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Thread: Internalized Racism

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    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poetess View Post
    Drama I meant Plants**
    OH, lol, now THAT makes sense :

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleheart View Post
    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...
    Yes, quite what i was getting at. When i mentioned fear i also meant the fear of not being acceptance, being shunned. Internalized racism can be a technique to draw away from the self, through self-hate, that is causing you fear. Sort of a direct approach to the problem, simply attempting to dilute or dispose of it rather then finding real solutions to the issue. Possibly a bit of cognitive dissonance comes to play too...
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    What does it mean to you? How do you think it is created? Is it more of a product of personal upbringing or societal belief? Can people recover from it? Who experiences it most?

    What do you think?
    there's a famous US Supreme Court decision (Bakke v. US?) where a justice coined the term, "reverse discrimination", which was used to describe white college applicants as the object of an unfair admissions process that had set aside a certain number of seats for blacks with lower scores (i.e. quota system). in a footnote, one of the dissenting justices wrote: "Discrimination is discrimation, period." in other words, let's knock off this idea that discrimination flows "one way" - from white to black, as 'reverse discrimination flows from black to white. a shrewd conceptualization used very subtly to assign blame (in the sense of whites being the progenitor of racism). gimme a break.

    the topic here is "internalized racism" - another interesting term, i wonder where you got it. the fact is, racism exists, so what's the difference whether racism is internal or external? the world doesn't go on "out there" nor does life go on "in here"---human beings comprise the social milieu with racism defined as a "collective condition" without the need then for bifurcated boundaries, don't you think? i suppose this sort of thinking would do away with the need for all the lovely psychologists in the world! ...not that this here philosopher has anything against psychologists or anything.
    Last edited by jon1jt; 12-24-2006 at 10:16 AM.
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  4. #34
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    Perhaps some of us are diverting the subject slightly....
    Really? I want to ask you something dramasnot...and I ask this for real, not rhetorically. After reading my last post do you have a better idea of what "internalized racism" means to me?

    Your original post asked readers to answer the question "what does internalized racism mean to you?"

    It means the world to me dramasnot. Literally.

    White people are a minority? Yes. That is if you look at the world population there are billions and billions of human beings with non-white skin versus a profoundly smaller group who do have white skin.

    Now lets go to the USA for a minute. 300 million men,women, children. Now there are more white people then blacks and there are more white people then asian people but when you simply look at how many caucasian people there are versus people of color, once again those with white skin are the minority.

    I will go out on a limb here and say that I do not care deeply about racism because I hate what it has done to people of color. No. I am no more of a saint then the next Joe and I generally think about those things that will improve my life in some way and I put those considerations in front of the condition of other peoples lives.

    If there were this huge circle and inside this circle there was a real small dot...that dot would represent whites vs other races. And yet I still seem to wake up each day to a white world. How can this be? What forces are important to understand inorder to explain this bizzare dyanmic.

    Well...there are many many forces at work. But to get personal, if I live inside that small dot then how come I am not acutely aware of my difference? Why do I still wake up and feel as if my race represents the norm? That my race represents the type of culture that is the sign of health?
    We(white folk that is)are dots and we have been lied to and told that we are, actually, huge,the size of planets.

    My passion is not really about the economic inequalities or some deep philosophical conern about power and its use. No. I simply want to be. White people are lied to and the lies never rest. And it is whites who suffer for this. Folks want to talk about isolation? OK...here is some isolation for you...how does a very very small group manage to create a way of life that somehow denies at each and every single moment of each day the absolute, objective fact that it is we who are terribly, beyond words, lost,confused,and so alone that we must not even face the alienation we experience because to do so would be to admit the denial so vital to our supposed sanity. We live in little little boxes and tell ourselves that it is we who are ok. And as long as we stay in those white culture boxes we generally feel ok and are told we are just fine. All the time in the shadow of a mountain.

    The boxes suck. The lies suck. The alienation sucks. The guilt and shame and self-hatred inside of Me...sucks. If the world is not really all that white then I want to be able to embrace the world and feel safe, understood, accepted....but that is not the case. I can not actually accept the true nature of the world because...well....it probabaly scares the sh*% out of me and at least in terms of that stark terror I am most certainly not alone.

    Old School remember? Rap back in the day. Fear Of A Black Planet? Now that was a title I will not forget.
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    These are some interesting posts, and I might have to say something about this issue. I am very dark myself and I know how society makes such people believe that that is definitely a fault. I just need to gather my thoughts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    Really? I want to ask you something dramasnot...and I ask this for real, not rhetorically. After reading my last post do you have a better idea of what "internalized racism" means to me?

    Your original post asked readers to answer the question "what does internalized racism mean to you?"

    It means the world to me dramasnot. Literally.

    White people are a minority? Yes. That is if you look at the world population there are billions and billions of human beings with non-white skin versus a profoundly smaller group who do have white skin.

    Now lets go to the USA for a minute. 300 million men,women, children. Now there are more white people then blacks and there are more white people then asian people but when you simply look at how many caucasian people there are versus people of color, once again those with white skin are the minority.

    I will go out on a limb here and say that I do not care deeply about racism because I hate what it has done to people of color. No. I am no more of a saint then the next Joe and I generally think about those things that will improve my life in some way and I put those considerations in front of the condition of other peoples lives.

    If there were this huge circle and inside this circle there was a real small dot...that dot would represent whites vs other races. And yet I still seem to wake up each day to a white world. How can this be? What forces are important to understand inorder to explain this bizzare dyanmic.

    Well...there are many many forces at work. But to get personal, if I live inside that small dot then how come I am not acutely aware of my difference? Why do I still wake up and feel as if my race represents the norm? That my race represents the type of culture that is the sign of health?
    We(white folk that is)are dots and we have been lied to and told that we are, actually, huge,the size of planets.

    My passion is not really about the economic inequalities or some deep philosophical conern about power and its use. No. I simply want to be. White people are lied to and the lies never rest. And it is whites who suffer for this. Folks want to talk about isolation? OK...here is some isolation for you...how does a very very small group manage to create a way of life that somehow denies at each and every single moment of each day the absolute, objective fact that it is we who are terribly, beyond words, lost,confused,and so alone that we must not even face the alienation we experience because to do so would be to admit the denial so vital to our supposed sanity. We live in little little boxes and tell ourselves that it is we who are ok. And as long as we stay in those white culture boxes we generally feel ok and are told we are just fine. All the time in the shadow of a mountain.

    The boxes suck. The lies suck. The alienation sucks. The guilt and shame and self-hatred inside of Me...sucks. If the world is not really all that white then I want to be able to embrace the world and feel safe, understood, accepted....but that is not the case. I can not actually accept the true nature of the world because...well....it probabaly scares the sh*% out of me and at least in terms of that stark terror I am most certainly not alone.

    Old School remember? Rap back in the day. Fear Of A Black Planet? Now that was a title I will not forget.
    the above view is a classic case of internal racism. i've heard this "white people are minority" argument that is voiced regularly on militant black stations as a call to galvanize forces that it's time for the "majority" to assume rightful control, that whites have fooled the "majority" for far too long. your little "boxes" speech smacks of racism - however cleverly candy coated - suggesting a white power structure. but no such structure exists, it's all in your little box head.

    embrace the world and feel safe because nobody's stopping you. get over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhuri View Post
    These are some interesting posts, and I might have to say something about this issue. I am very dark myself and I know how society makes such people believe that that is definitely a fault. I just need to gather my thoughts.

    this is more internal racism or victimization externalized.
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  7. #37
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    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?
    What I meant was that certain prejudices might actually be true for a given individual. To give an example. I'm Italian-American. Many people seem to think that a large number of Italian-Americans are involved in organized crime. Now I would say that 99% or more of Italian-Americans are not involved in organized crime. But what about that 1% that may actually be in the mafia. Was it because it was internalized racism?

    Look I hate racism. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it doesn't exist. But something else I hate is psychobabble. The idea that we can understand how a person became that person. There are people who show signs of internalized racism and there are people with the same background who do not. I don't know what this internalized racism really means.
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    Rather Bewildered brainstrain's Avatar
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    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.
    Thank you for explaining. I probably could've made it a bit more clear, I really tend to get off topic on forums...

    Never in english, thankfully, I get 60s in grammar and 100s in writing...it all balances out

    In case there is still any confusion, the children were asked which doll were THEY most similar too. These children were so tainted by internal racism that they chose the white dolls out of shame for being black.

    I think. I saw that documentary a long time ago, my interpratation could be wrong...
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  9. #39
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstrain View Post
    In case there is still any confusion, the children were asked which doll were THEY most similar too. These children were so tainted by internal racism that they chose to white dolls out of shame for being black.
    I don't understand this exactly. Perhaps you are not remembering what they were asked precisely. I would agree that this is internalized racism if they were asked which doll is better, or something to that effect, and they picked the white one.

    But if they were asked which they were most simmilar too, then I would deduce the following possibilities:
    (a) They were delusional since clearly the skin color was different
    (b) They associated their education with white people, which in the mid 19th century is a perfectly logical association since only white people went to school.

    Neither (a) or (b) strike me as internalized racism.
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    Rather Bewildered brainstrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    What I meant was that certain prejudices might actually be true for a given individual. To give an example. I'm Italian-American. Many people seem to think that a large number of Italian-Americans are involved in organized crime. Now I would say that 99% or more of Italian-Americans are not involved in organized crime. But what about that 1% that may actually be in the mafia. Was it because it was internalized racism?

    Look I hate racism. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it doesn't exist. But something else I hate is psychobabble. The idea that we can understand how a person became that person. There are people who show signs of internalized racism and there are people with the same background who do not. I don't know what this internalized racism really means.
    I believe that it is possible to determine factors that contributed to a person become who he/she is. Like for me, I know that being raised in an absurbley conservative church, being socially shunned for my acne, and having a tendency to inadvertantley finding major flaws in well-established systems have contributed to the quirky, unbalanced person I am.

    But the italian/mafia thing is not quite comparable. For one, there are not many italians anymore. From what I heard, the country itself has a negative birthrate (more people are dieing than being born). Secondly, not everyone thinks that all italians are in the mafia. Many do, but it is easily overcome with some quick stereotype bashing.

    Internal Racims for African Americans means that EVERYONE thought they were inferior. The few people that recognized this as disgusting were ignored and thought to be anti-religious (after all, god encourged the slavery of blacks, according to churchs of that time). After centuries of nothing but hate and exile, this noble Race began to think that themselves.

    Internal Racims means that the Racim against a certain Race (namely blacks) is so widespread that the people being...Racized? begin to hate themselves as well.

    I hope I cleared it up for you, if not, I had fun writing it (and inventing a new word "Racized").

    note-AUGH i'm sorry, every Racim I typed was plural. I know it isn't supposed to have an 'S' don't worry...

    note-I agree that it isn't a clear example, and the circumstances with the dolls might've been different. As I said, it was several years ago that I saw this documentary

    last noe-if this is completley off base, I apologize. I'm new to the forums, and I am not used to being surronded by people more mature than I am. It's very nice, but It'll take some getting used to.
    Last edited by brainstrain; 12-24-2006 at 04:46 PM.
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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Nice word, brainstrain. "Racized!"

    I still don't believe we can understand how a person is made up. Life is way too complex to reduce it to an equation. You're a teenager. Your are in a point in your life where you are very sensitive to social pressures. But it will not always be that way. As one ages, those kind of things get minimized. When I think of things that might make someone feel inferior, I think of Helen Keller, who must have felt all sorts of things and had the right to do so. But she didn't let it affect her. I can also pick all sorts of African-Americans who in a time of racism did not feel inferior. Every single human being has something that makes them feel inferior. Some move on and some don't. I question with those that don't whether it was any single thing or people use it as an excuse. Let's look at the converse. Are you saying that there are no white people who feel inferior?
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Nice word, brainstrain. "Racized!"
    Some move on and some don't. I question with those that don't whether it was any single thing or people use it as an excuse. Let's look at the converse. Are you saying that there are no white people who feel inferior?

    of course some white people feel inferior, they just don't have a history of systematized oppression to point to as an excuse for their own inadequacies or failures in life. the truly outrageous in this category of white inferiority may join a neo-nazi or paramilitary group as an outlet of their rage. others with less hostile an agenda will sign up with Greenpeace or throw pies at bill gates. but most recognize that life isn't always fair and don't whine about it.
    "He was nauseous with regret when he saw her face again, and when, as of yore, he pleaded and begged at her knees for the joy of her being. She understood Neal; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad."
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    Rather Bewildered brainstrain's Avatar
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    Thank you thank you, word invention is one of my favorite activities. Also word mispronuciation...who ever heard of a silent 'b' *subtle*? Heh, anyway...

    Yes, of course, there many white people who feel inferior. Today, i'm sure many white people feel inferior to succesful african americans. But in the time period which I assume we are reffering, that was not the case at all.

    Even if a white man was jealous of a blacks mans looks, or strength, or family, he was not inferior. He would whip him, or sell him, or leave him somewhere to die.

    In that horrible society, for a white man to feel inferior to a black man would be like a Bald Eagle feeling inferior to a pigeon. Absurd.

    I, of course, did not live in that time period so I cannot accuratley say what did or did not happen. But it would make sense that few, if any, white men felt inferior to blacks.

    And, on your first point. You are totally correct, I could never assume to say that life could be determined in an equation. I was just saying that we can guess at many of its main factors, and attempt to manipulate them if we are not going in a way that is pleasing. Or safe. The job of a psychiatrist, I believe, is to help us determind those main factors.

    random note-if you watch the show Numb3rs you'd be suprised what can be turned into an eqations. obviously the math they do on the show isn't real, but it is based on mathmatical fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    others with less hostile an agenda will sign up with Greenpeace or throw pies at bill gates. but most recognize that life isn't always fair and don't whine about it.
    Do people really throw pies at Bill Gates? That dude with the fake hair, donald trump, would be a much better canidate.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that life isn't fair...Even now i have trouble with it. This was caused by the principle of balance by which i try to live my life. To me, if something is fair than its balanced.

    I had a whiney phase too...my parents could tell you AAALL about that

    I have to go have a snack before church begins again, its been nice discussing with you Virgil

    Happy Holidays! I hope they bring you as much joy as I anticipate mine will...
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainstrain View Post
    Do people really throw pies at Bill Gates? That dude with the fake hair, donald trump, would be a much better canidate.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that life isn't fair...Even now i have trouble with it. This was caused by the principle of balance by which i try to live my life. To me, if something is fair than its balanced.

    I had a whiney phase too...my parents could tell you AAALL about that
    it's very true about Bill Gates being pelted with pies---some organizations were bent on blaming him for many of the economic/social problems associated with globalization (rolling my eyes).

    of course whites have whiney phases, but we just don't blame another race for problems that cause our whining (i.e. internal racism)
    "He was nauseous with regret when he saw her face again, and when, as of yore, he pleaded and begged at her knees for the joy of her being. She understood Neal; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad."
    ---Jack Kerouac, On The Road: The Original Scroll

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    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    Really? I want to ask you something dramasnot...and I ask this for real, not rhetorically. After reading my last post do you have a better idea of what "internalized racism" means to me?

    Your original post asked readers to answer the question "what does internalized racism mean to you?"

    It means the world to me dramasnot. Literally.

    White people are a minority? Yes. That is if you look at the world population there are billions and billions of human beings with non-white skin versus a profoundly smaller group who do have white skin.

    Now lets go to the USA for a minute. 300 million men,women, children. Now there are more white people then blacks and there are more white people then asian people but when you simply look at how many caucasian people there are versus people of color, once again those with white skin are the minority.

    I will go out on a limb here and say that I do not care deeply about racism because I hate what it has done to people of color. No. I am no more of a saint then the next Joe and I generally think about those things that will improve my life in some way and I put those considerations in front of the condition of other peoples lives.

    If there were this huge circle and inside this circle there was a real small dot...that dot would represent whites vs other races. And yet I still seem to wake up each day to a white world. How can this be? What forces are important to understand inorder to explain this bizzare dyanmic.

    Well...there are many many forces at work. But to get personal, if I live inside that small dot then how come I am not acutely aware of my difference? Why do I still wake up and feel as if my race represents the norm? That my race represents the type of culture that is the sign of health?
    We(white folk that is)are dots and we have been lied to and told that we are, actually, huge,the size of planets.

    My passion is not really about the economic inequalities or some deep philosophical conern about power and its use. No. I simply want to be. White people are lied to and the lies never rest. And it is whites who suffer for this. Folks want to talk about isolation? OK...here is some isolation for you...how does a very very small group manage to create a way of life that somehow denies at each and every single moment of each day the absolute, objective fact that it is we who are terribly, beyond words, lost,confused,and so alone that we must not even face the alienation we experience because to do so would be to admit the denial so vital to our supposed sanity. We live in little little boxes and tell ourselves that it is we who are ok. And as long as we stay in those white culture boxes we generally feel ok and are told we are just fine. All the time in the shadow of a mountain.

    The boxes suck. The lies suck. The alienation sucks. The guilt and shame and self-hatred inside of Me...sucks. If the world is not really all that white then I want to be able to embrace the world and feel safe, understood, accepted....but that is not the case. I can not actually accept the true nature of the world because...well....it probabaly scares the sh*% out of me and at least in terms of that stark terror I am most certainly not alone.

    Old School remember? Rap back in the day. Fear Of A Black Planet? Now that was a title I will not forget.

    Oh, i really didnt mean to offend ghideon. Your thoughts on racism in your last post were very interesting. Just at the end you asked many more broad philosophical questions that were a bit off the topic. Im glad to hear all your thoughts though, theyve made a great contribution.
    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.


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