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Thread: Internalized Racism

  1. #76
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    An interesting piece of commentary that I came across that is somewhat relevant to the discussion here. For those who may not know, Juan Williams is black and for the most part a fairly Liberal commentator.

    Note: This borders on the political. If the moderators feel it's over the political line, feel free to delete it out.

    Say it loudly: Poor blacks can succeed
    Talk them out of rut of despair

    By JUAN WILLIAMS

    Published on: 12/26/06

    The black American middle class is under attack. And what is their sin? The fire is coming from black academics who argue that any middle-class black person calling on the black poor to take advantage of opportunities to get out of poverty is really ashamed of poor black people. And the charges can get personal. Critics are saying that black people such as Bill Cosby are caught up in a self-hating frenzy as they try to distance themselves from their poor brothers and sisters.

    For middle class black people, the charges range from "You forget where you came from" to "You are blaming the victim." But these attacks target far more than the black middle class. White people who call attention to the obvious are attacked as insensitive, if not racist. Anyone speaking to self-defeating behavior among the black poor — such as dropping out of high school at exorbitant rates, drug use, criminal behavior, high numbers of children born out of wedlock and parents abandoning their children — is open to these charges.

    This is the case even if a black adult dares to object to a black teenager screaming curse words and hate-filled rap on a crowded train.

    William Cobb, a Spelman College history professor, has written that anyone correcting that offensive behavior is more concerned with what white people think about them. That fits with the general criticism, from another African-American professor, Michael E. Dyson, of the University of Pennsylvania. He has written that the black middle class unfairly "rain down fire and brimstone upon poor blacks for their deviance and pathology."

    Unfortunate code of silence

    In a new book "Enough," I write about the 25 percent of black America locked in poverty and the shocking picture of dysfunction evident in a 70 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate among black Americans; a 50 percent high school dropout rate and a disheartening 40 percent of America's prisoners being black.

    Instead of addressing these problems head-on in the black community, there has been a long, chilling silence because few black leaders want to be targeted by critics who charge them with being elitist or excusing the historic damage done by white racism.

    Black intellectuals, such as Cobb and Dyson, are enforcing that code of silence. They are also defending the sad status quo among poor black people. Added to the recipe is the intellectual defense of hip-hop — with music, videos and films — that excuses failure and even celebrates destructive, criminal "Gangsta" behavior such as violence, stealing to get 'bling-bling' and abusive treatment of women.

    Much of the rationalization for this self-defeating behavior among too many of the black poor is that high crime rates, high dropout rates and abusive relationships afflict all urban populations. The evidence is that Irish and Italian immigrants had problems when they arrived on American shores and brought high rates of crime and high dropout rates to the cities.

    The flaw in that argument is that the population of poor black Americans we are discussing did not just land in Atlanta, Birmingham or Washington. Black Americans today are born into a world exceeding what most immigrants left behind.

    Equal opportunities

    It is a false analogy to make 21st century black Americans the equal of early 20th century immigrants. How many times can you be an immigrant? Even among today's immigrants with black skin — people from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean — the level of educational attainment and income is outpacing black Americans. If the issue is racism, how is it that black newcomers are doing so well?

    The story of black Americans is as old as this nation. It is an inspiring struggle for equal rights in the face of slavery, through the Civil War, and then against laws that had the government enforce racial segregation. The prize for this movement for racial justice has always been equal right to compete in schools, in jobs, in the military, at the voting booth and at the swimming pool. The quest has always been about leveling the playing field and giving black people a chance to show their genius.

    Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: All of these leaders gave their lives to open the doors of equal opportunity in the American mainstream for black Americans. Their success has created the largest, most affluent and politically powerful black population in world history. Racism persists in America, complete with stereotypes, mistrust and discrimination. But it is nothing comparable to the exclusion and violence that limited past generations of blacks. Most black Americans, as they fight to move up economically and put their children in position to succeed, reject any victim mentality. They appreciate that greater opportunities exist for this generation than for any of our predecessors.

    Words of encouragement

    Yet there is this hard fact — a persistent 25 percent poverty rate among black people today. Sadly, statistics show it is often identified with the same group of people, the same families, from generation to generation. It is the exact opposite of compassion to lie to people about the source of many of their problems when it is clear that they are often hurting themselves.

    A recent article in The New York Times reported that child psychologists have found that by age 3, the average child of a middle-class professional has heard 500,000 words of encouragement and 80,000 words of discouragement. Among children in welfare families, the numbers were turned on their heads with 75,000 words of encouragement and 200,000 words of discouragement. Middle-class parents, the researchers found, also spoke to their children about the value of education. They regularly discuss with children family rules, current events and how to negotiate difficult situations and people.

    These are middle-class values that benefit people, black or white.

    To encourage the black poor to adopt these values is not evidence of self-hate but offering good news about how people can help themselves and their children to succeed. It is good news to know that if you stay in school and at least graduate from high school, then stay in the job market and don't have a child until you are in your 20s and married, you have little chance of being poor.

    It is right — not self-hating — to tell an obnoxious kid cursing on the train to stop it because he is not only obnoxious but displaying behavior that will hurt his chances in life.

    Instead of condescending to the poor by rationalizing bad behavior, the academics should offer themselves and their success as evidence of what black people can do with discipline and hard work, despite racism. The academics who prefer to disparage the black middle class when it offers guidance and inspiration are not hurting the black middle class — they are hurting the black poor.


    Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio, is author of "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965."
    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/o...dwilliams.html
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  2. #77
    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    if you're going to claim that whites are inherently oppressive by virtue of historical circumstance and offer up nothing else, then the claim collapses unto itself. [/LEFT]
    To clarify, I did not claim that "whites are inherently oppressive", but I did claim that there are patterns of a hierarchy of power, and having white skin color would put you higher on the hierarchy, and the darker your skin color, the lower you are placed on this hierarchy of power. Certainly something worth pondering. Why do these patterns of power occur? Can it be changed? Color of skin is not the only factor, as I mentioned before. Even in a group of all white skinned people, there is yet another pattern of power. Here is where class, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc. can illustrate the hierarchy.

    This thread is filled with lots of passionate opinions, and lots of food for thought. Yes, race is a sensitive issue...
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  3. #78
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    I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me where they moved my thread, "Hip Hop Is Not Art." they should have moved it here since the first thread was an extension of this thread.

    I just love how they extract threads in this forum and then leave it up to members to figure out where they are.
    "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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  4. #79
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    I think I saw it in General Chat
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    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

  5. #80
    Moderator Logos's Avatar
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    Scher moved it to General Chat here:
    http://www.online-literature.com/for...ad.php?t=21181

    and left a re-direct from where it was in Philosophical Literature:
    http://www.online-literature.com/for...lay.php?f=2354
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  6. #81
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon1jt View Post
    I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me where they moved my thread, "Hip Hop Is Not Art." they should have moved it here since the first thread was an extension of this thread.

    I just love how they extract threads in this forum and then leave it up to members to figure out where they are.
    As Logos has already pointed it out, 'Hip Hop is Not Art' thread has been moved to General Chat section now and there is a link redirecting members there.

    (I had merged that thread with this one initially; however, after reading it, I realised that the new posts had little to do with the on-going discussion here and decided that having a separate thread in the General Chat section, where it will, hopefully, get more viewing and responses.)

    As Moderators of this Forum, we do try our best to keep things as organised as possible for all the users (present and future) so that everyone will have an easy access to what they are searching for and we also keep our members informed.

    However, if we ever fail to do so, it is not because we have a love for making things confusing for others but simply because *gasps and screams* we forget or err.

    Now, let's go back to discussing 'Internalised Racism'.
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    As Logos has already pointed it out, 'Hip Hop is Not Art' thread has been moved to General Chat section now and there is a link redirecting members there.

    (I had merged that thread with this one initially; however, after reading it, I realised that the new posts had little to do with the on-going discussion here and decided that having a separate thread in the General Chat section, where it will, hopefully, get more viewing and responses.)

    As Moderators of this Forum, we do try our best to keep things as organised as possible for all the users (present and future) so that everyone will have an easy access to what they are searching for and we also keep our members informed.

    However, if we ever fail to do so, it is not because we have a love for making things confusing for others but simply because *gasps and screams* we forget or err.

    Now, let's go back to discussing 'Internalised Racism'.
    scheh - confusion is fun sometimes too!
    thanks everybody - whifling, logos - scheh for thread location. i thought maybe it was merged with some other thread on same that someone mentioned.
    "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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