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Thread: Internalized Racism

  1. #46
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Some Facts/Opinions

    Was doing some research on the term "racism" and "oppression" using wikipedia and the onlinedictionary and I thought I would share a bit of what I have discovered.

    First of all the first definition of Racism is the prejudice that members of one race are inherently superior to members of another race.

    Then I looked up prejudice and found out that it essentially means an unreasonable judgment or opinion without actual knowledge or any real examination of the objective facts. It comes from the verb to prejudge meaning to judge before a full hearing or investigation.

    I will assert, based on my participation in this forum, that there have been many examples of prejudice. I have noticed that in repeated instances individuals, including myself, will state opinions as if they were objective facts. People seem more inclined to just state a belief, opinion, perspective or intense emotion and not terribly inclined to provide the basis for such statements. One can discuss specific experiences an individual has gone through as the foundation for a belief or opinion. In that case the more specific the connection made between the actual experience and the belief/opinion that followed the bettter.
    A writer here can also build their opinions on a foundation of other sources of information and analysis such as books,articles, statements of others and in this case the more reliable the source then the more foundation one has for the belief.

    Do folks by and large agree with the above?


    If you are still reading...what follows are some observations, perspectives I have articulated...but am repeating in a more step by step manner. That is, I am attempting to follow my own above advise.

    I stated that there are far more people of color in the world then there are whites. That is an objective fact. I stated that this is also the case in the United States. That is also a fact.
    I then went on to state a particular perspective in relation to these facts. That perspective was that this quantitative fact is not reflected in the qualitative power dynamics. Whites have, in many places and during many eras in history, yielded great economic, political, legal, and plain old brute power over peoples of color. I would assert that this is pretty close to an objective fact.

    Certainly it would be hard to argue that the above fact is wrong. Does anybody dispute my assertion as regards the power white people have had in relation to colored people?


    This seems important to me because there is, more then likely, an important psychological aspect to this. What internal dyanmics are at play in an oppressive situation where a smaller group dehumanizes a much larger group of human beings?

    Before I go on any further I will simply say this...obviously I am building an argument. And the argument is essentially that when I examine my own emotions and also look at the experiences I have had I have concluded that a great deal of very painful feelings are connected to the above description of racism. The premise that an oppressor is dehumanized in the process of oppression is not a novel premise by any stretch. It has been made countless times by many authorities. I am simply trying to state that I experience it as true in my life. When I think about the relationships I have had and continue to have with other white people I also conclude that it is true. That other white people are profoundly dehumanized in their role as oppressors.

    I will stop and simply ask...if someone does not agree with the above...do they believe that my facts are wrong or my conclusions? One person replied that there "is no white power structure" that it is "all in my head." Well, ok. As far as there being "no white power structure" I would ask for some evidence. I can fill ten pages with data that would most certainly suggest a structure, a set of laws, rules, codes of behavior and institutional relations that is run by white people and run primarily for the interests of white people. Anybody disagree?

    Anbody who does not believe there is a "white power structure" is incorrect. I believe that such an entity exists in reality. And I do not have a problem proving it. It simply frustrates me that I should have to. But if needed I am more then willing.

    "Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
    Can else inflict, do I repent or change"


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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    Was doing some research on the term "racism" and "oppression" using wikipedia and the onlinedictionary and I thought I would share a bit of what I have discovered.

    First of all the first definition of Racism is the prejudice that members of one race are inherently superior to members of another race.

    Then I looked up prejudice and found out that it essentially means an unreasonable judgment or opinion without actual knowledge or any real examination of the objective facts. It comes from the verb to prejudge meaning to judge before a full hearing or investigation.

    I will assert, based on my participation in this forum, that there have been many examples of prejudice. I have noticed that in repeated instances individuals, including myself, will state opinions as if they were objective facts. People seem more inclined to just state a belief, opinion, perspective or intense emotion and not terribly inclined to provide the basis for such statements. One can discuss specific experiences an individual has gone through as the foundation for a belief or opinion. In that case the more specific the connection made between the actual experience and the belief/opinion that followed the bettter.
    A writer here can also build their opinions on a foundation of other sources of information and analysis such as books,articles, statements of others and in this case the more reliable the source then the more foundation one has for the belief.

    Do folks by and large agree with the above?


    If you are still reading...what follows are some observations, perspectives I have articulated...but am repeating in a more step by step manner. That is, I am attempting to follow my own above advise.

    I stated that there are far more people of color in the world then there are whites. That is an objective fact. I stated that this is also the case in the United States. That is also a fact.
    I then went on to state a particular perspective in relation to these facts. That perspective was that this quantitative fact is not reflected in the qualitative power dynamics. Whites have, in many places and during many eras in history, yielded great economic, political, legal, and plain old brute power over peoples of color. I would assert that this is pretty close to an objective fact.

    Certainly it would be hard to argue that the above fact is wrong. Does anybody dispute my assertion as regards the power white people have had in relation to colored people?


    This seems important to me because there is, more then likely, an important psychological aspect to this. What internal dyanmics are at play in an oppressive situation where a smaller group dehumanizes a much larger group of human beings?

    Before I go on any further I will simply say this...obviously I am building an argument. And the argument is essentially that when I examine my own emotions and also look at the experiences I have had I have concluded that a great deal of very painful feelings are connected to the above description of racism. The premise that an oppressor is dehumanized in the process of oppression is not a novel premise by any stretch. It has been made countless times by many authorities. I am simply trying to state that I experience it as true in my life. When I think about the relationships I have had and continue to have with other white people I also conclude that it is true. That other white people are profoundly dehumanized in their role as oppressors.

    I will stop and simply ask...if someone does not agree with the above...do they believe that my facts are wrong or my conclusions? One person replied that there "is no white power structure" that it is "all in my head." Well, ok. As far as there being "no white power structure" I would ask for some evidence. I can fill ten pages with data that would most certainly suggest a structure, a set of laws, rules, codes of behavior and institutional relations that is run by white people and run primarily for the interests of white people. Anybody disagree?

    Anbody who does not believe there is a "white power structure" is incorrect. I believe that such an entity exists in reality. And I do not have a problem proving it. It simply frustrates me that I should have to. But if needed I am more then willing.

    i can't believe you have the audacity to call people prejudice in this forum when your ideas are full of nonsensical racism---you're under the spell of internal racism.

    i knew you were going after whites in your previous post. whites don't owe you empirical evidence because the last i checked we're not on trial, and people who play into this fuel the fire of absurdity, which leads to legitimizing quota systems and affirmative action programs and all these other practices that put whites at a grave disadvantage. we shouldn't be punished for the actions of our ancestors.

    quick story:
    there's a multicultural neighborhood with a majority of whites nearby with a library with an all-black and -hispanic staff. just coincidence, right? well i have a (white male) friend who was interviewed and later turned down for a job there. i found out that the director is an old school black guy who has been there for forty years. my friend didn't run and press charges against him for discriminatory hiring even though he went on to hire a guy who is black and LESS qualified. No, my friend just shrugged it off and wound up with a better-paying job.

    i expect you next to whine about the "prison industrial complex" and how blacks go to jail for drug-related offenses disporportionately to whites even though whites 'in the suburbs' consume far more drugs. i love the argument that blacks in jail for drugs are innocent! some whites do get busted when they go into major cities where they're sold. but last i checked there were plenty of whites in jail too for dealing in the suburbs. or how's about the crazy idea of rising gang violence being attributed to gun manufacturers and the gun lobby (rolling my eyes).

    you're building an argument. are you sure?
    Last edited by jon1jt; 12-24-2006 at 07:56 PM.
    "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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  3. #48
    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    suggesting a white power structure. but no such structure exists, it's all in your little box head.
    There is a hierarchy of power in this world. If you are white, heterosexual, physically abled, or a man, you are considered privileged. If you have one of these traits, you move up on the hierarchy of power.
    "I have so often dreamed of you that you become unreal." ~ Robert Desnos

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    A gentle reminder for all:

    We are here to discuss ideas, not individuals who are posting them. Any personal / off-topics comments are likely to be deleted with or without any further notice.

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    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Thank you Scher, this is true. Personal experiences are a nice contribution but please try to keep them relevant and used as examples to support a theory or idea.
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    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Red face at least you replied

    can't believe you have the audacity to call people prejudice in this forum when your ideas are full of nonsensical racism---you're under the spell of internal racism
    1. I did not "call people prejudiced" I stated that, from my experience, there have been numerous examples of prejudice. In other words, I do not believe anybody here "is a prejudiced person" but that just about all of us get sloppy, make mistakes, make errors in logic, allow our emotions to distort our reason. I am guilty of it and I stated that as well. Do you deny this? I am not asking you if you think it is a worthy question or if I have no right to ask it but simply if you agree that we all make significant mistakes in terms of communicating our thoughts clearly and with logic and respect.


    i knew you were going after whites in your previous post. whites don't owe you empirical evidence because the last i checked we're not on trial
    2. I do not know what so say in terms of "going after whites." There are white people who I have loved deeply, my family, some of my closest friends, past teachers and mentors and many that I miss deeply as well. There are many white human beings that I have great respect for from Shakespeare to Whitman to John Lennon. And I am also very angry at what people who share the same skin shade as me have done in the past and continue to do in the present. It is hard for me to feel and express true pride in myself when I know the amount of violence, death, and missery white people have caused people of color from Latin America to South Africa to India to the United States.
    Now I also want to say that I do not see white people as any better then anybody NOr do I see white people as, in any way, inherently worse. In the bottom line reality we all are members of one very large class that being human beings. And for me, as I have written before, the tragedy is how true this is and that history simply reflects that human beings have had a very hard time living this truth...basing our actions, choices and decisions on our shared humanity. And white people are certainly not the only group to have had a long history of oppression over another group.

    No. White people are not on trial. Nobody here is. But the rules that guide the conduct of trials are also very deeply reflective of Western concepts and practices of how truth is investigated, determined...how evidence is developed...how facts are included in an argument versus opinions. My guess is that the trial problem here is about guilt. I try my best to not deal with blame or guilt. Things happened. Other things happened after that. Now we are in a certain situation that needs to be dealt with. It is vital to determine cause and effect. What forces caused slavery and what effect did slavery have on society? for example. If I say that actions you did resulted in an old persons death...if you agreed with me then you would probably feel profound guilt. But that feeling is entirely distinct from a simple determination of cause/causes. You may have caused something but are you then to be forever cast as "GUILTY" I would hope not.
    And hey...don't trials make great drama?

    people who play into this fuel the fire of absurdity, which leads to legitimizing quota systems and affirmative action programs and all these other practices that put whites at a grave disadvantage. we shouldn't be punished for the actions of our ancestors.
    3. I do not believe I am playing into some "fuel the fire of absurdity." I do not see how my points could be considered even remotely absurd. There are many reasonable critiques, challenges, points of contention to what I have stated previously but saying absurd...it just seems that if I do, in fact, have a "fire" going on you do as well. Certainly I feel plenty of heat from your post.

    quick story:
    there's a multicultural neighborhood with a majority of whites nearby with a library with an all-black and -hispanic staff. just coincidence, right?
    ok. please slow down here for a minute. I see a diverse neighborhood...but no details...I assume it is primarily black and hispanic.
    Now...there is another community nearby that is very much a white neighborhood...yes?

    I do not really know which area the library is in...the multicultural one or the white one? But that might not be important.

    well i have a (white male) friend who was interviewed and later turned down for a job there. i found out that the director is an old school black guy who has been there for forty years. my friend didn't run and press charges against him for discriminatory hiring even though he went on to hire a guy who is black and LESS qualified.

    4. Look. I am not going to just pretend that your friend or other white working class people have easy lives or even fair ones. I am white and my life has certainly not been too easy. I also see so much hardship just across the board amongst all working people regardless of their skin color. And trust me, I have many times felt rage, fear, worry...because of decisions and acts people of color have taken in relation to me. I have been mugged and assaulted a bunch of times. I have been told I was going to die a bunch of times. All of these acts done by black people.

    The whole issue of Afirmative Action is a complex one. Is it moral? Does it work? Are there other things this society can do to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to employment, housing, education...And what are the best ways to resolve past injustices in terms of the present? I do not have answers to those questions nor is this the right place or time to get into those issues. But I do not think your points should be ignored nor should the legitimate concerns of other people be ignored. There are many many examples of young people of color who were able to go on and make great progress in their lives as a result of affirmative action and the educational and career doors that law opened.

    i expect you next to whine about the "prison industrial complex" and how blacks go to jail for drug-related offenses disporportionately to whites even though whites 'in the suburbs' consume far more drugs. i love the argument that blacks in jail for drugs are innocent! some whites do get busted when they go into major cities where they're sold. but last i checked there were plenty of whites in jail too for dealing in the suburbs. or how's about the crazy idea of rising gang violence being attributed to gun manufacturers and the gun lobby (rolling my eyes).

    5. Yes I have many thoughts about the Prison Industrial System but they are not really the ones you have put in my mouth. This is another very important but complicated topic and I will simply suggest that you do not put me into that nice liberal lefty protest protest box you think I am a member of. Notice that I did not name Chomsky or Marx or Lennin or even Howard Zinn amongst the white people I respect the most. I am very troubled with many aspects of the "Left." I often feel like calling all the protests rather pathetic. I am sick and tired of group think, yes I am, suprise,suprise. And I am fed up with wishy washy upper middle class liberals writing checks to a few non-profits and thinking that they are dedicated to deep changes.

    You are probably not who I would guess you are. I am not who you think I am.

    But I am glad to have opened up some dialouge here.


    you're building an argument. are you sure?
    These days I actually am not sure of very much.

    I could very well be guilty of building a poor argument, a weak argument, a simplistic argument...but does my post meet the conditions of being an "argument"...probably.
    "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. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by genoveva View Post
    There is a hierarchy of power in this world. If you are white, heterosexual, physically abled, or a man, you are considered privileged. If you have one of these traits, you move up on the hierarchy of power.
    oh please! how the hell is a white guy privileged exactly? i have two friends - both white - one has a masters and is collecting unemployment benefits because he got laid off recently as an engineer. the other works construction and has sat in the union hall every morning the past two months unassigned and is living on borrowed money. but they're not whining or spinning theories about a black or latino power structure taking over the world.

    this poster is yet another example of internal racism.

    admit it: you think affirmative action is a "complex" subject matter too.

    your local college is offering plenty more of those courses this spring in "women's studies" and "cultural history". (vomit)

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    1. I did not "call people prejudiced" I stated that, from my experience, there have been numerous examples of prejudice. In other words, I do not believe anybody here "is a prejudiced person" but that just about all of us get sloppy, make mistakes, make errors in logic, allow our emotions to distort our reason. I am guilty of it and I stated that as well. Do you deny this? I am not asking you if you think it is a worthy question or if I have no right to ask it but simply if you agree that we all make significant mistakes in terms of communicating our thoughts clearly and with logic and respect.

    i think most people are quite respectful and sensitive to others in this forum, particularly when it comes to racial differences. i don't know who you're talking about because i have not seen that sort of insensitivity, not once.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    I do not know what so say in terms of "going after whites." There are white people who I have loved deeply, my family, some of my closest friends, past teachers and mentors and many that I miss deeply as well. There are many white human beings that I have great respect for from Shakespeare to Whitman to John Lennon. And I am also very angry at what people who share the same skin shade as me have done in the past and continue to do in the present. It is hard for me to feel and express true pride in myself when I know the amount of violence, death, and missery white people have caused people of color from Latin America to South Africa to India to the United States.
    which white people do you mean? post-colonial India? last i checked apartheid was over in S. Africa. do you mean latin america, 1980s? or are you referring to American occupation of Cuba, guam? philippines? or british/euro imperialism of africa? yeah yeah i know the history---the fact is, the age of imperialism is long over, didn't you know? so you need to get over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    Now I also want to say that I do not see white people as any better then anybody NOr do I see white people as, in any way, inherently worse. In the bottom line reality we all are members of one very large class that being human beings. And for me, as I have written before, the tragedy is how true this is and that history simply reflects that human beings have had a very hard time living this truth...basing our actions, choices and decisions on our shared humanity. And white people are certainly not the only group to have had a long history of oppression over another group.
    my brother, we actually agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon View Post
    White people are not on trial. Nobody here is. But the rules that guide the conduct of trials are also very deeply reflective of Western concepts and practices of how truth is investigated, determined...how evidence is developed...how facts are included in an argument versus opinions. My guess is that the trial problem here is about guilt.
    look, that's why the American founders stated in the Declaration of Independence, "In Order To Form A More Perfect Union" ---the humble recognition that human beings are imperfect as the governments they create. consider the fairly recent creation of the International Criminal Court; the tribunal that sentenced Saddam; and earlier the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which begins:

    "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..."

    imperfect? sure. but institutions are changing with the times and i'm positive about what the future holds for human rights. small steps. i'm proud how far America has progressed--it's a great country and i wouldn't live anywhere else.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    I do not believe I am playing into some "fuel the fire of absurdity." I do not see how my points could be considered even remotely absurd. There are many reasonable critiques, challenges, points of contention to what I have stated previously but saying absurd...it just seems that if I do, in fact, have a "fire" going on you do as well. Certainly I feel plenty of heat from your post.
    you feel heat from me because you tacitly insult white people rather than carefully consider who exactly to blame.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    ok. please slow down here for a minute. I see a diverse neighborhood...but no details...I assume it is primarily black and hispanic.
    Now...there is another community nearby that is very much a white neighborhood...yes? I do not really know which area the library is in...the multicultural one or the white one? But that might not be important.
    i was referring to the Montclair Public Library in NJ, which is a diverse community but still has a majority of whites living there. and the library does not represent that reality, at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    The whole issue of Afirmative Action is a complex one. Is it moral? Does it work? Are there other things this society can do to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to employment, housing, education...And what are the best ways to resolve past injustices in terms of the present? I do not have answers to those questions nor is this the right place or time to get into those issues. But I do not think your points should be ignored nor should the legitimate concerns of other people be ignored. [B]There are many many examples of young people of color who were able to go on and make great progress in their lives as a result of affirmative action and the educational and career doors that law opened.
    Affirmative action is not complex, it discriminates against whites because of their skin color. it's no different than a policy that provides preferential treatment for eye color. the end.

    you're right that many people of color profited from affirmative action, but at what cost to whites who deserved the seat based on merit? they are silent voices unaccounted for when you and others point to the successes of affirmative action. remember: for every success some qualified white person was denied that same opporunity; and that pisses me off, and it ought to piss you off too.


    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    5. Yes I have many thoughts about the Prison Industrial System but they are not really the ones you have put in my mouth. This is another very important but complicated topic and I will simply suggest that you do not put me into that nice liberal lefty protest protest box you think I am a member of. Notice that I did not name Chomsky or Marx or Lennin or even Howard Zinn amongst the white people I respect the most. I am very troubled with many aspects of the "Left." I often feel like calling all the protests rather pathetic. I am sick and tired of group think, yes I am, suprise,suprise. And I am fed up with wishy washy upper middle class liberals writing checks to a few non-profits and thinking that they are dedicated to deep changes.
    we have a lot of wishy washy liberals on the east coast here - manhattan snobs with their prepared opinions waving banners and attending conferences at Columbia and NYU debating globalizations and their "The World is Flat" babble. just don't ask them a real history question because they're too busy reading Thomas Friedman and other pseudo-intellectuals


    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    These days I actually am not sure of very much.
    advice: stop being wishy washy about your own belief system. it's okay to have formed opinions and values and to set them forward. people will criticize them; you may even be executed like they did saint socrates; but, at least you'll have believed in something important, good, just, real.

    ...............And i too enjoyed this discussion, hideon. have a great Christmas! (wait...can i still say Christmas or is it Happy Holidays?...good gawd, just kidding with cha!)
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    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.
    as i can see it from here, whites are the most powerful people, i wonder if they actually feel that, they are indeed most powerful and influential than any ther races..... wonder why is that?

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    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    well, it depends on what culture we are discussing. they are not dominant globally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    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.
    Oh I agree. I don't want to be misconstrued that I'm saying that institutionalized racism did not occur. Whether it still occurs is a political debate that we can't take on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by brainstrain
    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.
    When I was referring to the possiblity that their are whites who might feel inferior, I was not suggesting inferior to blacks or any group. I was just saying that there are people who naturally for whatever (experience or inherent or experience that has nothing to do with race) feel inferior. That was why I balked at the concept of internalized racism. Look I imagine that some inernalized racism occurs, but a well adjusted person will have that offset. At least I think so. That's psychobabble coming out of me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt
    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.
    God, I can't even begin to understand those types. Several things are going on there: hatred, passion, willingness to take things to the extreme.
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    Merry Christmas y'all! and hey Virgil, nice to see ya in here finally! geez i could use your expertise ya know?!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dramasnot6 View Post
    well, it depends on what culture we are discussing. they are not dominant globally.
    that's a great point dramas.

    to answer uzziel's question, i think european power had its roots in a global imperialism that started with Great Britain, Italy, France, and so on. if you really want you can go all the way back to Ancient Greek empire, and the Ancient Romans were once upon a time masters of the universe.

    Consider the reality that America was a small player on the global stage: Pres. Thomas Jefferson couldn't even deal with the piracy problem given our lack of a navy. you could probably trace the true birthplace of american imperialism to the monroe doctrine and its "manifest destiny," the white acquisition of native-american lands which started early on; there's mexico, etc., then teddy roosevelt's cuba, panama, etc. etc. strangely enough the US was pretty isolationist up until about the spanish-american war. i'll stop here as i realize this is already way off topic. but you asked.
    "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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    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Question Why Whites Feel What They Feel

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    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.
    Actually my best hunch is that a huge number of white people have deep feelings of inferiority. You have to remember that racism against black people is only one form of oppression. White people who work for a living also face the oppression inherent in a class based economic system. What I hear and see and read all the time is that there are alot of angry white people. In fact, I am one of them.

    But there is a confusion here. Many white people feel that if someone says they are racist or that they have profited as a result of their skin color...they feel like "hey...wait a minute...my life is damn hard...I barely manage to pay the rent, put food on my plate and keep my marriage intact and now you accuse me of victimizing blacks and gaining something as a result...yea right."

    But these common expressions of anger and distress need to be examined critically. First, the fact that someone faces many real difficulties does not mean that racism does not exist. Those are two very different issues. A man can have a real hard life but that would not, by itself, prove that sexism does not exist. In that example the man's difficulties are real and thus have causes. And a woman in this society also has very real difficulties, many of which, I would argue, are based on how women, in general, are treated. So there is sexism and a man can still have a very hard life.

    In the case of racism many white people can have very hard lives and people of color can also face oppression because of how people with their skin color are treated.

    The assumption many have is if white people have profited from racism then their lives should be easy. Afterall, racism sounds like a horrible thing to be accused of and if someone is racist then there ought to be some proof. If white people are on top then where is the proof of that in my life or the life of those around me.

    Fair enough. But look, in 2006 anybody living in the US and having to work each day for a living and particularly those who, for many different reasons, do not make a great deal of money...all of those human beings, black,white, asian, hispanic are going to have it hard. No question about that. Some have it real real hard, particularly if they do not have the particular skills necessary to gain solid good pay jobs in an economy that has moved far from blue collar trade jobs to a service/information-technology based market driven system.

    Back in the days when the United States was developing a working-class system, away from a purely agricultural based slave system, white workers were paid more money then those blacks who worked. And this was done so that those two groups, those in the black working class and those in the white working class, would fight each other instead of seeing that in terms of class they are both being exploited. I am not claiming some grand conspiracy theory. It actually was a very simple act of divide and conquer. That has been a strategy used by those in power for thousands of years. This was simply a use of it in the United States of America and it has worked quite well.

    This is a forum entiteld philosophy and certainly logic is a fundamental branch of philosophy.

    White people have struggles.
    White people are angry.
    Thus people of color are not oppressed.

    Can someone spell out the logic here if I do not see it.

    and as far as white people whining...yea...many whine, some complain, some write, some speak loudly others may say nothing at all. This may be interesting sociologically but otherwise...so what? Just because I whine about my car running out of gas does not mean it didn't.
    "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

  13. #58
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    what i got from your post ghideon, is that members of all races can and do experience hardship? this is very true indeed, and could be yet more reason why people inflict racism amongst one another. Like in "West Side Story" both groups were in hardships of their own, yet they still try to install a sense of superiority over one another. Racism could be used as a psychological lever to feel less impoverished by comparing yourself to someone you view as far more inferior in society. Maybe internalized racism leads to other expressions of racism, causing a domino effect. As in one group faces prejudice, feel bad and conflicted about themselves and their societal position, then take it out on another racial group, making them feel the same.

    "But these common expressions of anger and distress need to be examined critically. First, the fact that someone faces many real difficulties does not mean that racism does not exist. Those are two very different issues. A man can have a real hard life but that would not, by itself, prove that sexism does not exist. In that example the man's difficulties are real and thus have causes. And a woman in this society also has very real difficulties, many of which, I would argue, are based on how women, in general, are treated. So there is sexism and a man can still have a very hard life."

    Very interesting you bring up sexism there too, and make it fit very nicely into the topic. I agree with your points about how women are treated too.

    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.
    Internalized racism is simply an impact of racism. When people are victims of racism they can react in different ways, all of which i have witnessed and some experienced in my moving and travels. One could be defensive and resentful, one could automatically attack them in turn, or one could take their prejudice to heart and consider themselves how those racist against them do. I too have a dislike for meaningless psychogical terms. In the last year i have taken a very large interest in psychology and have been looking around the internet, newspapers, and magazines to learn more about it. I have only seen the term "internalized racism" come up once or twice but immediatly, for maybe personal or strictly curious reasons, i was drawn to it as a very interesting concept. I find almost all human conflict to be a product of power struggle, and racism to be the most direct expression of this power struggle. It can be seen amongst all ages and cultures. I see internalized racism as being one of the more peculiar causes of continuos racism and power struggle, and had hoped that in discussion of it we could become a bit more familiar in the workings of human society. I have seen some fascinating takes on the topic, and few people being familiar with it seemed to make it even more interesting as the opinion have been more raw and direct. I didnt expect such an amazing range of contributions and have learned a lot, as always, from everyone here.
    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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  14. #59
    Sweet farewell, Good Nite
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    Back in the days when the United States was developing a working-class system, away from a purely agricultural based slave system, white workers were paid more money then those blacks who worked. And this was done so that those two groups, those in the black working class and those in the white working class, would fight each other instead of seeing that in terms of class they are both being exploited. I am not claiming some grand conspiracy theory. It actually was a very simple act of divide and conquer. That has been a strategy used by those in power for thousands of years. This was simply a use of it in the United States of America and it has worked quite well.
    you totally miss the mark. first of all white people are hardly monolithic as you suggest. economic stratification pits individuals into classes based on a new criteria of growing importance---i.e. neighborhood. whites are divided into social enclaves---whites who live on the upper west side of NYC sneer at those on the lower east. the same is true with counties - north/south/central divides connote class stereotypes and have an increasing importance for how whites view each other. so there is a whole socio-economic dynamic occurring simultaneously against the forces of racial distinctions. your little US history fails to account that there was a white gentry that was completely isolated from commoners. there are some interesting studies into the extent commoners loathed slaves as a way to ameliorate their own sense of social inferiority.

    [quote=hgideon]This is a forum entiteld philosophy and certainly logic is a fundamental branch of philosophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghideon
    White people have struggles.
    White people are angry.
    Thus people of color are not oppressed.

    Can someone spell out the logic here if I do not see it.

    and as far as white people whining...yea...many whine, some complain, some write, some speak loudly others may say nothing at all. This may be interesting sociologically but otherwise...so what? Just because I whine about my car running out of gas does not mean it didn't.
    i didn't invoke that logic at all, it's your sad misinterpretation of it. i affirm the premises and not the conclusion. my conclusion is:

    all people are subject to oppressive devices

    such supports the example i gave early on about my friend who missed out on the library job. it is quite the case that a form of discrimination was at play there, and yet he didn't whine about the outcome. he sucked it up and moved on. you see, the system will work out these "kinks" because no system can thrive and remain robust without the constant tapping of its most vital resources. and one of those resources happens to be intelligence. in my example, the library director - and the industry as a whole - lost out. my friend went on to get a job at bear sterns and is quite happy. he holds masters degees in both finance and library science. in my world, individuals overcome discrimination; in your world, discrimination overcomes individuals. Emersonian self-reliance says quite simply: stop worrying about everybody else. your -isms and schisms exist, undoubtedly; but, we live in a different world today. merit matters because individual interests (profit) are at stake. and if that means to hire a black candidate who is the best for the job, so it will be done. certainly not every white employer will be so wise, but the one who sees deeper than the skin pigmentation one wears to that molten core of the human spirit, will ultimately gain.
    Last edited by jon1jt; 12-25-2006 at 08:39 PM.
    "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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  15. #60
    Registered User ghideon's Avatar
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    Angry Gut Check

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    you totally miss the mark. first of all white people are hardly monolithic as you suggest. economic stratification pits individuals into classes based on a new criteria of growing importance---i.e. neighborhood. whites are divided into social enclaves---whites who live on the upper west side of NYC sneer at those on the lower east. the same is true with counties - north/south/central divides connote class stereotypes and have an increasing importance for how whites view each other. so there is a whole socio-economic dynamic occurring simultaneously against the forces of racial distinctions. your little US history fails to account that there was a white gentry that was completely isolated from commoners. there are some interesting studies into the extent commoners loathed slaves as a way to ameliorate their own sense of social inferiority.



    i didn't invoke that logic at all, it's your sad misinterpretation of it. i affirm the premises and not the conclusion. my conclusion is:

    it is quite the case that a form of discrimination was at play there, and yet he didn't whine about the outcome. he sucked it up and moved on. you see, the system will work out these "kinks" because no system can thrive and remain robust without the constant tapping of its most vital resources. and one of those resources happens to be intelligence.

    in my world, individuals overcome discrimination; in your world, discrimination overcomes individuals. Emersonian self-reliance says quite simply: stop worrying about everybody else. your -isms and schisms exist, undoubtedly; but, we live in a different world today. merit matters because individual interests (profit) are at stake. and if that means to hire a black candidate who is the best for the job, so it will be done. certainly not every white employer will be so wise, but the one who sees deeper than the skin pigmentation one wears to that molten core of the human spirit, will ultimately gain.


    OK. I am not sure if this will work but I am gona take on some of what you have written above.

    I am acutely aware of the fact that the larger category of "all white people" can be easily broken down into smaller groups such as "upper west side white people" "lower east side white people" "white workers" "white gentry." So I will just concede this...yes it is not a monolithic entity. And you are right about the antagonistic relations between the upper west side whites and the soho/village whites. I grew up in Manhattan.

    You seem dead set on making it very clear the racism is not the only oppression going on in the world or in the US. You are most certainly correct. No argument there either. And white people face all sorts of oppressions even though they are white.

    But you have also stated other things. You have written that "imperialism is dead" and that I should "get over it." You have written that "apartheid is over." You have stated that there "is no white power structure."

    So the general impression I get from your writing is that you do not see the United States or Great Britain or the whites in South Africa still actively exploiting,attacking,killing,people of color and entire nations of people of color. And I can not agree to that. Most studies that I have read recently state that we have moved from a world where the United States was one power amongst others to an Empire situation where the United States is very simply the dominant power. Now this does mean that certain aspects of imperialism are no longer occuring but this, in no way at all, implies that the foreign or domestic policy of an Empire are fair, just, humane or that the US is no longer exploiting, attacking, economically controlling many other nations and certainly many communites and countries of people of color.

    Can you please explain to me how US corporations can earn such huge profits...some are larger then the GNP of small nations without brutal exploitation of both human beings and natural resources. If you can explain how that can be done then you need to go to DC and join a Think Tank to spread your insights into the possibility of a non-exploitive capitalist Empire. If you believe that there is still violent exploitation going on all over the globe then I would simply suggest that most of that exploitation is the dehumanization of poor and working class people of color. The huge corps...IBM, Exon, McDonald Douglas, Nestle, General Foods...these are international corporations that have workers in many many different nations. The bulk of the worlds population is people with non-white skin so the bulk of workers is also people of color. In addition, these corporations may have thousands of lower level and some mid level managers who are not white but trust me, the men pulling the strings are white and male and gentile. And most of the people who own stock in these corporations are white men.

    Don't try and pretend that just because there are all sorts of oppressions going down this means one can minimize the brutality of racism. That not only communicates disrespect to people of color but it is also will lead to mistakes in critical approaches to other forms of oppression since the dynamics between them will be misunderstood.

    Reclaim as much self-respect, respect of others, respect of white people as you can. Go for it. I am white and I know I deserve respect and that it is good when I am able to respect myself deeply.

    But, but, but try to stop doing this in a way that invalidates the very real day to day struggles of billions of human beings who happen to have a different skin then you and I.

    There is simply no need to do that.
    One groups tragedy does not need to be invalidated, misrepresented, or made light of just because another group of people feels like nobody is listening to them.

    You may still accept that there is racism out there but you seem to go out of your way to say it is really not all that bad and I have seen too much to just let that go. I have really seen so much. Too much.

    Please try to keep in mind that how a person treats themselves and others around them, and their community is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves and their condition and environment. The disgusting, filthy, bloody, drug infested endemic in the ghettos across the US is a direct reflection of the missery in the soul of black folk. This is not some high brow theory of mine. This is my best attempt at articulating the tears, broken lives, torn up families, and rage that many of my closest friends have tried talk to me about. I believe I owe them that much. Not out of any sense of guilt or obligation. Simply out of love. Actually, it is not them that I owe...it is me.

    You have a serious misreading of Emerson. His paradigm, and the paradigm of Thoreau, Whitman and others of the Transcendentalists was not at all promoting some narrowing sense of ones 'I' ness...ones individual soul. No. The reason one could devote ones self to the immediate environment around them and to ones own self-development and reliance is because the essential nature of the 'I' is a 'We'. That the relationship between ones self and all of humanity, in fact, all of nature is so intimate that to focus on the 'I' in a deep, challenging, difficult but very profound way is to, at the very same time, love the world. You seem to make it sound like some literary version of Donald Trump. And you might try reading On Civil Disobedeince by Thoreau.

    I do not know if too many people will understand me but I am speaking from the heart when I say that building real, honest, open, close relations with black people in the US has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life. And I do not mean having coffee now and then. I mean living with, fighting with, yelling at, crying with, laughing with, drinking with...

    this really is the core struggle of my life...it is an issue I have studied for more then a decade and if it is true that as long as one's path has heart then it is true...then my path on ending racism is a true one.
    "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

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