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Thread: Internalized Racism

  1. #16
    Registered waster IamMissingaLink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleheart View Post
    As it stands, Drame/ I could not link the two words of the topic correctly in Bulgarian/...I entertain that perhaps this internalized racism does not differ much from any other undervaluation...I am inclined to treat the subject as the old psychological oppression in which self-evaluation is directly dependent on foreign evaluation...In severe cases only the degree is the different factor...In internalized racism this self-evaluation is only too obssessively rejecting objectivity...This alone is not sufficient to account for internalized racism however...For example a turk is much more vulnerable to this condition than a Bulgarian and I suspect / correct me if I am wrong / that Black Americans in your country would be far more vulnerable than White Americans...So what is evident in almost every person - the self-evaluation debacle - combines with a historical or social tradition, which has developed vulnerability in this race for example to produce internalized racism...However, as I am with the impression that internalized racism exists as purely isolated phenomenon, I would attribute it more seriously to obssessively dependent self-evaluation/because no whole races appear to be subjects to it/...In this respect it makes it only a manifestation of a quite another deeply rooted problem...
    I dont think it's necesarily isolated to the individual. A large percentage of a race can be affected..the indigenous people of Australia, for example. I think there is very low self-esteem amongst these communites as a whole.
    I'm a tourist

  2. #17
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    A lot of people have commented that internalized racism strictly stems from the outside world. Yet i have witnessed many people, all exposed to the same racism, and not all of them taking it so severely to the point of developing internalized racism. I think i agree with your point there Eagle(if i understood it right) that it takes a certain insecurity and vulnerability to succumb to internal racism. Yet i also think racism can be promoted in the home. Parents who are inflicted with it can influence their children to feel the same. And sometimes, just like external racism, they may not actually feel or believe their racism. They could be expressing animosity from another cause. I have met people who have grown up despising their parents culture because they had so much pressure to conform to it. It isnt the actual culture they are rebelling against or ashamed of, but the actions and feelings around pushing the culture on the kids. What do you think?
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  3. #18
    ANGRY, YOUNG, POOR Eagleheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6
    I have met people who have grown up despising their parents culture because they had so much pressure to conform to it. It isnt the actual culture they are rebelling against or ashamed of, but the actions and feelings around pushing the culture on the kids. What do you think?
    Exactly...In this particular case of domestic dogma, culture cannot be viewed independently by the children, because even the grown mind persistently associates it with other patterns of behaviour and emotions, which are largely unpleasant, their origin being persuasion...This again proves that undervaluation of any culture, race is not an irreducible condition...Internalized racism is a manifestation of psychologically related disorders/this may be a strong word, but I cannot seem to find another/, both in the case you mentioned and false self-evaluation, the problem of internalized racism appears to be distant from any merits of race or culture or to be independent in itself, it is rather a distorted grimace of a some disunity, lurking in the personality...
    Se puede matar el hombre
    Pero no mataran la forma
    En que se alegraba su alma
    Cuando souaba ser libre
    ......
    They can kill a man/but they cannot kill the way /his soul rejoices/when it dreams/that it is free
    ....
    A folklore song from Venecuela

  4. #19
    A human form Divine Poetess's Avatar
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    What does it mean to you?
    It`s just racism.

    How do you think it is created?Is it more of a product of personal upbringing or societal belief?
    It is both a mixture of a personal and social upbringing since a human is "the son of his environment". It is about being affected by someone`s own race and especially in the early years.




    What do you think?
    Racism makes us think about ourselves or others as inferior or unimportant, it made us cause damage to ourselves and our society.
    We just should end it.

    There are various types of plants, and so there are in humanity.
    Last edited by Poetess; 12-24-2006 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Plants was typed Plans*. I fixed it.
    I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death. - Robert Fulghum
    Je Chante Une Chanson Sombre
    The Lady of Mine - Opinion please
    A tragedy crept to the name Bathory

  5. #20
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "plans" poetess?
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  6. #21
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Hmmm?

    What can we do about racism?
    What can we do about Internalized Racism?

    Nobody is saying that racism does not exist or that internalized racism does not exist. So ok. Racism is a reality and so is its internalization. We agree that racism and I.R. are bad entities because many many people have suffered deeply as a result of these dynamics.

    Now I don't know what to say beyond that. Not because I do not have plenty of ideas but because of questions that I want to figure out first.

    I have really been spending some time trying to figure out what goes on here in the forum and in the net world in general. Here we are discussing a very important subject but there are problems. How do these discussions take place? I mean if I am talking to a friend who I know very well and care about then the conversation will reflect that. If I am talking to a complete stranger then more then likely it will be a very different conversation. Also, if I am a 65 year old African American woman and I speak about racism that is one thing. If I am a 30 year old caucasian man that is another. Both absolutely valid but the statements, ideas, emotions, questions will be coming from two people with profoundly different life experiences in relation to the topic and that will be obvious to anybody participating in the discussion.

    Here I am not sure what is going down. I do not know folks too well. I know next to nothing about people's background or their current conditions. What someone does for a living? How much money do they earn? What group or groups do they belong to? Black,white,asian, Christian, Jewish, urban yuppie, rural farmer...

    The reason I bring this up is because this is big stuff we are discussing and it would make sense to figure out how to actually get a handle on problems like this and use technology as effectively as possible in understanding a problem, examining its causes and impact and coming up with possible solutions.

    Me? I am 42. Jewish. Born and raised in NYC. Grew up on the exact dividing line between very very wealthy folks on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and very very poor folk in Spanish Harlem and Black Harlem. I went to a private school but only hung out with the other folks on tuition assistance.

    I currently live on social security and ssi. I have been unemployed for almost a decade. I live in downtown Oakland. I graduated from college in 1987 with a BA in English. I have been homeless and have served about three years in total in different jails. I have had several relationships but none of great longetivity.

    OK. I have not wanted to share some of those truths about my life but I feel much better having done so. It seems to have helped me feel like I am actually going to be understood a bit more. And if this is true for me then I am confident that it is true for anybody else.

    We are miles and miles apart. We have never met each other. How do we do this? How can we use this extraordinary medium...this global, magical, instant, technological tool while doing justice to...well...to our deep yearnings for understanding, discussion, community and...justice?
    Last edited by ghideon; 12-23-2006 at 07:36 PM. Reason: cause stuff is never perfect
    "Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
    Can else inflict, do I repent or change"


    Milton, Paradise Lost
    Book 1 Line 95-96

    "There is only one plot-things are not as they seem."
    Jim Thompson

  7. #22
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    What can we do about racism?
    What can we do about Internalized Racism?

    Nobody is saying that racism does not exist or that internalized racism does not exist. So ok. Racism is a reality and so is its internalization. We agree that racism and I.R. are bad entities because many many people have suffered deeply as a result of these dynamics.

    Now I don't know what to say beyond that. Not because I do not have plenty of ideas but because of questions that I want to figure out first.

    I have really been spending some time trying to figure out what goes on here in the forum and in the net world in general. Here we are discussing a very important subject but there are problems. How do these discussions take place? I mean if I am talking to a friend who I know very well and care about then the conversation will reflect that. If I am talking to a complete stranger then more then likely it will be a very different conversation. Also, if I am a 65 year old African American woman and I speak about racism that is one thing. If I am a 30 year old caucasian man that is another. Both absolutely valid but the statements, ideas, emotions, questions will be coming from two people with profoundly different life experiences in relation to the topic and that will be obvious to anybody participating in the discussion.

    Here I am not sure what is going down. I do not know folks too well. I know next to nothing about people's background or their current conditions. What someone does for a living? How much money do they earn? What group or groups do they belong to? Black,white,asian, Christian, Jewish, urban yuppie, rural farmer...

    The reason I bring this up is because this is big stuff we are discussing and it would make sense to figure out how to actually get a handle on problems like this and use technology as effectively as possible in understanding a problem, examining its causes and impact and coming up with possible solutions.

    Me? I am 42. Jewish. Born and raised in NYC. Grew up on the exact dividing line between very very wealthy folks on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and very very poor folk in Spanish Harlem and Black Harlem. I went to a private school but only hung out with the other folks on tuition assistance.

    I currently live on social security and ssi. I have been unemployed for almost a decade. I live in downtown Oakland. I graduated from college in 1987 with a BA in English. I have been homeless and have served about three years in total in different jails. I have had several relationships but none of great longetivity.

    OK. I have not wanted to share some of those truths about my life but I feel much better having done so. It seems to have helped me feel like I am actually going to be understood a bit more. And if this is true for me then I am confident that it is true for anybody else.

    We are miles and miles apart. We have never met each other. How do we do this? How can we use this extraordinary medium...this global, magical, instant, technological tool while doing justice to...well...to our deep yearnings for understanding, discussion, community and...justice?

    Welcome to the site! I think its a wonderful thing LitNet has so much diversity. It makes for even better, more diverse and interesting conversation to get as many perspectives as possible. it seems you come from an interesting background, what are your thoughts on the topic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleheart View Post
    Exactly...In this particular case of domestic dogma, culture cannot be viewed independently by the children, because even the grown mind persistently associates it with other patterns of behaviour and emotions, which are largely unpleasant, their origin being persuasion...This again proves that undervaluation of any culture, race is not an irreducible condition...Internalized racism is a manifestation of psychologically related disorders/this may be a strong word, but I cannot seem to find another/, both in the case you mentioned and false self-evaluation, the problem of internalized racism appears to be distant from any merits of race or culture or to be independent in itself, it is rather a distorted grimace of a some disunity, lurking in the personality...
    That may be the case for internalized racism, but do you think a personality disorder also applies to when people externally lash their insecurities through racism? Many are racist because they actually fear, and express it as hate instead, those from other countries. Perhaps this same fear can stir internalized racism? I think your ideas on what triggers internalized racism are definetly applicable to most serious cases, but what about the issue to a less severe degree? Perhaps some persecute themselves in fear of others doing the same. As if , by agknowledging and adopting prejudice of others, they are preventing it. Sort of like "If you cant beat them, join them" philosophy. Of course i find this equally unhealthy and uneffective as if it stems from a psychological disorder but find it interesting how logic can alter when under fear.
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  8. #23
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    *sigh*
    Alright, if you are told things many times over you just might start to believe them. sort of like conditioning.
    So if someone continually is attacked about their race, maybe they will start believing the racist things people say about them. So they will start feeling racist against themselves. External racism is racism thrust at you from other people, internal is when you feel racist about your own race.
    Just a silly questioned dawned on me. How would you know that the racist thing was internalized or if it was there already?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

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  9. #24
    Rather Bewildered brainstrain's Avatar
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    The discussion after your original post really cleared up what you meant by "internalized racism" I think internal racism might describe it better, but hey, I didn't invent the word.

    Anyway, I once saw some documentary about a man who went around visiting black schools at some point no long before/after Civil War (I don't really remember)

    Anyway, he would show the students several dolls of varying shades (black/white) and ask which one they were most like. Every last black child those the White Dolls. There was some controversy afterwards, because all those blinded white people could not see how wrong that was...

    This has really stuck with me, so I thought I should share it. It certainly shows how Internal Racism can taint an entire generation, an entire...Race, if you will.

    So, basically, internal racims affects most profoundly children, who have never known anything else. Why would they think Black people were worth anything? As far as those children know they never have been and never will be worth anything.

    Thank goodness those days are past...
    "...thought is the arrow of time, memory never fades."

  10. #25
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    How does a black kid picking a white doll show racism? I don't follow?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  11. #26
    Registered waster IamMissingaLink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    How does a black kid picking a white doll show racism? I don't follow?
    well, i think the point is, is that every black child found the white doll preferable. It shows that they have taken on the predjudice against their own race by seeing white as the overwhelmingly superior choice.
    I'm a tourist

  12. #27
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Just a silly questioned dawned on me. How would you know that the racist thing was internalized or if it was there already?
    What do you mean by already there? Like heridetary racism? Well eagle and i were discussing how those vulnerable to severe internal racism usually are insecure to begin with. I guess in that sense it was already there...but its the same when people go mad. It is normally not from scratch, there is often a psychological flaw that is triggered by an external event. Or did i misundertand your question?

    Quote Originally Posted by IamMissingaLink View Post
    well, i think the point is, is that every black child found the white doll preferable. It shows that they have taken on the predjudice against their own race by seeing white as the overwhelmingly superior choice.
    Perhaps they could not be associating it with race though? Look how the color "black" is portrayed to kids. Black magic, black much more associated with villanous characters in kids books. And white ubiquitously represented in western society as pure and angelic. Cant really blame kids as racist, but easily influenced by the color bias theyre exposed to everyday. Of course,these influences may take effect for racism later on.
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  13. #28
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Post This Is Me And I Am Sticking With It

    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    Welcome to the site! I think its a wonderful thing LitNet has so much diversity. It makes for even better, more diverse and interesting conversation to get as many perspectives as possible. it seems you come from an interesting background, what are your thoughts on the topic?
    I'm not sure how to respond to your post. I suppose part of my frustration is that I am not sure what to do here. I could write about how I am feeling right now...which is not too good. I could share my thoughts about internalized racism. I could write about what racism and internalized racism has meant in my life. Have I acted racist towards others? Have I seen how people of color are impacted by racism? I am just sick and tired of thought,thought, thought without some heart and some real clear connection from an idea or concept to lived experience. It just seems futile.
    I have sat in jail cells for days and days and days. I have spent so many years on the street, hanging with the underclass that I now feel profoundly estranged from normative culture. Now folks can say that nobody is actually normal or whatever. But that is not really true. I mean most people work jobs 40-60 hours a week to pay rent, pay for food, bills, their childrens education and so on. When I turn on the tv and watch the weather report the meteirologist says something like "and now the weather for the work week." They are not talking to me or to the entire community I belong to. There is a profound feelings of not existing that goes along with this experience and countless others.
    I have slept behind bushes for years and after a while the people who walk past you become "the others" just as I am seen as "the other" to them.
    I mention this because it is difficult for me to participate in any type of normal form of discourse that is seen as regular in this culture. It's really like I am from some other nation or country. I have lived in a 3rd world nation for my adult life. I once told someone that its like we are all in some big body of water and a few people are swimming real fast and powerfully, most people are swimming without any real speed or force and a large group are doing the doggy paddle.
    And then there are those who have drowned. They are not dead, I guess the regular laws of physics are on hold here. These folks live on the bottom. It is dark and cold and very dangerous. Nobody wants to live down here and that is why everybody above keeps on making some effort to simply "stay above water" (as the cliche goes).
    But there is an interesting perspective that the drowned folks have. They can look up and see all the different movements of the men, women and children above them. The folks above can not see those below but the below can see the above.
    From where I sit right now every white person in this society has blood on their hands. We have all been deeply, cruely, profoundly conditioned to fear, judge, pity,hate,patronize,idolize,sexualize,blame,scapeg oat,black people. Folks do not get it at all. Just because I may have read a bunch of radical literature and just because I have joined anti-racist organizations and just because I have a few black friends and just because I do not wear a white sheet and put flaming torches on the front lawns of black peoples home does not mean I am free of racism. Not at all. Not in the slightest.
    I mean my God! Michael Richards spews out the nastiest racist rhetoric I have heard in a while and he says "No. I am not a racist" And folks accep hat! Then who is?
    Folks want to know what racism is? It is each and every time you make a judgment about a black persons self based on how they act, what they have done, what they have not done...I can say that I saw a black woman sit in a park drinking a pint of brandy. That is a fact. I can say that I have seen many black people drinking booze in many different parks. That is a fact. But if I then go on to say that blacks are lazy, self-destructive addicts I am in very dangerous waters. I have gone from empirical objective facts to very subjective assesments of an individuals inner world/inner being and then I go further and make statements about an entire races character/being-ness. It is not that this is just a mistake as regards racism. It is a mistake anytime we do this to anyone ever.
    That punk who shot some store owner and stole the money. You know what. That punk is a human. And he is every single bit as human as you or I or Ghandi or Whitman. Does he remind you of Ghandi? No. No damn way. He has been violent, abusive...But unless we actually meet him we have almost no idea who he is, what is going on and why he did what he did.

    I am going to stop here cause I am exhausted, pissed off and...well...can't rant and write and stay online forever...
    The only way I have survived all these years is by what I believe about myself, the world and all other people. And I believe that saying we are all human is not enough. We also need to say that we are all, thus, humane. The tragedy, sadness, anger we all feel is, I believe, because we do know this deep down and the chasm between what we know to be true and how the world looks and operates is deep as the void of voids and that is what hurts. What hurts is the countless miles that exist between the beauty of a sunrise as you lie down on a hill and feel the damp earth versus the 50 Iraqis killed in one bombing. They are all gone. Forever. And the infinity of the horizon is also the infinity of their death, of their eternal non existance. The voices gone. The texture of an old mans skin. Gone. The cry of joy from a baby girl smelling a rose for the first time. Gone. Not gone because of nature. Not gone slowly and gently like a soft whisper between lovers. No. Gone from a metal bomb made to kill, made to end, made to hurt, made to maim, made to extinguish that which is most dear. They are gone because someone wanted them gone, wanted them dead. And I can not help, as I write these words, but notice the compassion I feel for both the killed and the killer. When I wrote the words "wanted them dead" I felt a terror. To want to kill life, how tortured a sentiment, how bleak a desire.
    I have splashed in the salt water of Tel Aviv, the waters of my homeland and looked forward to each cool gentle wave as it approached me. The chill, the taste, the steady deliberate never ending nature coupled with the spontanaiety of the wave as it broke over me, kissed me, licked me like a large dog. Yes, yes, let this never end, let me splash like a boy forever.
    I had no place to go. I was in Israel but I had run out of money. I knew nobody. The land that I had wanted to fall in love with was full of bile,puss and acid hatred.
    How could this be? How could there be such joy in this world and such pain.
    How can the salt water taste so sweet? Was it a dream? It does not matter. The past is over I tell myself "it does not matter" I tell myself...
    "Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
    Can else inflict, do I repent or change"


    Milton, Paradise Lost
    Book 1 Line 95-96

    "There is only one plot-things are not as they seem."
    Jim Thompson

  14. #29
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Perhaps some of us are diverting the subject slightly....
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  15. #30
    ANGRY, YOUNG, POOR Eagleheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6
    That may be the case for internalized racism, but do you think a personality disorder also applies to when people externally lash their insecurities through racism? Many are racist because they actually fear, and express it as hate instead, those from other countries. Perhaps this same fear can stir internalized racism? I think your ideas on what triggers internalized racism are definetly applicable to most serious cases, but what about the issue to a less severe degree? Perhaps some persecute themselves in fear of others doing the same. As if , by agknowledging and adopting prejudice of others, they are preventing it. Sort of like "If you cant beat them, join them" philosophy. Of course i find this equally unhealthy and uneffective as if it stems from a psychological disorder but find it interesting how logic can alter when under fear.
    Really strong observations, Drame...But beyond a direct relationship between an external racist oppressor and an individual persuaded in self-depreciation, do you give an assent to a proposition in which the victim of internalized racism employs this state, so as to control...I mean something of the psychology of the victim: Accepting your weakness you expect condescension from those sympathetic/clearly not the oppressors but the others/...I really do not believe this to have any mass occurence or to be a common case in internalized racism, but perhaps internalized racism can be used not only against oppressors, but also in an attempt to control...In this particular case, in which race and culture are involved I find it hard to believe however...As we were talking of special cases, I thought I might bring it to light...
    ghideon, I personally appreciate your sharing all these valuable thoughts...It is my belief that one can never know whether a chance talk with a stranger on a bench will not be a saved life...One never knows whether the person beside him/her does not think of suicide for example and a few nice words will not make a difference or a shared experience help a searching soul and so on...
    Se puede matar el hombre
    Pero no mataran la forma
    En que se alegraba su alma
    Cuando souaba ser libre
    ......
    They can kill a man/but they cannot kill the way /his soul rejoices/when it dreams/that it is free
    ....
    A folklore song from Venecuela

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