, from socio-economic and institutional reasons or from cultural and habitual influences which are passed down from one generation to the next (the influence semi-literated alcohol abusing families will have on their offspring may be a little different from the influence whealthy academic parents would have.)
can an individual or a minority be blamed for its failure, for its deviance, educational deficites, pauperisation, drug abuse, for the way it is, and if yes, to what extent?
guilt is a moral legitimation to despise and to punish someone. so the next question would be how to handle social losers. is it allowed to despise and abuse them, because they're culpable, or is it inappropriate, because they're innocent victims of an injust society?


i am sure that everybody will answer these questions in another way and dependant on his emotional and moral needs. no winner will be pleased to hear that the play he won in was not fair, that he was not the fittest but only the most privileged. on the other hand no loser wants to hear that the play he lost was a fair one and that he could have done better. this longing for apology on both sides is distorting any discussion on matters like racism or in general on inequity of men.

personally i tend to think the old-fashioned Bourdieuian way. Habit, educational ambitions, mentality, properties, which have a major influence on social success, are mainly learned in childhood and youth, from parents and other relatives, teachers, peer groups and mass media. if these authorities fail in passing values and skills necessary for success, the kid will probably fail as well (i think that is causing a lot of the maori problems you've mentioned). i do not think that the innate intelligence or mentality differs depending from phenotype, gender, skin color or size of foot. i mean, even the holy iq is not a fixed property but influenced by education in early childhood, nutrition, drug abuse etc. maybe there are some epigenetic influences (that's especially for lovers of 21th century thought ;) ) but epigenetics is still in its infancy, so i do not want to speculate about it.

The Atheist
08-04-2009, 10:46 AM
Any evidential basis? I am not experienced in Maori matters and can't really discuss them but can you prove that the cultural and social conditions for Maori and for the others are exactly the same? I can't believe it.

No, I can prove they're different, not the same. The similarity is in the outcomes, not the causes.

At least you see the futility of using one group as a control for the other - it just can't happen, which is why any conclusions drawn are likely to be false.


ok, then lets deal with questions, not with answers.
a discussion on lack of social success a minority has is actually a discussion on guilt and on the ethic self-concept of modern allegedly meritocratic societies and its members.

What?

A discussion is no such thing. A discussion is just a discussion and has nothing to do with guilt, ethics or meritocratic societies. This sounds as though it's coming straight from a textbook, which is probably why it makes no sense.


it is implying the questions:

are the rules of career advancement fair ones and does equality of opportunity really exist or is it only an ideological fiction?

This is a red herring. Unless racism is institutionalised, individual employers will have individual rules of advancement. You're trying to draw a generalisation where none is possible.


what properties a person or an ethnic minority must have to climb the social ladder? (intelligence? luck? connections? money? diligence? karma? unscrupulousness? trust in god? emotional skills? balanced diet basing on fish? protestant work ethic? early education in harpsichord playing?)

What social ladder?

Again, this seems like a red herring rather than a point. Where equality is legislated for, the question is irrelevant.


is success or lack of success resulting from an innated intellectual or moral inferiority, from socio-economic and institutional reasons or from cultural and habitual influences which are passed down from one generation to the next (the influence semi-literated alcohol abusing families will have on their offspring may be a little different from the influence whealthy academic parents would have.)

There is no such thing as innate intellectual or moral inferiority or superiority, so again, it's a question which doesn't need asking. Parental influence is another thing, but since many people escape their beginnings, it's not a valid question.


can an individual or a minority be blamed for its failure, for its deviance, educational deficites, pauperisation, drug abuse, for the way it is, and if yes, to what extent?

Given that people choose to exercise their choice on what they do with their lives, of course they can be held accountable. If the majority of a group chooses that same path, then yes, the group is resonsible for their own action.


guilt is a moral legitimation to despise and to punish someone.

Not the description I'd choose to give the word.


so the next question would be how to handle social losers. is it allowed to despise and abuse them, because they're culpable, or is it inappropriate, because they're innocent victims of an injust society?


If they are "losers" through choice, then sure, derision is fine. I have no respect for prison inmates and drug abusers, nor would anything encourage me to have empathy with them. I don't see poor life choices as anyone's fault but the chooser.

You'd need some pretty hard evidence to show that people are innocent victims.


i am sure that everybody will answer these questions in another way and dependant on his emotional and moral needs.

I try to leave moral and emotional influences out and answer questions in accordance with logic and evidence.


no winner will be pleased to hear that the play he won in was not fair, that he was not the fittest but only the most privileged. on the other hand no loser wants to hear that the play he lost was a fair one and that he could have done better. this longing for apology on both sides is distorting any discussion on matters like racism or in general on inequity of men.

Wow, you come out with some amazingly generalised positions. Who's "longing for apology"?


personally i tend to think the old-fashioned Bourdieuian way. Habit, educational ambitions, mentality, properties, which have a major influence on social success, are mainly learned in childhood and youth, from parents and other relatives, teachers, peer groups and mass media.

That's all reasonable, but I'm interested that you've left out possibly the biggest one of all - genetics. Again, I note that many people outgrow their origins and change.


if these authorities fail in passing values and skills necessary for success, the kid will probably fail as well (i think that is causing a lot of the maori problems you've mentioned). i do not think that the [i]innate intelligence or mentality differs depending from phenotype, gender, skin color or size of foot. i mean, even the holy iq is not a fixed property but influenced by education in early childhood, nutrition, drug abuse etc. maybe there are some epigenetic influences (that's especially for lovers of 21th century thought ;) ) but epigenetics is still in its infancy, so i do not want to speculate about it.

Which gets us back to "don't know".

Niamh
08-04-2009, 10:52 AM
Now, we'll just doubt your opinions in case you're a plant.

:eek: :lol:

amarna
08-04-2009, 01:01 PM
Which gets us back to "don't know".

You "don't know" because you are just unwilling to use your brain. :( Well, it's your problem, not mine.

Petrarch's Love
08-04-2009, 03:36 PM
A very good post Petrarch. But I have to disagree with one thing. I see nothing, nothing wrong in anything the cop did. Not a single thing. I don't know if you've read the transcripts, but there was no racial suggestion either by the dispatcher or Officer Crowley in response. However, Prof Gates went way over the line in first accusing the cop in something he didn't do and then insulting him at the top of his lungs repeatedly, even swearing at the Officer's mother. If anything Crowley was incredibly restrained in his apporach. In my book, anyone that insults a cop in the pocess of him doing his duty, then that person deserves to be arrested and his a$$ thrown in jail. The police department should never have dropped the charges. There may have been over reactions here, but the only person who was racial in their thinking and arttitude was Gates And Obama too for jumping to the conclusion that a white cop was being racist. Let me tell you, Obama has seriously lost whatever police vote he might have enjoyed, and that goes for black cops too.

Hi Virg.--Just to get back to your reply to my post. I'm glad that you liked most of it. As to where we disagree, to be clear, I don't believe there is evidence to suggest that the officer was being racist or that there was racial profiling going on. I also agree that it sounds like Prof. Gates was in a foul mood and the first to over react. What I disagree with is the notion that any person who shouts an insult to a cop on duty should be thrown in jail. It is not actually illegal for someone to yell at the police. Indeed, I've known police officers who talk about, and sometimes even laugh over the things people yell at them, since itís not actually unheard of that people are upset to have to be dealing with the police. I certainly donít think itís right to yell at officers and do not advocate being disrespectful to the people who serve our communities so well. All the same, I think a disorderly charge has to be more than an intemperate guy who throws out a few ďyo mamasĒ (a level of insult I doubt would merit detention if thrown out in a school yard). In this case the police had already seen the professorís identification, knew he had commited no crime and was sitting in his own house. If they had just said nothing and driven off, the prof. would most likely have just gone back in the house and cooled off, or let off some steam on his blog or something and the whole thing would have stayed the essential non-issue it was. The reason the officer arrested the man had nothing to do with public safety or police safety. It was personal because the profís insults got under his skin. As a citizen, I do not think that arresting some 58 year old man because he yelled something at the police really is a great use of police or court time. I understand that the officer is only human and let his temper get the better of him in his response to what the prof. said and I certainly donít think itís such a terrible call that the officer needs to be reprimanded in any way or that thereís a case for false arrest. I just think it was a little stupid and that the legal grounds for arresting Gates were a bit flimsy. Was the professor personally an unjustly insulting to Officer Crawley? Yes. Was it probably a good idea for him to offer an apology man to man for flying off the handle? Absolutely. Was it action worthy of being carted off to jail? Nope. Part of the reason that people first hearing about the case, including, I would imagine, the president who has a strong legal background, were inclined to think there might be something to the charge of racism was because the charges did look pretty flimsy. As it turned out, conflicting personalities and world views rather than racism were the real issue here, but I maintain that, though the words of Prof. Gates were intemperate and a bit stupid, the actions of the police were also intemperate and a bit stupid.

Holding views and institutionalized racism are two different things. Everyone holds views on everything, on whether you have tattoos or wear jeans with holes in it. That is relatively meaningless in the the nature of hiring and promotion. You don't live in the US, so I don't know how to persuade you. All one has to do is look at how successful all other ethnic groups, even those that people are prejudiced towards, in the US are in comparison to African Americans, and that goes for the blacks that come from the carribean and Africa.
I also just wanted to respond to this part of your argument. While you are right that there is a line between personal views and institutionalized racism, I think it is important to keep in mind that it is a thin and often blurred line. How do you think institutionalized racism comes about? It isnít as though it just happens, or some evil sprite comes along and creates racist laws. It is people and their personal opinions which allow something to become institutional. When enough people agree with a certain view it becomes mainstream and, if enough people are elected into power with the same views it becomes law. I agree with you that there have been tremendous strides in terms of curbing institutionalized racism. It is not the problem it once was in our country and we have much to be proud of in that regard. I also agree with you that the problems of poor African Americans and other minorities are not exclusively attributable to race. I agree, too, that there are cases when people cry racist too readily, and that this is probably most harmful for the cause of those who are not listened to when they are crying racism in earnest. I cannot, however, agree that personal views on race do not influence our society in subtle ways (yes, for the most part I agree that hiring practices in the US are pretty fair, but do you actually think someone whose personal beliefs are that certain races are better than others isnít just quietly selective when they are in charge of hiring?) or that ignoring and tolerating personal views that are markedly prejudiced could not potentially allow such views to have a very real effect on our society.

Which brings me to a post I must respond toÖ



Whilst it is true that that whites and other races generally do better than blacks scholastically, I have never heard it suggested that racism is the cause; the usual reason given is that they are financially disadvantaged.
I think that's wrong and that the actual reason, apart from a few obvious exceptions, is that they are temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits.
I would absolutely hate to be a teacher in an inner City school where the majority of the pupils were black but, as you know, that is the unfortunate situation that some teachers find themselves in.
.

If you are actually suggesting that black students are ďtemperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuitsĒ then you are sadly mistaken. That is not only an intolerable but an irrational stance. Oh, but perhaps my black colleagues will be thrilled to know that they can count as one of the ďfew obvious exceptions?Ē I hardly think thereís anything more to say except that this statement is wrong.

ImaginaryFriend
08-04-2009, 03:48 PM
petrarch are you actually saying it is ok to be disrespectful to the police? these people do a valuable service for society and deserve to be protected from foul-mouthed, ill-mannered people such as this prof seems to be.

no one should have to take that and in fact if you are in the uk the police can arrest you for swearing after they have told you to stop even if you are not swearing at anyone in particular. it is a public order offence.

Petrarch's Love
08-04-2009, 04:42 PM
petrarch are you actually saying it is ok to be disrespectful to the police? these people do a valuable service for society and deserve to be protected from foul-mouthed, ill-mannered people such as this prof seems to be.


I am not saying that it is OK to be disrespectful to the police. I am saying that I do not think that in all cases it need be an arrestable offense, which is a bit different than saying that it is a behavior to be encouraged. I personally have never been anything but respectful to officers and think that other people should be too so long as the police are, in fact, conducting themselves in a professional manner (which, I'll agree it looks like Officer Crowley in the Gates case was) . I do realize that there are some instances in which it is probably in the best interest of the police to arrest someone who is behaving in a belligerent manner toward them, and clearly the disorderly conduct charge is there for a reason. I can well imagine some cases in which allowing someone to mouth off to them could directly relate in the instigation of problematic behavior and/or undermine the authority of the police in a harmful way. It is, however, in my opinion a rather gray area, with this particular case falling into the realm which sounds to me like an unnecessary arrest. However, I'll admit that I don't know the exact wording of the law, the degree to which it is open to judicial interpretation, or the facts as to how often or in what situations disorderly conduct charges are commonly carried through. I would be interested to know more about these things, since it might sway my opinion of this case some to see the larger legal context and, much more importantly, the reasoning behind such an arrest. As it is, I still don't see how the public was being served by having this man in this situation arrested and can see having the charges dropped. Indeed, though this does not appear to have been one of them, there are some cases in which arresting a person for making charges of racism (even the police report does not record the professor as having used any foul language or cursing. Most of what offended the officer were the accusations that he was racist) could be deeply problematic. What if something bad really was going down? Surely it is important for a citizen to have the right to question the motives of the police verbally?

Edit: Because I was interested in the status and use of the "disorderly conduct charge" I poked around a bit and happened upon this recent article from the Los Angeles Times which indicates that it is, as I suspected, a rather gray area law which at least some legal minds seem to think was uncalled for in this case and which appears to be the subject of debate. The article:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gates-police25-2009jul25,0,7956470.story

Also an op-ed piece by Maureen Dowd, the opening of which I found interesting given that she is the daughter of a police inspector and cites the Miami chief of police's views on how officers should react to such a situation:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/opinion/26dowd.html


no one should have to take that and in fact if you are in the uk the police can arrest you for swearing after they have told you to stop even if you are not swearing at anyone in particular. it is a public order offence.

Interesting. I can see how having such a law would be handy, but knowing people I have to wonder whether it is actually enforced every time such behavior occurs. ;)

amarna
08-04-2009, 04:49 PM
black students are “temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits”

I wonder whether black litnetters - I met several from Africa here, for instance - will feel offended by the shamefully low-down turn this thread has taken.

The Atheist
08-04-2009, 05:22 PM
You "don't know" because you are just unwilling to use your brain. :( Well, it's your problem, not mine.

Aside from being somewhat abusive, your post is so far from reality that even "fantasy" is a poor description.

If you take the stance that brainpower can answer the questions, give us an example, because the best sociological brains on the planet have no idea why some people win and some people lose.

I strongly suspect that you're merely indulging in defensiveness because the facts and evidence don't support the premises you've advanced.


If you are actually suggesting that black students are ďtemperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuitsĒ then you are sadly mistaken. That is not only an intolerable but an irrational stance. Oh, but perhaps my black colleagues will be thrilled to know that they can count as one of the ďfew obvious exceptions?Ē I hardly think thereís anything more to say except that this statement is wrong.

Now, don't take this the wrong way, but what if it's true?

Again, I will resort to the example of Maori. Despite affirmative action by universities and government departments, graduation rates for Maori remain appallingly low. They have been passed by another racial group - Samoans - despite Samoans clearly having to overcome racism, low socio-economic status and lack of privileges.

I don't necessarily agree with Brian, but the potential that some races are suited to certain pursuits is compelling. Otherwise, how do we explain Ashkenazi Jews, whose outstanding IQs and successes in science and Nobel Prizes are factual? Given the small size of their populations, genetic mix through inbreeding should be weakening the strain, not strengthening it.


petrarch are you actually saying it is ok to be disrespectful to the police? these people do a valuable service for society and deserve to be protected from foul-mouthed, ill-mannered people such as this prof seems to be.

That would work fine if all cops were polite, non-confrontational and non-judgemental. Alas, their line of work precludes those traits a lot of the time, and there are plenty of cops in jail to show that they aren't necessarily knights in shining armour.

amarna
08-04-2009, 05:34 PM
Aside from being somewhat abusive, your post is so far from reality that even "fantasy" is a poor description.

If you take the stance that brainpower can answer the questions, give us an example, because the best sociological brains on the planet have no idea why some people win and some people lose.

I strongly suspect that you're merely indulging in defensiveness because the facts and evidence don't support the premises you've advanced.

sorry for being unfriendly but i was angry.
well, i certainly will not spend my time for argueing with someone whom i suspect being a wannabe top dog and who is not willing to respect (i do not mean agree with) my point of view. that would serve no purpose.

Drkshadow03
08-04-2009, 06:01 PM
I don't necessarily agree with Brian, but the potential that some races are suited to certain pursuits is compelling. Otherwise, how do we explain Ashkenazi Jews, whose outstanding IQs and successes in science and Nobel Prizes are factual?

The G-d you don't believe in made us that way! J/K :angel:

(there's a smiley face you don't believe in either).

On a more serious note, I still think culture (read: nurture) plays a major role in all this. In Jewish communities you're constantly encouraged by family and the larger community to either pursue law, accounting, banking, medicine, or higher education. I am still not convinced Jews are genetically predisposed to be smarter than everyone else, except for me of course. :goof:

Emil Miller
08-04-2009, 06:15 PM
I wonder whether black litnetters - I met several from Africa here, for instance - will feel offended by the shamefully low-down turn this thread has taken.

I don't know how old you are but I have noticed that you live in East Germany. Therefore, it is quite possible that you have received a communist education, which runs contrary to the western experience.

Scheherazade
08-04-2009, 06:16 PM
W a r n i n g

Posts containing personal comments will be deleted without further notice.

Please discuss the topic, not each other.

Emil Miller
08-04-2009, 06:30 PM
Which brings me to a post I must respond to…

If you are actually suggesting that black students are “temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits” then you are sadly mistaken. That is not only an intolerable but an irrational stance. Oh, but perhaps my black colleagues will be thrilled to know that they can count as one of the “few obvious exceptions?” I hardly think there’s anything more to say except that this statement is wrong.

The whole purpose of this, or any other forum, is that members can agree to disagree and we must each form our opinions on the basis of our own experiences rather than be conditioned by those of others, which may be different to our own.

Petrarch's Love
08-04-2009, 06:34 PM
Now, don't take this the wrong way, but what if it's true?

Again, I will resort to the example of Maori. Despite affirmative action by universities and government departments, graduation rates for Maori remain appallingly low. They have been passed by another racial group - Samoans - despite Samoans clearly having to overcome racism, low socio-economic status and lack of privileges.

I don't necessarily agree with Brian, but the potential that some races are suited to certain pursuits is compelling. Otherwise, how do we explain Ashkenazi Jews, whose outstanding IQs and successes in science and Nobel Prizes are factual? Given the small size of their populations, genetic mix through inbreeding should be weakening the strain, not strengthening it.

There are very few absolute statements that I would make without feeling that there was some justice for an alternate point of view. Saying that a person's race has nothing to do with their intelligence or other moral or intellectual traits is one of those few statements that I will say and will continue to say absolutely. As Drkshadow has pointed out, there are many possible factors such as a difference in cultural attitudes and upbringing that could and do influence differences in success that appear to be linked to race. I don't know much about the Maori, but I know that people sometimes make similar statements regarding the academic success of Asian Americans versus African Americans in this country, and there are indeed many cultural factors, both external and within the communities of these respective groups, that are far more likely to be the cause of a gap in performance than a difference between races.

amarna
08-04-2009, 07:03 PM
I don't know how old you are but I have noticed that you live in East Germany. Therefore, it is quite possible that you have received a communist education, which runs contrary to the western experience.

Silly me. And I thought I'd have to be black to be unsuited to intellectual pursuits. ;)

The Atheist
08-04-2009, 07:22 PM
sorry for being unfriendly but i was angry.

Why?


well, i certainly will not spend my time for argueing with someone whom i suspect being a wannabe top dog and who is not willing to respect (i do not mean agree with) my point of view. that would serve no purpose.

I find the "wannabe top dog" pretty insulting as well. So far, I have tried to deal with the subject on an evidentiary basis, and have concluded that we have "no idea".

But in the circumstances, I agree that going no further is a good idea as it seems to be stiking a personal chord with you. I'd love to know why, but c'est la vie.


The G-d you don't believe in made us that way! J/K :angel:

(there's a smiley face you don't believe in either).

On a more serious note, I still think culture (read: nurture) plays a major role in all this. In Jewish communities you're constantly encouraged by family and the larger community to either pursue law, accounting, banking, medicine, or higher education. I am still not convinced Jews are genetically predisposed to be smarter than everyone else, except for me of course. :goof:

You could be right, but then again, the centuries of deprivation should have meant that those traits failed if there was absolute truth in the nurture scenario.


Saying that a person's race has nothing to do with their intelligence or other moral or intellectual traits is one of those few statements that I will say and will continue to say absolutely. As Drkshadow has pointed out, there are many possible factors such as a difference in cultural attitudes and upbringing that could and do influence differences in success that appear to be linked to race.

Why do you take an absolute stand on it then? You're supported by no hard evidence and there is no more or less basis for certainty on the subject than many others. I'm sure upbringing is a major factor, but I'm equally sure it isn't the only one. We have sufficient examples of different outcomes from the same upbringing to show that it isn't just that.


I don't know much about the Maori, but I know that people sometimes make similar statements regarding the academic success of Asian Americans versus African Americans in this country, and there are indeed many cultural factors, both external and within the communities of these respective groups, that are far more likely to be the cause of a gap in performance than a difference between races.

Again, you could well be right, but I'm not ready to rule genes out just yet.

Petrarch's Love
08-04-2009, 07:22 PM
The whole purpose of this, or any other forum, is that members can agree to disagree and we must each form our opinions on the basis of our own experiences rather than be conditioned by those of others, which may be different to our own.

I gather you objected to the fact that my post was worded as a statement rather than an opinion? I will rephrase: It is my opinion that any person who values tolerance toward others, wishes to see a society as free as possible from bigotry, and has spent any time at all interacting with people of different races from their own should find the statement that, due to their race, black students are ďtemperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuitsĒ a wrong statement.

Brian--In all my other interactions with you on these forums I have found you an intelligent, reasonable and well intentioned person whose opinions I may or not agree with but can, none-the-less respect. I do not intend my posts as a personal attack on you as a person but on the view that you suggested with that line. If I have in some way misunderstood the view that you were trying to convey, if there is some more nuanced thinking there than what I am following, then by all means correct me. If you are trying to say that some groups perform less well than others based on their race, then this is an opinion that I deeply believe it is very important for myself and others to speak out against. Surely you are aware of the line of thinking and action concession or silence regarding such a statement could open up? Surely you have noticed that statements like this have been made about all sorts of groups in the past and then subsequently proven untrue? I'm not sure I quite follow what you mean about being "conditioned" by another's opinion, except that, as I said above, you objected to my phrasing my response as an absolute statement rather than an opinion. I did not intend to "condition" you, but to make a public statement condemning an opinion I feel is deeply wrong. I also do not really follow what you mean about not letting another person's experience change the opinion you have formed from your own experience. If we all formed opinions based on personal experience of the world alone we would be very narrow people indeed. That said, it is possible that I do not understand the form of experience that would lead a person to make a statement such as the one I objected to and to think that's a reasonable thing to say. Perhaps you could explain why this is a view you feel the need to defend, either here or via PM?

Emil Miller
08-04-2009, 07:30 PM
[QUOTE=Petrarch's Love;758305]There are very few absolute statements that I would make without feeling that there was some justice for an alternate point of view. Saying that a person's race has nothing to do with their intelligence or other moral or intellectual traits is one of those few statements that I will say and will continue to say absolutely.

Which you are perfectly free to do so, except that it doesn't invalidate beliefs held to the contrary by others whose experience may be different to your own.

billl
08-05-2009, 01:44 AM
Here are a few thoughts about how we might find reason for believing that racism is still negatively impacting minoritites in the U.S. and other places, despite an official end to obviously racist laws and the enactment of laws outlawing discrimination. The capital letters are just an attempt to organize this long post, sorry for the weighty or shouty appearance.

CONQUERED PEOPLES
The native populations in the U.S., Canada, and (well, i did 10 minutes of Wikipedia research) New Zealand have suffered similar fates in many ways. They all have higher than average rates of suicide, alcoholism, unemployment, and child/spouse abuse. They all have lost land to the colonizing people. They all have, to certain extents, had their cultures and languages devalued and discouraged. I think it would be fair to say that there is a certain "demoralization" involved in having one's land occupied by foreigners, and seeing one's culture fade in significance. I think that this sort of demoralizing history and a sort-of cultural confusion (at best) probably accounts for the similar outcomes, moreso than any genetic link between the groups.
NOTE: I'm using the word "demoralization" strictly in the sense that the word "morale" is used other more conventional contexts, such as in a military unit. I mean it as a substitute for the not-quite-right-word "humiliation."

I also saw Samoans mentioned in this discussion (in comparison to the Maori), but they are different from the others discussed above in that they are the majority population on their home islands. I haven't looked into the case of the Australian Aborigines. If anyone can add anything regarding that case, or any others, I think it'd be interesting to hear.


THE LEGACY OF INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM
It wasn't until 1965 that African-Americans were protected from discriminating voting policies (such as literacy tests coupled with grandfather clauses allowing white illiterates to vote, as well as inconvenient polling times/locations, etc) and other Jim Crow laws that allowed separation of races at various facilities (schools, bathrooms, restaurants, etc.). Only a few generations (in the South, in fact; and in the North, in spirit) have lived free from those circumstances, and I think it is perfectly reasonable (as amarna pointed out) to say that they are still finding their feet.

Native Americans were cruelly (the word doesn't do it justice) herded into Reservations, mostly in deserts, often very far from the non-desert homelands of the particular tribes. The political relations between those on the reservations and the U.S. government were, of course, uneven to begin with, and can only be said to have been improved at the rate of the government's shame. Of course, for all I know the worst mistakes were made by tribal leaders. But I think the crushing poverty and hopelessness of the reservations can hardly be viewed as unrelated to the history of their removal from their lands, and their sad escape from what was, arguably, genocide by the inheritors of their land. In many ways, the unfair agreements (many long since broken) made between Native Americans and the expanding U.S. gov't are still oppressing those people.


FOR THOSE (earlier in the thread) DISCUSSING INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM
Affirmative Action Laws in the U.S. could actually be described, I think, as Institutionalized Racism practiced in order to combat previous Institutionalized (and contemporary informal) Racism (see above). It's a messy thing, but I think it was the best idea for dealing with the problem. It is what gave Barack Obama and Colin Powell and many others (professor Gates, too, I imagine, I'm not sure) the opportunity to take their place on our national stage.

Those who recoil at these policies have a good point, I think. In the end, Obama and Powell made it because of their efforts and abilities. However, at the time of those efforts, affirmative action policies opened doors that would otherwise almost certainly have been closed to them, owing to the momentum of discrimination that was, in fact, perfectly legal not many years earlier. I can tell you from experience, this makes for some uncertainty and perceived injustice in hiring, no matter how perfect and unbiased the process might be. The necessity for affirmative action could only ever recede along an uncomfortable and often suspicious course, and it's understandably difficult for everyone to agree on when it should end.

Also, on a slightly different tack: I am always surprised by it, but it seems that every year I hear some story, maybe about a golf course/club that Tiger Woods has managed to shame into ending its discriminatory membership policies, or a high school dance where the students band together to break with history and stop having separate proms for blacks and whites (a prom is the most important social dance in U.S. high schools, and I saw this news story just a year or two ago...). Old habits die hard in some communities/social circles, and I see no reason to doubt they wouldn't continue in certain workplaces--and whether one should call that "institutionalized" or not is something that people might disagree about, but I don't know if the semantics are as important as the situation itself.



I am an American, and (upon reflection) I am pleased to say that, I have worked for White, African-American, Asian, and Latino managers. I have also managed members of those races, as well as an Arab. And I've worked alongside immigrants from a wide variety of countries.

I have also seen instances of conflict based entirely on race, among employers, employees, and customers. However, I see progress happening, and my overall experience is strongly-colored by the amazingly rewarding feeling I've gotten when individuals (in particular, strangers) from different ends of these ugly issues are able to recognize that they have managed to rise above, and smile at each other--mission accomplished! Well, not quite. But still :)

Jozanny
08-05-2009, 02:39 AM
As contrary as my thinking may be on this subject, and yes, I have tortured myself over it long before any incidents make themselves topics of international discussions, I would be very wary about making any generalized statements about human intelligence on the basis of broad physical (or genetic) traits, or even in contextualized circumstances: I might be able to wade through Petrarch's dissertation with more verbal acuity than a drug dealer working Huntington Ave--but put me on that corner five minutes before a turf dispute, and then ask who has the better survival capacity--the stout middle aged and half cocked disabled woman, or the dealer?

Intelligence in and of itself is a dicey metric, and it gets explosive with the social fiction of race thrown into it.

billl
08-05-2009, 02:59 AM
Well-said Jozanny. Sometimes grammar, standardized tests, etc. count for nothing. And it'd be natural for the child of that drug dealer (or their customer's child) to develop similar skills.

The Atheist
08-05-2009, 04:11 AM
Here are a few thoughts about how we might find reason for believing that racism is still negatively impacting minoritites in the U.S. and other places, despite an official end to obviously racist laws and the enactment of laws outlawing discrimination. The capital letters are just an attempt to organize this long post, sorry for the weighty or shouty appearance.

Good post, cogent points. You might even be right!


I also saw Samoans mentioned in this discussion (in comparison to the Maori), but they are different from the others discussed above in that they are the majority population on their home islands. I haven't looked into the case of the Australian Aborigines. If anyone can add anything regarding that case, or any others, I think it'd be interesting to hear.

I should have clarified with Samoans; I was being NZ-centric.

More Samoans live in Auckland than Samoa. They were brought out here as low-income workers during the 1960s and '70s as NZ underwent a boom and there weren't enough people to do the menial tasks. They started from well behind the 8-ball, but have passed [vastly more privileged] Maori in graduation rates and other social indicators. Samoa itself is a horrible mess - although still delightful place - beset by all sorts of political intrigue, as are many Polynesian islands. Note, the Samoa I refer to is Western Samoa, not that place which is still an American protectorate.

As to Aussie Aboriginals, they have easily faced the worst racism, having been shot on sight within the last century - without penalty - and have only had Australian citizenship since the 1960s, even though they'd been in Australia for about 30 or 40 centuries prior to the white man's arrival.

You want true horror stories? Apart from the number of dead, what happened the Aboriginals makes the Holocaust look tame.


As contrary as my thinking may be on this subject, and yes, I have tortured myself over it long before any incidents make themselves topics of international discussions, I would be very wary about making any generalized statements about human intelligence on the basis of broad physical (or genetic) traits, or even in contextualized circumstances: ...

Intelligence in and of itself is a dicey metric, and it gets explosive with the social fiction of race thrown into it.

Being a science nut, the idea of genetics really does strike a chord with me. Geneticists will point to the human genome and say that it's impossible to tell one "race" from another by typing DNA, and they generally refuse to acknowledge that race actually exists outside of culture/human construct.

Yet, we know for certain that some races have genetic traits - mainly weaknesses - which apply only to that race of people. Given that some of these things - Bright's Disease for instance, the Samoans again! - are not connected to socio-economic status, nutrition or location, I find it hard to accept.

(In your scenario, I'll have $5 on the dealer!)

:)

billl
08-05-2009, 04:26 AM
Thanks for the response tA, especially the Australia insights.

Scheherazade
08-05-2009, 05:41 AM
F i n a l W a r n i n g

Posts containing personal comments will be deleted without further notice.

Such posts will lead temporary or permanent thread closure.

Please discuss the topic, not each other.

amarna
08-05-2009, 05:48 AM
Please discuss the topic, not each other.

with pleasure.

bouquin
08-05-2009, 05:55 AM
I am southeast Asian. A few years ago I went from London to Los Angeles, California on a British Airways flight. When I got into the terminal at LAX (just before arriving at Immigration) there was a man there in some sort of military uniform who pointed his finger at me and said, "You! Come over here!"
Before acquiescing I just had time to look about me in order to ascertain that it was indeed me that he was calling at and I noticed that I was the only Asian in that small wave of passengers making our way through that airport corridor, all the others were Caucasian-looking. I went up to the fellow, he checked my passport and then let me go.
So now my question is, why did he zero in on me? Did my race play a role in his decision to check?

Emil Miller
08-05-2009, 05:56 AM
Silly me. And I thought I'd have to be black to be unsuited to intellectual pursuits. ;)

Please don't misquote me. I did not say "unsuited to intellectual pursuits" I said "temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits." Of course, it would be ridiculous to say that blacks cannot be educated, but the experience in this country is that, despite receiving the same schooling as other races, they consistently fail to achieve the same or even similar results. In my view, to blame this on poverty when they are in receipt of the same welfare provisions as others is obviously erroneous. If people, regardless of race, can't be bothered or don't want to learn, there is no way they can be forced to.

amarna
08-05-2009, 08:00 AM
here (http://www.pnas.org/content/102/30/10604.full) is an abstract on epigenetic discordance (=environmental influences switching genes on and off) in X chromosome inactivation pattern of monozygotic (=genetically identical) twins. if some more evidence is needed in discussing the genes-or-environment-problem, it may be quite useful.

Emil Miller
08-05-2009, 09:38 AM
here (http://www.pnas.org/content/102/30/10604.full) Here is an abstract on epigenetic discordance (=environmental influences switching genes on and off) in X chromosome inactivation pattern of monozygotic (=genetically identical) twins. if some more evidence is needed in discussing the genes-or-environment-problem, it may be quite useful.


I haven't the time to do other than peremptorily read the abstract but, although there may well be something in what it says, the introduction of genetics into a discussion of racial attitudes usually results in a complete refusal of liberals to allow it, let alone discuss it. There have been several well-known instances in the UK where very quallified practitioners in the field have been literally shouted down in order to prevent them from speaking at academic meetings held on the subject. Personally, I am in favour of any research which helps us to understand the issue but I suspect that opponents are fearful that genetic differences might prove to be the answer, thus destroying their preconceived ideas that poverty, environment etc. are the cause of racial differences and associated problems.

The Atheist
08-05-2009, 10:49 AM
Personally, I am in favour of any research which helps us to understand the issue but I suspect that opponents are fearful that genetic differences might prove to be the answer, thus destroying their preconceived ideas that poverty, environment etc. are the cause of racial differences and associated problems.

This is a very good point.

I have a record of several recent instances where science has provided genetic proofs of matters on race which were held to be politically inexpedient and therefore buried faster than a dead dog in Jamaica. In each case, the newspaper reports were removed from the websites and if I didn't have the original hard copies, it would be impossible to prove the existence of the studies.

ImaginaryFriend
08-05-2009, 01:43 PM
Well Brian Bean maybe you should explain your reasons for believing in something which seems so vile to most of us. You cant just say that then walk away, it almost seems like you are trying to "stir" things.

Do you have any facts to back it up?
And why would communism have any affect on this?
Are you trying to say that the west is more racist or that black people in communist countries learn better than western counterparts? If so then that would be cultural and not down to blacks being inferior as you seem to be implying.

And according to those beliefs you seem to have does that mean white people are inferior to asian and arab peoples as they perform better?

Hi Petrarch i have finally got around to reading those articles and thank you they were very interesting :)

I would say that maybe the reasons for disorderly conduct laws are to protect the majority of citizens from the few malcontents out there and to teach these people a lesson. Unfortunately by what i read in the second article it looks like gates is one of those people who never learn (seriously, is he living in fairyland? can he hear himself speak? i just wanted to reach through that article and slap him!).

The problem is this whole "free speech at any cost" nonsense that goes on in america. People have the right not to be insulted more than people have the right to be insulting. End of.

This was a case of testosterone gone mad and the prof went too far. If his house WAS burgled and his neighbour hadnt called the police he would still be complaining. Like i said way back in the thread he is lucky his neighbour cared enough to call.

Emil Miller
08-05-2009, 02:59 PM
Well Brian Bean maybe you should explain your reasons for believing in something which seems so vile to most of us. You cant just say that then walk away, it almost seems like you are trying to "stir" things.

Do you have any facts to back it up?
And why would communism have any affect on this?
Are you trying to say that the west is more racist or that black people in communist countries learn better than western counterparts? If so then that would be cultural and not down to blacks being inferior as you seem to be implying.

And according to those beliefs you seem to have does that mean white people are inferior to asian and arab peoples as they perform better?


You are quite free to find my views vile on this or any other subject, but I think you, along with a few others, have misinterpreted my meaning. I refer you to my post #204.

As for facts to back up what I said, like most other people, I have to rely on the educational pages in the press that obtains the information from the Department of Education annually.

As for communism's effect on the issue, the number of blacks in communist countries such as the former East Germany is tiny compared to other countries, such as the US and UK, so no valid comparison in relation to this thread can be made.

Richard Lynn, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University of Ulster has discovered in the course of his work that there is a higher average IQ in East Asians than Whites, does that make Whites inferior? No, but as I have already stated,they are by temperament more likely to apply themselves to their studies.

amarna
08-05-2009, 03:42 PM
, thus destroying their preconceived ideas that poverty, environment etc. are the cause of racial differences and associated problems.

An excellent opportunity to refer to up-to-date epigenetic research I already mentioned. :)

Petrarch's Love
08-05-2009, 07:46 PM
Why?
Why do you take an absolute stand on it then? You're supported by no hard evidence and there is no more or less basis for certainty on the subject than many others. I'm sure upbringing is a major factor, but I'm equally sure it isn't the only one. We have sufficient examples of different outcomes from the same upbringing to show that it isn't just that.

Again, you could well be right, but I'm not ready to rule genes out just yet.

Atheist--I can see that you are taking the empirical scientific stance, which I respect in its motives, and I recognize that you are trying to appeal to logic and to hard evidence. I respect your appeals to logic and to empiricism as a razor for truth. The problem is that we're dealing with human beings, who have, not only logic, but emotion at play, and a double edged razor can cut both ways. One issue that I have with your responses is that there is a long history of "hard science" in respect to race that has turned out to be socially/politically biased bunk. There was a time in my own country, not so long ago, when "science" and "hard facts" suggested that all black people were incapable of being the intellectual equals of white people, and that has been disproved by the fact of social change which has, slowly, allowed minorities more privileges until we see that the "logical" assumptions of my grandmother's generation are in fact patently untrue in my own generation. This has happened elsewhere in the world as well, and for other groups of people. You look at some 19th century "science" and it claims to have "hard facts" that support the claim that women as a group are frail and basically unfit for higher level intellectual activity. Certainly there were Nazi scientists who managed to convince intelligent and apparently logical people of all sorts of things. There may even have been partial truths about differences between the sexes and the races mixed in there, but the product that emerged was a lie.

I do not mean by this that I don't have a lot of respect for the scientific method and the use of hard facts as a very valuable tools, and tools I often use and trust myself, or that I don't think that it isn't important to use logic in order to come to conclusions, I mean that even apparently empirical and supposedly logical evidence needs to be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism. In the case of scientific discoveries supporting racism, the amount of claims that have been made on the part of science and then subsequently proven wrong by the fact that the very groups who were supposedly incapable of succeeding according to these studies are now perfectly successful are so great that I think it is only logical to have a very healthy degree of skepticism regarding such discoveries when it comes to racism.

This said, I think I should express a bit more clearly where the "absolute" quality of my statement lies. I was in some haste yesterday in my reply to you and so did not go into detail as to the grounds of my objections or really address the potential merits of what I gather your stance to be. I do see the logic of your point that certain races are genetically more prone to certain physical traits, such as sickle cell anemia in dark skinned people, and I will even recognize the possibility that there may in fact be certain slight differences in genetic makeup between different groups of people, though not necessarily races: it is a very different thing to say that a group of people from a certain area of the world tend to have a trait than to say that all people of their skin colour have that trait. Thinking in terms of race and skin color may not actually be the most helpful way to approach this topic.

This discussion reminded me of this series of articles, written by William Saletan in Slate magazine a few years back:

http://www.slate.com/id/2178122/entry/2178123/

I've just tracked it down online and re-read it because I remembered being struck with his effort to remain logical and unbiased in assessing the different possibilities regarding science and racism, and also with his clear expression, in the third installment that suggest ways that, even it were true that there are different average IQ's among the races, it would not necessarily mean that we can make judgments about individuals based on race, make generalizations about racial groups, or that some sub groups within a race don't follow the pattern of the racial group as a whole. The possibilities he suggests of different kinds of intelligence and skills attributable to different groups of people is an idea that I am at least open to entertaining, that I will not make an absolute statement about (as I said, I am really not someone prone to absolute statements). I am still not convinced that I agree with the idea that there is such a genetically predisposed difference, but it is one that I am willing to entertain on a certain level, to assess as evidence is provided and with certain social understandings about interpretation of data well in place. Saletan seems to be on the fence in a lot of places too, indicating that there are studies that suggest environment and nutrition affect IQ etc. I'm also not convinced that IQ is the way to define a person's potential for social, economic, and spiritual and even, to a certain extent, academic success in this world...but that's another debate. Still in the context of the way he is handling the issue, it is one that I am open to thinking over on a hypothetical level as I would most intellectual ideas. I do note, however, that even an article like Saletan's, which is attempting to responsibly present a balanced view of the possibility that race affects IQ, ends with him offering an apology because he has mistakenly cited a study that looked sound and reasonable to him, but which turned out to have been sponsored by a blatantly racial supremacist group. This is where the human factor comes in and where my statement above about being highly skeptical and unusually vigorous about statements regarding science and race is, I think, justified.

Frankly, though I understand the desire to pursue scientific truth, I think this is an area in which it is not unreasonable to be extremely cautious. To begin with, the motives of both organizations and individual scientists for starting such an inquiry are in some (I do not say all) cases justifiably suspect. To end with, the interpretations of the results of even the most admirably clean and balanced study could be easily spun into erroneous social constructs and have very ugly social consequences. The problem with such studies is that people do not usually respond to them in anything like a logical way and the door is very quickly flung wide open, sometimes or even often perhaps unintentionally, to admit very problematic real world ideas. We can see this in the example of the statement that I absolutely rejected, which was that of Brian's suggesting that poor black students (with maybe a few exceptions) are temperamentally unfit for intellectual pursuits due to their race. That statement, as it stands, is generalizing and does not come across as a valid and nuanced expression of reactions to a hypothesis based on empirical scientific findings. It is also a very old chestnut that has been used many times in human history to suggest that it is impossible for a group of people to better themselves or, one very easy step further, that they are an inferior group. This sort of judgment about a group of people being temperamentally unfit for this that or the other sends a message to society that we should give up on this group and a message to the group in question to give up on themselves. It can also very rapidly lead to even more dangerous conclusions about racial superiority. Not to mention, even if one were to fully concede the hypothesis that there is some disparity in average IQ based on genetic group (which I am not yet convinced enough to do) that does not mean that many individuals in that group do not have the potential for very high performance or that those of any race who do indeed have low IQs are not in any way suited for intellectual activity. They may, in fact be highly suited for a particular type of intellectual activity but not for others. Such a statement is, I will always maintain, both morally and factually wrong.

As for inquiry into the more delicate grey area of perhaps not absolutely wrong genetic studies, there are lots of directions that we can put our energies into when it comes to genetic research, and I think that we need some very compelling reasons for the potential for positive results from such inquiries and the way to properly address such results before placing our energies in the direction of race studies rather than another because mishandling such a topic could have very real and possibly terrible effects on the lives of many people.


Please don't misquote me. I did not say "unsuited to intellectual pursuits" I said "temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits." Of course, it would be ridiculous to say that blacks cannot be educated, but the experience in this country is that, despite receiving the same schooling as other races, they consistently fail to achieve the same or even similar results. In my view, to blame this on poverty when they are in receipt of the same welfare provisions as others is obviously erroneous. If people, regardless of race, can't be bothered or don't want to learn, there is no way they can be forced to.

Brian--I have responded rather extensively to Atheist above in a way that I hope will help to explain my objections to your initial post. I do agree with your assessment that some people, race aside, are not interested in learning, especially in their youth, and that some don't have the talents in the direction of intellectual skills. I disagree with the line that you draw with regard to race. The thing I really don't understand about the post I quote above, however, is the difference between saying that people are genetically "unsuited to intellectual pursuits" and that they are genetically "temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits." Isn't the upshot either way that their genes predispose them to be bad in school? I really don't get the difference, apart from the fact that the first statement means they are dumb and the second statement means that they may or may not be dumb, but are certainly incurably lazy. The charge that a group is one or both of these things has been foundational for any number of racist groups for a long time. It is the first step toward degrading and dehumanizing a group of people as worthless. As I tried to say in an earlier post, I realize this may not be the kind of statement you meant to make, but it is the way I and many others will interpret it. Again, if I am misunderstanding, if there is some more nuanced idea that you were trying to convey, please let me know.



As contrary as my thinking may be on this subject, and yes, I have tortured myself over it long before any incidents make themselves topics of international discussions, I would be very wary about making any generalized statements about human intelligence on the basis of broad physical (or genetic) traits, or even in contextualized circumstances: I might be able to wade through Petrarch's dissertation with more verbal acuity than a drug dealer working Huntington Ave--but put me on that corner five minutes before a turf dispute, and then ask who has the better survival capacity--the stout middle aged and half cocked http://www.online-literature.com/forums/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=45837disabled woman, or the dealer?

Intelligence in and of itself is a dicey metric, and it gets explosive with the social fiction of race thrown into it.

Jozanny--I think you bring up a very good point. Re-evaluating the way we judge and value different kinds of intelligence and skills could, indeed, go a long way toward more tolerance and harmony in our society. If one were to work toward an ideal world, surely part of that would be to recognize each person for the best talents that person possesses and to value those talents and the potential they have for contributing to society. Alas, as you know, we live in a rather far from ideal world and there doesn't seem to be large level system that addresses such an issue with any success (didn't someone on this thread predict that communism would come into it eventually? :p), but that's no reason our individual attitudes can't be both accepting and encouraging of the best talents in each person we encounter. I'm with you that the issue of race, society, potential for success, intelligence, status etc. all form a very complex and often vexing web...not surprising when exploring any single person can mean excavating a maze of complexity and society is nothing but a group made up of people. :) One would think each of us hade enough on our plates worrying about the flaws and graces of the individuals we know without having to try to figure out the problems with whole groups of people, but apparently not.

Bill--Thank you also for your very thoughtful and considered posts. Wanted to let you know that I read and appreciated your contribution.


Hi Petrarch i have finally got around to reading those articles and thank you they were very interesting

I would say that maybe the reasons for disorderly conduct laws are to protect the majority of citizens from the few malcontents out there and to teach these people a lesson. Unfortunately by what i read in the second article it looks like gates is one of those people who never learn (seriously, is he living in fairyland? can he hear himself speak? i just wanted to reach through that article and slap him!).

The problem is this whole "free speech at any cost" nonsense that goes on in america. People have the right not to be insulted more than people have the right to be insulting. End of.

This was a case of testosterone gone mad and the prof went too far. If his house WAS burgled and his neighbour hadnt called the police he would still be complaining. Like i said way back in the thread he is lucky his neighbour cared enough to call.

Hi Imaginary Friend (didn't think I'd have call to use that phrase again post grade school :D)--First of all, as I think I posted elsewhere, I agree with you in that I think the Gates incident was not an instance of racial prejudice on the part of the officer and that it was an incident based on misunderstanding and tempers getting out of hand. As I said before, I can also see why this is a grey area and how the police might sometimes be justified in arresting a person for disorderly conduct. If I thought that every single officer on the police force was as honest as Prof. Crowley seems to be, and if I thought every incident was as free of problem as this one, and if I had the sense that the things Prof. Gates was shouting were truly disruptive and uncalled for in any case, then I might be in greater agreement with you on this issue.

However, having read the transcript of the police report available here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html which I presume presents the side most in favor of the officer's point of view, I am struck by the fact that Gates is not anywhere accused of using foul or unusually insulting language. The one vaguely insulting thing he says (which Gates claims he didn't say anyway, but which it is possible he could have) is "ya, I'll speak with yo mama outside" which, if you are not familiar with American vernacular, is a pretty tame, even dated, comment that I doubt would really get most people that upset, and in a lot of situations isn't even really used as an insult but a mild form of protest, or a kind of joke or game. (To give it some context, kids in the schoolyard play "yo mama" games, also known as "the dozens" where they make up hyperbolic insults--"yo mama so fat she sat down and crushed a house"--with the idea that they try to one up the other with creative and humorous insults. It's a phrase associated with a black way of talking, though I remember white kids at my school doing the "yo mama" thing sometimes too. In short, I can't imagine anyone finding it that offensive). Apart from this phrase, the vast majority of what Gates is accused of shouting is that the officer is being racist; that he wants the officer's name and badge number; that the officer doesn't realize how important he is. The last of these is an egotistical failing, but hardly so lewd or insulting (or unusual in police work, I would assume) that it merits arrest. As for accusing the officer of being racist and demanding his name, I can certainly understand how Officer Crowley could find that insulting and get angry about it, but I think is absolutely essential to protect the rights of all people to make such claims. If a cop can arrest anyone just for saying (or shouting, most people don't make claims of injustice, valid or not, in a quiet fashion) that the police are behaving in an unjust or prejudiced manner, then we're opening ourselves up to some scary potential for abuse of power. It is not unreasonable to suppose this might happen. It was not very long ago (within the living memory of Professor Gates and of my parents and grandparents) that in areas of the United States the police were treating black people differently, were both driven by and used as the tools of racial segregation and prejudice. The dramatic images of police letting lose power hoses and dogs on peaceful protesters in the south during the civil rights movement symbolize and indicate a very deeply problematic attitude of some (I am sure not all) police toward black people, and part of the problem was that no one could question the judgment of the police in making arrests that, I am sure were sometimes justified but sometimes not.

We have come a long way since that time, and I do think that the majority of our societal attitudes and those of the police are not tainted with this kind of prejudice. However, in order to maintain this level of justice it is important that the right to verbally question the motives of the police remains intact. This is important, not just for the people who perceive prejudice against themselves, but for the many officers who are upright and doing an honest job because it keeps everything above board and free from the possible taint or appearance of covering something up. In the Gates case it turned out that the accusations of racism were baseless and mistaken, but if someone were making such accusations in a situation where they were well founded then I would not want there to be precedent wide open to not only conveniently shut that person up but to make the police seem perfectly justified in doing so. As a citizen, I'm far less concerned about being protected from an old man who makes some mistaken accusations in a fit of temper than I am about being protected from being unable to shout out about an injustice should I ever find myself the victim of one.

Edit: A little article I came across that I thought was an interesting historical reflection on this case in regard to the opening example he cites of a different case of mistaken assumptions about the motives of the police:

http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=78&aid=167612

The Atheist
08-06-2009, 12:06 AM
One issue that I have with your responses is that there is a long history of "hard science" in respect to race that has turned out to be socially/politically biased bunk. There was a time in my own country, not so long ago, when "science" and "hard facts" suggested that all black people were incapable of being the intellectual equals of white people, and that has been disproved by the fact of social change which has, slowly, allowed minorities more privileges until we see that the "logical" assumptions of my grandmother's generation are in fact patently untrue in my own generation.

I guess it all depends on how you qualify the science.

To me, unless it's peer-reviewed and published, it's not science, as any number of pseudoscientists will show you. I think you're confusing the two as the examples you give don't conform to that. What you describe are theories advanced by scientists which have later been shown to be wrong.

A classic example is Darwin's contention that Turks were somehow less evolved than white people - it's simple racism disguised as fact. Naive racism, but racism nonetheless. That's why it's important to separate the fact from the fallacy, which is bloody difficult.

You even note that here:


I mean that even apparently empirical and supposedly logical evidence needs to be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism.



....it is a very different thing to say that a group of people from a certain area of the world tend to have a trait than to say that all people of their skin colour have that trait. Thinking in terms of race and skin color may not actually be the most helpful way to approach this topic.

Yep, that's a good point. Maybe we need a new terminology? We could get quite Orwellian about that!


... even it were true that there are different average IQ's among the races, it would not necessarily mean that we can make judgments about individuals based on race, make generalizations about racial groups, or that some sub groups within a race don't follow the pattern of the racial group as a whole.

As far as IQ goes, I'm pretty comfortable with the idea that all we know is that some people are better at doing IQ tests than others.

However, while we can't make judgemental calls on either individuals or cultures from the results of scientific enquiry, we can (and do) make statements that certain races/cultures are more likely to display a trait than another race.

There's an interesting contrast between sociology and medicine when it comes to race - sociology is ****-scared of making conclusions, while medicine does so because of the clear evidence that certain racial types are susceptible to certain diseases and medical weaknesses.


The possibilities he suggests of different kinds of intelligence and skills attributable to different groups of people is an idea that I am at least open to entertaining, that I will not make an absolute statement about (as I said, I am really not someone prone to absolute statements).

Fully agree.

I doubt we'll ever be able to make definitive statements, but it shouldn't stop us looking.


To begin with, the motives of both organizations and individual scientists for starting such an inquiry are in some (I do not say all) cases justifiably suspect.

yes, and it's not as though there's much evidence to show that science has been perverted throughout history to give the desired results. I think we've Godwinned this thread already, haven't we?

:D


This sort of judgment about a group of people being temperamentally unfit for this that or the other sends a message to society that we should give up on this group and a message to the group in question to give up on themselves.

It's the thinking which carried Apartheid in South Africa for decades.


As for inquiry into the more delicate grey area of perhaps not absolutely wrong genetic studies, there are lots of directions that we can put our energies into when it comes to genetic research, and I think that we need some very compelling reasons for the potential for positive results from such inquiries and the way to properly address such results before placing our energies in the direction of race studies rather than another because mishandling such a topic could have very real and possibly terrible effects on the lives of many people.

Well put.

Emil Miller
08-06-2009, 04:17 AM
Brian--I have responded rather extensively to Atheist above in a way that I hope will help to explain my objections to your initial post. I do agree with your assessment that some people, race aside, are not interested in learning, especially in their youth, and that some don't have the talents in the direction of intellectual skills. I disagree with the line that you draw with regard to race. The thing I really don't understand about the post I quote above, however, is the difference between saying that people are genetically "unsuited to intellectual pursuits" and that they are genetically "temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits." Isn't the upshot either way that their genes predispose them to be bad in school? I really don't get the difference, apart from the fact that the first statement means they are dumb and the second statement means that they may or may not be dumb, but are certainly incurably lazy. ]

I must again refer to my post #204. If nobody is able to adequately explain the disparity, we must all draw our own conclusions.

amarna
08-06-2009, 05:20 AM
I must again refer to my post #204. If nobody is able to adequately explain the disparity, we must all draw our own conclusions.
Yeah, why to bother with epigenetic research explaining disparity. Uh, oh, it's so complicated and boring. Silly egghead stuff.

:brickwall

Emil Miller
08-06-2009, 06:30 AM
Yeah, why to bother with epigenetic research explaining disparity. Uh, oh, it's so complicated and boring. Silly egghead stuff.

:brickwall

I have already said the there may be something in it, but the idea that genetic changes take place because of environmental factors remains unproven. Especially as the example of the identical twins used in your abstract was taken from a very small sample. No doubt the research will continue but until it produces more conclusive results,it will not alter many people's opinion.

MarkBastable
08-06-2009, 06:50 AM
As for facts to back up what I said, like most other people, I have to rely on the educational pages in the press that obtains the information from the Department of Education annually.

Ah - the statistics. Surely you don't set any store by those?



As I have had cause to mention on these forums before, Disraeli's statement that there are lies,damned lies and statistics needs to be born in mind.... I prefer to believe what my own eyes tell me and will continue to do so.

Emil Miller
08-06-2009, 07:00 AM
Ah - the statistics. Surely you don't set any store by those?

Unfortunately, in relation to the figures concerned it is a question of 'faute de mieux' and, yes, I wouldn't mind betting that they have had a good polishing before being presented to the public.

MarkBastable
08-06-2009, 07:28 AM
Unfortunately, in relation to the figures concerned it is a question of 'faute de mieux' and, yes, I wouldn't mind betting that they have had a good polishing before being presented to the public.

And, of course, these statistics broadly support your argument, so you allow them (even faute de mieux) whereas those I cited contradicted your argument, so you dismissed them.

amarna
08-06-2009, 01:03 PM
but the idea that genetic changes take place because of environmental factors

You didn't get anything, did you? Good heavens, there is no such an idea. These changes are NOT genetic. The sleight you didn't get is that genes remain the same but are switched on and off by environmental influence.

Emil Miller
08-06-2009, 01:14 PM
And, of course, these statistics broadly support your argument, so you allow them (even faute de mieux) whereas those I cited contradicted your argument, so you dismissed them.

Allowing for the kind of hyperbole that government departments practice when showing how they have performed each year, I do accept that the Education Department's figures have a certain validity.
However, I will continue to dismiss figures regarding race, whether from the Office of National Statistics or any other govenment agency when figures for the numbers of various races that are shown to be currently living in the UK do not allow for the huge number of illegal immigrants who are already here and those queuing up at Calais and elsewhere in Europe to come here. Clearly, those are the kind of statistics that give ample credence to Disraeli's dictum.


You didn't get anything, did you? Good heavens, there is no such an idea. These changes are NOT genetic. The sleight you didn't get is that genes remain the same but are switched on and off by environmental influence.

Are you saying that there is not a change taking place when genes are either
being switched on or off ?

The Atheist
08-06-2009, 07:13 PM
Just struck me this morning. Here we are politely [most of the time] talking about racism and the basis for race.

Seems all a bit pointless in the face of actual racism.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10589251

Virgil
08-06-2009, 10:53 PM
Whoa, I've been away and this conversation has taken a turn. I want to make it clear that in no way am I saying that any ethnicity or race is genetically predisposed to be better or worse than any other. I am not supporting anyone making that claim, nor do I endorse it, nor do I want to be associated with it. I do not believe it.

But I do want to respond to Darkshadow.


It's not obvious at all what my viewpoints are from the post, actually. If you read the quote in context that youíre responding to, I was merely pointing out the contradictions of YOUR assertions. I said nothing about my views concerning the relationship between poverty and race.
Yes you did. Yes you absolutely made that equation. Hereís your post from post #80:

So the last 40 years have been nothing but prosperity and moving on up for blacks, but at the same time they are plagued by poverty, unmarried mothers, valuing the wrong aspects of culture, low graduation rates, etc.? You try to square these contradiction away by pinning this on a sub-group within the larger community that makes up the black population of AmericaÖ
That is exactly your equation: blacks are poor because of racism. There is no other way to interpret your language.


Youíre the one that implied in the last forty years racism hasnít prevented African Americans from prospering back in post # 49:
ďTheir claim that racism has held them back, while once true, just doesn't square with the facts of the last forty years.Ē

I am saying it. Racism has not prevented them from rising out of poverty. It is their list of social dysfunctionalities that has prevented them from getting out of poverty. What do you think Iíve been saying?


While simultaneously arguing that they are plagued by issues of poverty and education, despite all this so-called evidence that nothing is holding them back:

ďI believe the race consciousness will end when African-Americans break out of the problems that have plagued them and do not have the high crime rates, go on to high college graduation rates, and are prosperous.Ē
What in Godís name have I been saying? Iíve been saying that their poverty is a result of high crimes rates, school drop rates, unwed motherhood, and a host of dysfunctional behavior. Race consciousness is not the cause of their poverty but race consciousness perpetuates a mentality that the problem is racism when in reality it is their dysfunctional behavior.



In other words, I never said anything about my own viewpoint. I simply noted that there is something contradictory in implying that the last forty years have shown racism hasn't held African Americans back, but then also claiming huge issues of poverty plague African American communities.
Of course you have. Iíve already pointed it out and itís all over. But feel free to re-evaluate your position.


Itís your responsibility to provide actual references/statistics with citations. Burden of proof is on you.
Well, I donít have access to them. If you live in New York City, and you go to school and work with both groups, you would notice the difference. I got my engineering degree at the City College of the City University system in NYC. That school is right in the middle of Harlem, the very center of black culture in the US. Here was a college for engineering right in the center of Harlem and do you think I had any African Americans in my classes? There was remarkably none. The only blacks in mechanical engineering were from the Caribbean. Period. I canít vouch for the other departments but it was astonishing and noticeable.


I did show you. I provided two links highlighting examples of institutional racism (one in a country club, the other in the publishing industry) that also serve as evidence supporting the existence of institutional racism. Ironically and unsurprisingly you failed to place them in your quoted material from my post, which makes me think you're being a tad disingenuous.
The country club example is hardly an example of institutionalized racism. If that story is correct (and frankly Iím skeptical) and that club was open to the public, then those people that were turned away have legal recourse. Thatís why itís not institutionalized racism, because the institutions provide legal ramifications.

As to the publishing industry example, big deal. You expect me to believe that the publishing industry is inherently racist? People in the publishing industry are as liberal as they come. Obviously they made a marketing decision to try to appeal to the broadest possible market. Sure the world is not perfect.



I can point out all the Equal Opportunity laws, the EEO's in every company that ensures blacks get equal consideration for promotions and hiring, all the law suits that have gone on in the past forty years to ensure this is enforced, the afirmative action that goes on in hiring and college entrences. Today we have a black president, the biggest media star is Opra (and media is a genre that requires visual idnetification), the biggest musical star is Michael Jackson, and there are black CEO at a number of companies. That's on my side of the ledger, what's on yours?

Well, for starters the incidents that I linked to that you disingenuously failed to quote are on my "side."
If thatís what you got, thatís hardly much. One is clearly not an example of institutionalized racism, and the other pretty singular and specific to certain micro-demographic concerns. I can turn around and say why are 90% of the basketball players in the NBA black? Isnít that racism?


Secondly, youíre naming a few select individuals, which at best proves only that a few select individuals have managed to transcend the limitations of racism. Not to mention all these individuals have claimed to experience racism at one point or another in their life (rightly or wrongly), and would agree that institutional racism exists (such as racial profiling), despite their own success (see Obama's comments in the Gates case).
Not at all. Those people I mentioned are examples where white people either have to vote for them, watch and identify with them, or purchase their music. Those examples show that white people are not racist. How many racists do you actually know?



However, I donít see race and poverty as necessarily the same thing; ironically, contradicting your strawman claim that I held such a view. The African American Middle-class experiences institutional racism, which has nothing to do with poverty. Likewise, just because institutional racism exists doesn't mean blacks and other racial groups aren't at all responsible for some of their own issues.
Thatís not what you said before. But Iím glad you agree now. ;)


Oh sure, there are laws addressing these problems. Sometimes they work when they are enforced. Sometimes they donít; when they are not enforced. And it is always difficult to enforce laws legislating racism, hate-crimes, discrimination, etc. because it's difficult to fully get into a person's head and truly know what caused them to perform a specific action. They were instituted because we have a race-problem, which is inherent in the fact that such laws are needed in the first place. This tells us nothing about whether these laws have successfully ramified racial discrimination one way or the other; it tells us only that attempts have been made to fix the problem.
Between me and you, I bet Iím the only one that has interviewed people to be hired, hired people including a black person, and had promoted people including a black person. I bet you donít have a clue as to what the EEO and affirmative action rules are and how they are enforced and appraised. Managers actually get points on their records for having diversity. My division is about 150 people and in the entire division there are three black engineers and one black secretary. Thatís it. We would love to hire more black engineers. There arenít that many with engineering degrees. And out of the three, one is Caribbean and the one I hired and promoted is half Caribbean. In our division we have an incredible diversity. So many immigrants become engineers. We have Muslims, Egyptians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indians, Pakistani, Greeks, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and other Hispanics, as well as the more traditional ethnic groups. We would love hire black Americans. The problem is they donít qualify. If we were racist why do we hire all those other people, and foreign born at that?


However, fixing one problem doesnít fix all the problems. If a person were to announce, ďIt is wrong to stereotype Jews as cheap money-horders, but I understand why some people canít stand looking at them since most of them are really ugly.Ē It is perfectly possible and reasonable to denounce one stereotype, while reifying another. Secondly, the example is more personal racism than institutional. You acknowledge that personal racism exists, so why is it so hard to believe that some institutional racism still lingers in our society? Basically, personal racism and institutional racism feed each other.
Iím not stereotyping anyone. I judge people for who they are. I didnít stereotype the person I hired and promoted. I promoted him not because he was black, which is what he gets with all this affirmative action, but because he is a damn fine engineer. Iíve even asked him if he has any friends that would want to work with us.


Indeed, poverty is an issue. But racism doesnít begin and end with issues of poverty. There are plenty of middle-class African Americans who have experienced racism; hell, there are plenty of conservative African Americans who admit to experiencing racism. One example of institutional racism that Africans Americans of the middle-class experience is the phenomenon of ďshopping while black.Ē They did a whole TV show depicting this situation to see how shoppers around such an incident would react (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2009/03/27/shopping-while-black-hidden-camera-exposes-true-feelings/ ). Many middle-class African Americans can attest to experiencing this phenomenon.
They experience prejudice, not racism. Shopping while black is a prejudgment given the high rate of crime from African American. That doesnít happen to Asians or Indians. That doesnít happen to Orthodox Jews with yarmulke and attire. That happens because people have made a calculation, a human assessment. Itís not based on a thought process which says, ďI want to hold blacks down.Ē Itís based on a human association of the dysfunctional behavior coming from a substantial segment of the black community. When blacks end this dysfunctional set of behavior then these prejudgements will go away.


Your comments about business ignore the problem. Peopleís ideas of what are ďbeneficialĒ shifts with context and personal biases. As in the case of the publishing industry that I linked to in the previous post, which you ignored, they whitewash characters on covers to appeal to what they believe to be a white purchasing public. They are clearly doing it because they believe it will sell more books, that it will be more beneficial for them. It doesnít make it any less racist.
Would it have happened to an Asian writer? Or an Indian writer? Clearly when one lives in a country with a huge differential in demographics, marketing is going to get slanted. If anything it might have helped that black writer sell more. But frankly I think it was just stupid on the part of the publishers. But I find it hard to believe that those publishers are thinking letís keep blacks as second class by doing this.


It isnít hard to imagine private companies in the deep south not hiring a black person because they donít believe it would be beneficial to do so. If you have a lot of ďpersonally racistĒ customers you donít want to scare business away after all and offend them. Generally any job applicant pool has multiple people that are qualified. It isn't hard to hire a white dude who is equally qualified.
Well, thatís just pure speculation. Here click through here and look through several of the links: http://www.blackentrepreneurprofile.com/. Youíll find how many blacks are making it through the executive levels.


Your faith in people's desire for profit over their aptitude for prejudice and bigotry is naive, and I say that as someone who mostly supports Capitalism, and thinks that, yes, people are often greedy. If people necessarily cared more about profit than arbitrary differences, there wouldn't be a need for most of the wars fought (with the exception of Imperialistic ones that create additional revenue). What profit will be had from war? The fact is even if we removed "institutional racism" from the equation and talked merely about personal racism, which you accept still exists in your previous post, people make dumb personal decisions all the time because of their prejudices that affect their convenience and wallets. There are plenty of people who refuse to shop at certain stores because, "The Jews own it," or "Only Blacks shop there." There are plenty of people who would sacrifice potential business partners or money-opportunities because of personal prejudices.
As to the capitalism part, thatís way off topic (and no I donít agree; hardly any wars are fought because of capitalism). Yes, there is still personal racism, but itís really small. I live in NY and we have every ethnicity here. I know of no one who says I will not shop there because a Jew owns it. Iím sure it happens, but people will buy mostly what is of best value, what is in their interest, not to spite someone.


I donít know why you keep quoting that at everyone; it supports my arguments more than it does yours. As an upper middle-class Jew whose father has made it in America and who will probably make it in America himself once the economy gets better, I can say with certainty that anti-Semitism still exists and is a problem, completely in agreement with the Sowell quote. Anti-Semitism still exists, but so does racism. And many blacks who have made it in America, the middle-class, still face racism. Institutional racism. They didn't wait for racism to end just as Jews didn't wait for anti-Semitism to end. The irony is I'm not talking about impoverished blacks at all, and that you seem to think that I am.
Look, letís get African Americans away from the dysfunctionalities. Whether youíre right or not I hope we can agree that those dysfunctionalities are more pernicious to their well being in this time in history than whatever racism may exist. It is my contention that relying on racism as a crutch creates a self defeating rationale before they even attempt it. No I disagree, there are slights, but there is no institutionalized racism either for blacks or Jews.

Nightshade
08-07-2009, 04:08 AM
OK while I have been reading I have been wondering about the connections of Self fulfilling Prophecy, the so called social dysfunctionalities, racism and prejudice.
What is the difference between Prejudice and racism.
I think if this discussion is to go any further working definitions are needed.

Jozanny
08-07-2009, 08:27 AM
Racism is about inferiority Nightshade, like the cop who emailed the phrase *jungle monkey* in relation to the Gates arrest, and the mayor booted him off the force, because phrases like that dehumanize.

Prejudice may involve racism, but it also involves preconceived notions, like inner city black kids are dangerous. Inner city black kids may be dangerous, but they also may just be kids being kids according to the norms they know.

Nightshade
08-07-2009, 09:23 AM
SO all rascism is based on prejudice but not all prejudice is rascism?

MarkBastable
08-07-2009, 09:25 AM
SO all rascism is based on prejudice but not all prejudice is rascism?

Exactly. To make judgements about someone on the basis of their race, is prejudicial and racist.

To make judgements about someone on the basis of their gender, is prejudicial but not racist.

ImaginaryFriend
08-07-2009, 11:26 AM
Hi again Brian. I have a little knowledge (dangerous i know :)) of biology and genetics. The thing with identical twin girls as you may have noticed is that they rarely look as similar as identical twin boys do. This is down to having the double X chromasome.

While both girls will have the same genes for everything, they will express themselves (activate) at different times. For example, one girl may go through their childhood growth spurt before he other does. And even when they both have gone through it one of them still might be shorter as the gene was active for a shorter period of time. The timing of the genes expressing themselves can be affected by any number of environmental factors, even if the twins grow up together.

It seems odd i know but the research is there and you have to admit it does explain the differences. Hope that helped :)

I think it reinforces the fact that we are all a little bit of nature AND nurture. For example, within my family at least, when people have had the same upbringing they have all turned out with different behaviors and temperments (some very scary :)) and so it would be difficult to apply one temperment to one family never mind one race.

Anyhoo, hope i made any sense and dont sound like a blethering idiot :)

Emil Miller
08-08-2009, 09:38 AM
Hi again Brian. I have a little knowledge (dangerous i know :)) of biology and genetics. The thing with identical twin girls as you may have noticed is that they rarely look as similar as identical twin boys do. This is down to having the double X chromasome.

While both girls will have the same genes for everything, they will express themselves (activate) at different times. For example, one girl may go through their childhood growth spurt before he other does. And even when they both have gone through it one of them still might be shorter as the gene was active for a shorter period of time. The timing of the genes expressing themselves can be affected by any number of environmental factors, even if the twins grow up together.

It seems odd i know but the research is there and you have to admit it does explain the differences. Hope that helped :)

I think it reinforces the fact that we are all a little bit of nature AND nurture. For example, within my family at least, when people have had the same upbringing they have all turned out with different behaviors and temperments (some very scary :)) and so it would be difficult to apply one temperment to one family never mind one race.

Anyhoo, hope i made any sense and dont sound like a blethering idiot :)


No, I think you have explained it well enough. The abstract given by Amarna draws similar conclusions, albeit not in layman's terms. There are, however, other considerations to be made when discussing racial differences. We do not know the complete connection between genetics and human psychology but psychology must be taken into the equation when considering factors that condition human activity.
The word Epigenetic, as in the above-mentioned abstract, is applied in non biological studies also. I have given below an extract showing another of its uses and have used bold type to illustrate another possible cause of racial behaviour.

Epigenesis

Epigenesis is the philosophical/theological/esoteric idea that since the mind was given to the human being, it is the original creative impulse, epigenesis, which has been the cause of all of mankind's development.

According to spiritual evolution, humans build upon that which has already been created, but add new elements because of the activity of the spirit. Humans have the capacity, therefore, to become creative intelligences—creators. For a human to fulfill this promise, his training should allow for the exercise of originality, which distinguishes creation from imitation. When epigenesis becomes inactive, in the individual or even in a race, evolution ceases and degeneration commences.

kilted exile
08-09-2009, 06:08 PM
Whilst it is true that that whites and other races generally do better than blacks scholastically, I have never heard it suggested that racism is the cause; the usual reason given is that they are financially disadvantaged.
I think that's wrong and that the actual reason, apart from a few obvious exceptions, is that they are temperamentally unsuited to intellectual pursuits.
I would absolutely hate to be a teacher in an inner City school where the majority of the pupils were black but, as you know, that is the unfortunate situation that some teachers find themselves in.
Coming on to your second point, I also haven't heard it claimed that racism causes unmarried mothers and since there are increasing numbers of white unmarried mothers, obviously racism cannot be to blame.
I completely agree with you that it is down to the indivduals concerned and their communities and that they would rather act that way rather than take responsibility for their actions but the reason they do this is because there are people who keep making excuses for them.

I went to a very inner-city school (including riots, stabbings and the occassional 15yo girl arrested for murder). There was zero difference between pass and fail along racial grounds. The financial disadvantage as it manifests itself in other socio-economic areas did make the difference to success and failure however. I had just as many (if not more) white classmates fail than non-white. I find the idea that there is any racial linkage positively absurd.

Emil Miller
08-10-2009, 06:00 AM
I went to a very inner-city school (including riots, stabbings and the occassional 15yo girl arrested for murder). There was zero difference between pass and fail along racial grounds. The financial disadvantage as it manifests itself in other socio-economic areas did make the difference to success and failure however. I had just as many (if not more) white classmates fail than non-white. I find the idea that there is any racial linkage positively absurd.

Yes, but your experience is not borne out by the overall scenario as presented by the Education Department for the whole of the UK.
I can only repeat that, in the abscence of any conclusive reason for the disparity, we must all draw our own conclusions.

kilted exile
08-10-2009, 04:37 PM
Yes, but your experience is not borne out by the overall scenario as presented by the Education Department for the whole of the UK.
I can only repeat that, in the abscence of any conclusive reason for the disparity, we must all draw our own conclusions.

So the situation in Glasgow (which if not still, at least within the last 5yrs contained 5 of the 10 most socially deprived areas in the entire UK) is completely different from the rest of the UK?

Another issue with the stats is that they do not do a breakdown by percentage of races living in disadvantaged areas. Of course more non-whites fail in areas of socio-economic deprivation because there are more visible minorities in those areas.

AmericanEagle
08-10-2009, 11:01 PM
No, I mean toward other rich people, like would a rich American think himself better than a slightly richer Hong Konger? does that sort of division exist, or is there a sort of mutual respect attached to everyone with money by the rich?

I have a feeling, for instance, a lot of poor people justify their lack of success in racist banter, but how would that form itself in someone who essentially has nothing to gain by being racist, and nothing truly to complain about, relative to his own status in the world? .

I guess you're asking whether class trumps race? I don't think it does because society and institutions are organized in ways that privilege whites. For example, when an Asian or Latino individual is promoted to a prestigious post, there is always widespread surprise. It is generally not expected that racialized individuals would excel in certain fields. This reinforces the notion that minorities are 'below' whites. Even if whites and minorities share the same socioeconomic class, the white person may still feel superior because the Hong Konger (in your example) is considered to be an anomaly, whereas he himself is considered to be the norm.

Emil Miller
08-11-2009, 05:08 AM
So the situation in Glasgow (which if not still, at least within the last 5yrs contained 5 of the 10 most socially deprived areas in the entire UK) is completely different from the rest of the UK?

Another issue with the stats is that they do not do a breakdown by percentage of races living in disadvantaged areas. Of course more non-whites fail in areas of socio-economic deprivation because there are more visible minorities in those areas.

If.as you suggest, Glasgow contained 5 of the 10 most socially deprived areas in the entire UK, it obviously is different to the rest of the country.
Even allowing for such atypical circumstances and statistical discrepancies, the result, as far as it can be determined, remains the same.

blazeofglory
09-08-2009, 11:53 AM
OK this is my first time starting a new thread so please bear with me :)

I know that not all the facts are known about the issue with the harvard professor but the whole thing got me thinking about race relations. Are people too quick to cry 'racism'?

In this particular incident it is hard to believe the man was arrested for being black and easier to belive that he was just being rude to the cops. I live in britain and no matter who you are, if you are rude, aggressive or disorderly towards the police you get arrested.

What im asking is this
Doesnt crying 'racism' over trivial issues like this cause further strains on race relations? I would hate to see a world where police are to afraid to arrest someone because they dont share the same skin colour.

And how will we ever be able to resolve and get past racism if everytime something goes wrong for a member of a minority they blame everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own lives?


In point of fact it is a very interesting thread, and I hope that people take it seriously as the world is divided between racist ideas.

Scheherazade
07-30-2012, 07:35 AM
The OP:
OK this is my first time starting a new thread so please bear with me :)

I know that not all the facts are known about the issue with the harvard professor but the whole thing got me thinking about race relations. Are people too quick to cry 'racism'?

In this particular incident it is hard to believe the man was arrested for being black and easier to belive that he was just being rude to the cops. I live in britain and no matter who you are, if you are rude, aggressive or disorderly towards the police you get arrested.

What im asking is this
Doesnt crying 'racism' over trivial issues like this cause further strains on race relations? I would hate to see a world where police are to afraid to arrest someone because they dont share the same skin colour.

And how will we ever be able to resolve and get past racism if everytime something goes wrong for a member of a minority they blame everyone else instead of taking responsibility for their own lives?

Mutatis-Mutandis
07-30-2012, 08:09 AM
Not sure how this discussion, according to the OP, isn't supposed to be political.

cacian
07-30-2012, 09:42 AM
Racism runs deeper then you think but it is not always black and white.
Racism transcend skin colour age gender and beliefs. Think nazis and then thing of the Jews.
Racism can be hard to shift if everything around you is pointing the wrongs from the rights turning people into numbers and labels. Words such as miniorities ethnicities and tick boxes with labelling people into genders sexuality race and so on. All these small words play very big in the mind of an individual. It teaches the person to see people under a different light make people aware of different people from them.
Countries with different flags each usually indicate separatism and can send messages of conflicts.
All this reminds me of farmers paiting their sheep a certain colour to distinguish them from other sheep.
It is a devisive mechanism that has dire consequences and one of them is definetely racism.

Take the Olympics for example it is an individualistic driven sport. Althought it appears grand and brings people together its main focus is to race one human agaisnt another.
The flip side of the Olympics is that idnividuals are instructed to compete against each others as a mean to achieve success and gold. It is quite a harsh lonesome task because the athlete is on his/her own against the elements.
Then focus is on THREE winners only.
The question is this:
What about the rest? the ones that participated and made it possible for the THREEs to win. Without this rest winning would not materialise. In other words you cannot have winners if there are no losers.
I do think about this majority, in this case the losers, the ones that did not make to the top three ,and I wonder about how they must have felt/feel not having a say/consideration or even an acknowledgment of their presence efforts and endurance in the sports they took part in.
Olympics is quick to reward and quick to forget.
That is what I mean by individualism is that it eventually drives others to drop out.

Another thought.
Think of the word RIGHT it means something the law sets out to give out to individuals as a form of protection but agaisnt whom? one group of people against another group of people.
The idead of ''my right to do this and my right to do that'' only emphasises a type of conflict which may go against another social group which often leads to sanctions and people pursuing other people for the sake of their rights. Suing and the Law is what makes the concept of RIGHTS a bit shaky.

but then there is the same word appearing in FAR RIGHT.
It also appears as the opposite of the word LEFT.
It is a word that implies tension and resistance does it not?

Basil
07-30-2012, 12:18 PM
That's a good point, Cacian.

Basil
07-30-2012, 12:31 PM
Racism runs deeper then you think but it is not always black and white.
Racism transcend skin colour age gender and beliefs. Think nazis and then thing of the Jews.
Racism can be hard to shift if everything around you is pointing the wrongs from the rights turning people into numbers and labels. Words such as miniorities ethnicities and tick boxes with labelling people into genders sexuality race and so on. All these small words play very big in the mind of an individual. It teaches the person to see people under a different light make people aware of different people from them.
Countries with different flags each usually indicate separatism and can send messages fo conflcits.
All this reminds me of farmers paiting their sheep a certain colour to distinguish them from other sheep.
It is a devisive mechanism that has dire consequences and one of them is definetely racism.
Take the Olympics for example it is an individualistic driven sport. Althought it appears grand and brings people together its main focus is to race one human agaisnt another.
The flip side of the Olympics is that idnividual are instructed to against others individual as a mean to achieve success and gold. It is quite a harsh lonesome task because the athlete is one his/her own against the elements.
Then focus is on THREE winners only.
The question is this:
What about the rest the ones that participated and made it possible for the THREEs to win. Without this rest winning would not materialise. In other words you cannot have winners if there are no losers.
I do think about this majority. in this case the losers, the ones that did not make to the top three ,and I wonder about how they must have felt/feel not having a say/consideration or even an acknowledgment of their presence efforts and endurance in the sports they took part in.
Olympics is quickto reward and quick to forget.
That is what I mean by individualism is that it eventually drives others to drop out.

Another thought.
Think of the word RIGHT it means something the law sets out to give out to individuals as a form of protection but agaisnt whom? one group of people against another group of people.
The idead of ''my right to do this and my right to do that'' only emphasises a type of conflict which may go against another social group which often leads to sanctions and people pursuing other people for the sake of their rights. Suing and the Law is what makes the concept of RIGHTS a bit shaky.

but then there is the same word apperaing in FAR RIGHT.
It also appears as the opposite of the word LEFT.
It is a word that implies tension and resistance does it not?
Some well thought out commentary here.

Basil
07-30-2012, 12:36 PM
I liked the part about sheep being painted different colors. That really made me think.

tonywalt
07-30-2012, 02:31 PM
I guess you're asking whether class trumps race? I don't think it does because society and institutions are organized in ways that privilege whites. For example, when an Asian or Latino individual is promoted to a prestigious post, there is always widespread surprise. It is generally not expected that racialized individuals would excel in certain fields. This reinforces the notion that minorities are 'below' whites. Even if whites and minorities share the same socioeconomic class, the white person may still feel superior because the Hong Konger (in your example) is considered to be an anomaly, whereas he himself is considered to be the norm.


The whole Majority/Minority is not the material issue. Asians (certainly those of the Orient) are an ecomically dominant minority wherever they are-even as a minority. Lebananse - same thing. Jewish - same thing. Whites - same thing. I can given you dozens of countries and examples that I visit and know very well.

In many countries the Asians are oppressed and taxed unfairly. (Indonesia for example - they burn down Chinese commerical/private property every decade or so). And I know of their history in Indonesia.

The question is not why Certain groups are poor/disenfranchised Rather the real question is why are certain ethnic groups so successful-even with persecution(or without it) as minorities or majorites? It has everything and everything to do with their work ethic, natural intelligence, family structure and network, discipline, and application to skill that causes them to succeed.

Now, most people are going to disagree, but that's no bother. It's what people privately think and do not say that really matters. What people say at cocktail parties is hardly as important as what they are not saying.