Social Question

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

Do you think someone who was white have gotten away with this in this day and age?

Asked by Self_Consuming_Cannibal (4246 points ) November 9th, 2010

If Obama was white and attended a church for twenty years where racism towards blacks was preached, mulitple times and he only had a problem with it AFTER the media found out do you think he would’ve even have made it to the primary election?

Well Obama did go to a church for twenty years where racism towards whites was preached more than once. But he never had a problem with it until he was running for office and the media found out.

I think if John McCain would have even shook hands with somebody who had a 3rd cousin who was in the KKK he would’ve been crucified in the media.

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69 Answers

janbb's avatar

Sorry – I don’t even know where to begin to answer that.

iamthemob's avatar

President Obama is biracial. Religious organizations tend to put forward a lot of opinions that it’s difficult to say are held by all the members in its community. Considering that the President is just as white as he is black (genetically), it’s an unfair comparison to compare him to someone solely of one racial background. Further, considering that many people are raised in church communities where the people in the community are as important to them as any of its leaders, there is a problem in viewing it like membership in a more specific agenda-based organization. Finally, racism, although not the province of one race or another, is about the group in power. As white people are those in power, for the most part, and messages regarding resentment of historical oppression are easy to make in a more inflammatory nature than intended, it’s not really an even comparison even in the situation where both the actual and theoretical party being compared are of a single racial background.

Because of that last one, and barring the first two issues, I would say it depends on the extent of the racism expressed.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Arent you like two years late on this argument?

mammal's avatar

Racism against whites is not commensurable with racism against blacks, in fact given the history, it is perfectly understandable. This is a silly question, has anybody got an intelligent criticism of Obama? i don’t care if he wasn’t born in America or he is a closet Muslim, and he’s hardly going to attend some kind of nut job right wing fundamentalist church, is he, for crying out loud?

syz's avatar

Ah, I think you’re greatly mistaken if you think that white politicians have never been exposed to offensive material in their own churches. Offensive to people of color, people of various ethnicities, people of various sexual orientation, people of various socio-economic status, people of various religion, and on and on and on.

ratboy's avatar

Do you remember Strom Thurmond?

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@iamthemob “Religious organizations tend to put forward a lot of opinions that it’s difficult to say are held by all the members in its community.”
Well that may be true but for 20 years Obama went to this church and put his money in the offering plate. If he didn’t agree with it then he would’ve found another place to worship. Why do you think it’s unfair to compare Obama to McCain? Why should I care about his genetics If he doesn’t? Once again he chose to go to a church that openly preached hatred toward half of his genetics (white people), so it’s obvious which half he has embraced and which half he was dismissed.

People may say that whites are in power but if McCain would’ve pulled that same stunt of going to a racial church for 20 years he wouldn’t have made the primary election. If whites truely were in power, Lisa McLelland wouldn’t have had to go to a different school, Don Imus would still have his job, we would be able to have a United Caucasian College Fund, WET (White Entertainment Television), A white Miss America Pageant, etc. Shall I go on? The point is everyone seems to think black people are so opressed, but they are the ones that are allowed to have their own special pageants, clubs and interest groups. But when white people try to do it, we are considered racist and hounded by the media and our communities.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@syz I’m not saying that whites have never been exposed to offensive materials in their own churches. Maybe the church McCain went to (If he went to church) was like a KKK meeting I don’t know. The point I’m trying to make is that if the media would’ve found out that his church was preaching racism he WOULD NOT HAVE made the primary election. And he damn sure wouldn’t be sitting in the Oval Office right now. But because Obama is half black (and he embraces that half) he got away with it!

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@ratboy The name’s familiar, but I don’t any specifics. Please give me a history lesson and include the year if possible or at least the decade.

liminal's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I am not sure I understand, so I want to check. Are you saying that it is racist for there to be organizations with a black constituency?

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@liminal Not at all. I’m saying it’s racist that if someone white tries to do the same we are deemed racist.

Example: If someone black had a bumper sticker on their car that said, “Proud to be black” most people would say good for them. But if I had a bumper sticker on my car that said, “Proud to be white” most people would consider me a racist.

marinelife's avatar

This question seems aimed at sowing dissension. The issue raised in it was covered at the time of the campaign—two years ago—And Obama distanced himself from the racist sayings of the minister.

I defy you to find any church member anywhere who is familiar with everything their minister has said.

Blackberry's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal None of us will be able to fully understand what it was like to live during a transition when one went from being treated sub-human to having to fight for their status as normal people. Of course those people are going to feel jaded and betrayed by society. I’m not surprised some would have initial reaction to continue to segregate themselves from the society that didn’t welcome them with open arms in the first place. Is it totally relevent now? Not really, but those people and their children are still alive and they haven’t forgotten.

Qingu's avatar

Well, Republicans get away with fundraising and paying tribute to Bob Jones, whose university didn’t admit blacks until the 70’s and didn’t allow interracial dating until earlier this decade. So… double standard?

I think the Rev. Wright is an insane man, but everyone has insane people in their lives, even close to them. Imagine running for office, @Self_Consuming_Cannibal. Do you really think we couldn’t dig up some crazy uncle or deacon close to you, who’s said some crazy things, and/or racist things, and then play “guilt by association” game with you?

Obama has made clear that he’s always had a complicated relationship with Rev. Wright, and has oscillated between slight embarrassment to downright criticism of the man. If you want to assert that President Obama is himself a racist, go right ahead… as long as you can actually support your claim. Because “knowing someone who is racist” doesn’t mean you are a racist.

Qingu's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal, out of curiosity, what church do you attend?

iamthemob's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal – I’m with @liminal on this one. If the only reason you’re arguing that the Trinity United Church of Christ is racist is because it’s aggressively pro-black (or that if the opposite were true then a white candidate would be considered racist so it’s hypocritical to not call out the church and Obama for this) then I would say that this represents only a simplified version of racism.

The problem is that historically oppressed communities attempting to assert themselves in newly-liberated societies have a shared sense of community that is understandably based on a certain amount of anger towards the group in power. The most positive way to express this is through a vocal and extreme recognition of pride in who you are, as this simultaneously sends the message that, contrary to historical understanding, it is not “better to be [white/straight/male]”. It’s also a cross-movement reaction to years of being silenced. It would be considered and is considered often racist/heterosexist/sexist of people to express the contrary in an extreme manner because of the power already inherent in their voice.

It seems like the campaign attempting to describe it as racist is more racist than that.

Qingu's avatar

Also, while I don’t really sympathize or like Rev. Wright, I think it’s pretty ridiculous to equivocate white pride and black pride, or racism against whites and racism against blacks. Neither is good, but they are not the same; one involves a vulnerable, historically impoverished and oppressed minority and the other involves a powerful majority.

Racism, historically, was fundamentally about power, and keeping white people in power over and above black people. If you can’t see how the vastly different levels of power wielded by black and white communities might affect the idea of racism, I don’t really know what to tell you.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@marinelife Yes Obama sure did distance himself from the minister, AFTER THE MEDIA FOUND OUT. He went there for 20 years and he never had a problem with it until he was running for office. Am I the only one that smells some BS going on here?

I don’t care about someone who knows everything their minister has said. Although I find Obama a failure at being President I do think he’s intelligent. With that being said, do you really think that everytime something racist was said in his church he didn’t hear it? That he only spaced out when white hatred was being preached?

And what you said, “This question seems aimed at sowing dissension.” Seems to help further my point. If someone black mentions how they were subjected to racism 50,100, 200 years ago, most of us listen with a sympathetic ear, but when a white person mentions something that happened two years ago he’s “sowing dissension.”

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Blackberry You make a good point, but I’m just so tired of having to walk on eggshells because of what my ancestors did. +lurve.

iamthemob's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal – The minority community apologizes for you having to deal with being careful about expressing certain things due to a backlash against white/heterosexual/male privilege in the U.S. We would like you to know that we do not hold you personally responsible for the historical oppression of our communities. We would also like you to consider, however, that walking on eggshells is a small price to pay considering that our communities must still deal with being denied work, being paid lower for it, being beaten, killed, raped by members of your community, and have been historically disenfanchized and enslaved by your ancestors. ;-)

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Qingu I do have racist people in my family but the point is I’m not running for office and you can’t help who your relatives are, but you can help what church you chose to go to. If Obama had that big of a problem with Rev. Wright he could’ve chose a different church. I can’t choose different relatives. And he (Obama) didn’t have a problem with Rev. Wright and what he was preaching until election time.

I did not say that I think Obama is racist, I say the he chose to go to a church for 20 years where racism was preached. I also agree that knowing someone racist doesn’t make you a racist, but I think making a choice to hang around a place for 20 years that racism is preached is a good indication that perhaps you may be though.

If I went to one KKK meeting, not 20 years of them, but just one, would you assume I might be a racist?

By the way I don’t go to church.

liminal's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I think a white person with such a bumper sticker would have a hard time escaping the label of racist. We can blame this on white supremacy groups, because of these groups it is almost impossible to hear “Proud to be White” without hearing an echo of “Coloreds Are Beneath Us.” Tragically, such white supremest thinking is active today and not decades old. When we see “Proud to be Black” we hear the echo of “We Shall Overcome”. Tragically, a message that still needs to be lived today.

Qingu's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal, Obama has said he didn’t attend church regularly. And if he did hear something racist, perhaps he thought it was more important to be involved in the church’s community than willingly ostracize himself from it.

And Obama has repeatedly said, even in his books (iirc) that he thought of that church community in terms of a family, complete with embarrassing relatives. Now, like you, I don’t go to church, so perhaps I don’t really understand the mechanics of such a thing. But I get a strong sense that Obama is not remotely religious, is not interested in the actual ideology being preached at a church, but rather is interested in the church as the de facto seat of the community that he became intricately involved in, a community he clearly cared a great deal about and wanted to stay involved in.

And it is ridiculous to compare Trinity Church to a KKK meeting. Seriously, just stop it.

iamthemob's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal – I would ask if you have links or examples of any information that shows that the church promotes an anti-white (and therefore racist) message as opposed to a pro-black message.

janbb's avatar

Is it just possible that Obama got something out of that church that wasn’t related to Wright’s “Black power” message? I read in Dreams of My Father that the church furthered his involvement in community service and commitment to Christianity. While I don’t condone extremism, as others have said, Wright was a product of his times and the racism against blacks that existed then and still exists today.

mammal's avatar

Fluther is the official President Obama fan club, so i think you’re wasting your time and precious intellectual energy with this line, but infinitely more unforgivingly…. you are wasting mine :)

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@iamthemob “The minority community apologizes for you having to deal with being careful about expressing certain things due to a backlash against white/heterosexual/male privilege in the U.S. We would like you to know that we do not hold you personally responsible for the historical oppression of our communities.”

Wow I really appreciate that. By the way, if any of your relatives have ever commited a crime, I would never want you to have to suffer for that. I’m also so happy that you won’t hold me respsonsible for what people did long before my parents were conceived of.

By the way, did you know that we bought slaves from black people in Africa? Did you know that in America there were also white and Indian slaves? Did you also know that not all white people owned slaves? Did you also know that while it was rare that some black people were also slave owners? Slavery wasn’t just about racism, it was about money too.

“We would also like you to consider, however, that walking on eggshells is a small price to pay considering that our communities must still deal with being denied work, being paid lower for it, being beaten, killed, raped by members of your community, and have been historically disenfanchized and enslaved by your ancestors. ;-)”

I don’t even know if my relatives were slave owners. So just because of my skin tone, I’m labled as someone who is “paying a small price” for what my ancestors may have done. You say you’re communties are being denied work? Have you ever heard of affirmative action. If people in your communities don’t have jobs all they need to do is apply and even if someone white is more qualified they will automatically get the job, because of their skin tone. I would say that’s racist.

I’m sorry that you seem to think that only white people are the ones killing, beating and raping members of your communities. Usually when I watch the news, it’s usually black on black violence. There are more blacks in jail than whites, because they are either commiting more crimes or they are not as good as getting away with it?

I don’t see Chris Rock losing his job for saying “cracker” so much that you’d think he was ordering chili, but yet Don Imus uttered the phrase, “nappy-headed ho’s” one time (he didn’t even drop the dread “N” bomb) and he lost his job.

When Freedom High School had Asian, Hispanic and African American Clubs nobody cared, but when Lisa McLelland tried starting a white club, she was harassed to such a degree, that she had to change schools.

Quite frankly in the message from you that I was quoting, I want you to know the only word I agreed with in that was “historically ” Because it’s history.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@mammal I am not wasting your time. If you feel that reading my messages is a waste of your time, then stop wasting your own.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Qingu Maybe it would be ridiculous to compare one KKK meeting to one Trinity church service, but perhaps 20 years worth of services might equal the amount of hate in one KKK meeting.

iamthemob's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal – I will note the emoticon placed after the “PSA” style message above. You seem to have taken it seriously, and your postings here have indicated that you are really upset by this, so I’m going to respond now that it’s part of the serious discussion.

By the way, did you know that we bought slaves from black people in Africa? Did you know that in America there were also white and Indian slaves? Did you also know that not all white people owned slaves? Did you also know that while it was rare that some black people were also slave owners? Slavery wasn’t just about racism, it was about money too.

Of course, considering that these questions are phrased rhetorically, I’ll assume that you think I know the above and was ignoring the information. The problem with the above is that it doesn’t really have anything to do with the topic at hand. The issue under discussion is whether extreme expressions of white pride should be less acceptable or are interpreted in a negative fashion that, in a sense, results in a reverse-racism. This has very little to do with white people being held responsible for slavery – it has much more to do with vocal pride being understandable on one side because of the extreme nature of their oppression. I don’t know, outside of the reparations debate, if anyone would reasonably or generally be considered racist for stating that they are not responsible for the actions of their ancestors.

So just because of my skin tone, I’m labled as someone who is “paying a small price” for what my ancestors may have done.

What price is it that you think you are paying?

You say you’re communties are being denied work? Have you ever heard of affirmative action. If people in your communities don’t have jobs all they need to do is apply and even if someone white is more qualified they will automatically get the job, because of their skin tone. I would say that’s racist.

Affirmative action is a poor solution to a real problem. There are some affirmative action programs that are run in a responsible manner, and benefit everyone overall. However, the above suggests that affirmative action has completely counteracted racist, sexist, or heterosexist hiring practices. That is 100% not true. Affirmative action is not universal at all – private employers can employ an entire workforce of straight white males if, for some reason, no minority candidates that were more qualified applied for any position there. This just isn’t very likely.

I’m sorry that you seem to think that only white people are the ones killing, beating and raping members of your communities. Usually when I watch the news, it’s usually black on black violence. There are more blacks in jail than whites, because they are either commiting more crimes or they are not as good as getting away with it?

Again, it was a quip – I wasn’t blaming straight white males for things that have been historically done by them. It was meant to illustrate, however, that the suffering inflicted and that continues to be inflicted on minorities is by those in power in some way much, much more often, and therefore that should be considered when one considers what their facing in terms of obstacles. Women are raped, gays are bashed, blacks are beaten much of the time because of who they are…and when it’s done due to that, it’s by men, or heterosexuals, or another racial group (most likely white) attempting to reassert its power.

A white man will never suffer a kind of prejudice as those in minority groups continue to suffer. They may suffer instances of it. But not the kind of institutional prejudice we’re discussing.

I don’t see Chris Rock losing his job for saying “cracker” so much that you’d think he was ordering chili, but yet Don Imus uttered the phrase, “nappy-headed ho’s” one time (he didn’t even drop the dread “N” bomb) and he lost his job.

Chris Rock isn’t an employee – he’s essentially a contract worker. The expression is also a response to racism, and often stated in the context of a stand up or other comedic performance. Imus’s situation was very different – he was an employee, and his statements could be attributed to a station/company in a negative way. Both statements are negative, but (1) context matters, and (2) Rock is the only one who suffers for his statements generally, but in Imus’s case a company would also suffer repercussions.

I would suggest you look into Louis K., who’s stand-up performance where he dropped the “n bomb” straight out actually got him a series. That dude is as white as they come.

When Freedom High School had Asian, Hispanic and African American Clubs nobody cared, but when Lisa McLelland tried starting a white club, she was harassed to such a degree, that she had to change schools.

That was unfortunate. But again, the white voice is the privileged voice. Minority clubs are often needed, particularly for younger kids, so that they can learn how to express themselves as a minority without fear of suffering for it.

I also doubt that any of the clubs mentioned forbid membership to white people. But this is an anecdotal example.

Qingu's avatar

20 years of most church services would equal the amount of hate at a KKK meeting. The Bible is a pretty hateful book.

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal, like many people, I don’t think you understand the concept of “white privilege.” (Note: I dislike this term.)

The concept doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty for what your ancestors did; as you point out, many whites have ancestors who were not slaveowners. The concept doesn’t even really have to do with guilt.

The concept means that, as a white person, you are inherently privileged in society, in much the same way a person born to rich parents is privileged. You don’t have to deal with a lot of shit that many non-white people have to deal with—again, just like rich kids don’t have to deal with a lot of shit that poor kids have to deal with.

There are exceptions all over the place. Racism is not homogenous in America. Not all blacks suffer from a poverty cycle, either. But nevertheless, whites have historically been a privileged class, and still are in many ways. Acknowledging this doesn’t mean you should feel “guilty,” you didn’t choose to be born into a privileged class—it simply means that you should be sensitive to the fact that you are privileged, you are not on equal cultural footing to minorities, and therefore you probably shouldn’t equivocate racism towards your class with racism towards the underclass.

Brian1946's avatar

Rand Paul “got away” with (he was elected to the US House) saying that private businesses should be able to discriminate against blacks, gays, etc. while AFAIK, Obama has never said that anyone should be able to discriminate against whites in similar situations.

Do you have a smoldering desire to join some white pride group(s) or use the “N” word without feeling guilty about it?

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@iamthemob “Of course, considering that these questions are phrased rhetorically, I’ll assume that you think I know the above and was ignoring the information. The problem with the above is that it doesn’t really have anything to do with the topic at hand.”

You’re damn right they don’t have anything to do with the topic at hand. My question was: “Do you think someone who was white have gotten away with this in this day and age?

If Obama was white and attended a church for twenty years where racism towards blacks was preached, mulitple times and he only had a problem with it AFTER the media found out do you think he would’ve even have made it to the primary election?

Well Obama did go to a church for twenty years where racism towards whites was preached more than once. But he never had a problem with it until he was running for office and the media found out.

I think if John McCain would have even shook hands with somebody who had a 3rd cousin who was in the KKK he would’ve been crucified in the media.”

You’re the one that started in on the damn history lesson, “Oh your ancestors did this to my ancestors…” Well boo-fucking-hoo. You’re goddamn right this upsets me. White people are told it’s wrong to treat people differently because of their color, but because of mine I do get treated differently.

I can’t get a job that someone less qualified than me has applied to based soley on my skin tone. I can’t say that I think that white people suffer racism, without being ridiculed. (If you don’t believe me look at this entire Q&A.) I couldn’t start a United Caucasian College fund, sport a bumper sticker saying, “Proud to be white”, suggest a white Miss America Pageant, etc without being called a Nazi or a klansman.

“So just because of my skin tone, I’m labled as someone who is “paying a small price” for what my ancestors may have done.

What price is it that you think you are paying?”

You’re the one who said that walking on eggshells was a small price to pay, for what my white (devil) ancestors have done to your (poor, oppressed) (yeah right) ancestors. So I’m walking on eggshells for what my ancestors might have done or I get ridiculed. I’m all about free speech, so I don’t care if I get ridiculed, but what bothers me, is that no one on here seems to see that. The second a white person steps off the eggshells were white supremacists or we’re treated accordingly. That’s bullshit!

The other price I’m paying is not being able to get a job that I’m more qualified for because I’m white and someone black has applied and there’s not enough minorities there. Whatever happened to hiring the best man for the job?

“Women are raped, gays are bashed, blacks are beaten much of the time because of who they are…and when it’s done due to that, it’s by men, or heterosexuals, or another racial group (most likely white) attempting to reassert its power.”

First of all everyone here seems to “know” that whites have all the power (which to me is BS) so why would we need to reassert it? Secondly if we’re the one’s doing most of the raping and beating then why is it that you hear about so much black on black violence?

Plus you’ve admitted that some blacks did play their role in slavery, so why is it just white people are blamed for it? I don’t see blacks walking on eggshells. If they didn’t sell out their own people, slavery wouldn’t have been such a common thing.

You’re right Chris Rock is a contract performer and Don Imus was an employee. But Don Imus’s contract specifically said he was suppossed to be, ”...contreversial and irreverant.” He was going to get suspended until Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson cried discrimination from the tallest mountains. And of course nowadays when that happens, America is all up in arms. When a white man does it he’s told to shut up, he’s stupid and/or he’s a racist.

Do you think Lisa McCllenand’s club wouldn’t allow other people of different nationalities to join? If that was the case she would’ve never been giving permission to do so.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Qingu I don’t feel guilty for what my ancestors did. I feel sad for the people that had to suffer when this was going on, but I had nothing to do with it.

How is it that I am privelaged when I can be passed over for a job for someone who may be less qualified, because I’m white? How is it that I am privelaged when if I ask a question like I did today I have an entire community against me? This happened two years ago. If a black person starts getting upset about slavery 100–200 years ago, no one is against him? How is it that I am privelaged that if I had a radio talk show and I uttered the phrase, “nappy-headed ho” I would lose my job, even though my contract states that I am suppossed to be controversial and irreverant?

While I agree that whites were once privelaged I disagree now. If any race is poor (as a whole) now, I think it’s their own damn fault. People need to get off their asses and do something. I don’t have affarmative action to help me get a job. I don’t have a United Caucasian College Fund to help me go to college. (I am reffering to the United Negro College Fund, this really does exist)

Have you ever watched football, basketball and boxing? Well what color are most of their participants? Yes there are some sports that whites seem to dominate (for lack of a better term) too. But I’m just saying, if blacks didn’t have the same opportunities (or more) then there’s no way that two of the most popular sports (football and basketball) would have so many black people in it. Some of those athletes make more money a year than the president.

While I strongly disagree with most everything you believe, I thought your last message was very intelligent, respectful (of my opinion) and nicely articulated. For that here’s some lurve.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Brian1946 No I have no desire to join a white supremacist group or use the “N” word. I think they are just as ignorant as people who can’t see that white people are being discriminated against are.

There’s a difference in being elected to the House and being the President. And did what Rand Paul say come out before or after he got elected. If it was before, how long ago did he say it before he got elected?

I do not have a strong desire to use the “N” word, but it’s funny how that’s how everyone here reffers to it as the “N” word (because if we dared type the word out our post would be removed quicker that a whore from church) but we can just type out the word “Cracker” without fear of our post being removed.

iamthemob's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal

You’re the one who said that walking on eggshells was a small price to pay, for what my white (devil) ancestors have done to your (poor, oppressed) (yeah right) ancestors. So I’m walking on eggshells for what my ancestors might have done or I get ridiculed. I’m all about free speech, so I don’t care if I get ridiculed, but what bothers me, is that no one on here seems to see that. The second a white person steps off the eggshells were white supremacists or we’re treated accordingly. That’s bullshit!

You’re talking in hypos here. If you feel like you’ve been unjustly treated because of something you’ve said, please let us know. However, that’s not something that is unique to the debate on racism.

The other price I’m paying is not being able to get a job that I’m more qualified for because I’m white and someone black has applied and there’s not enough minorities there. Whatever happened to hiring the best man for the job?

What happened to you that makes you think that? Also, if you are asserting that minorities are immediately privileged to a significant degree in the job market, I hope you have some numbers to back that up. This is just an assertion that you are paying the price without evidence that you are, without that.

First of all everyone here seems to “know” that whites have all the power (which to me is BS) so why would we need to reassert it? Secondly if we’re the one’s doing most of the raping and beating then why is it that you hear about so much black on black violence?

Having a greater privilege is different than having “all the power.” No one here has suggested that whites are “all powerful” – just privileged, and to a great degree (that last part is me). However, many perceive that they’ve “lost ground” because there are more minorities better off – and at times react violently to this. And again, as I stated, I was discussing violence because of race, sex, etc. This is separate from general violence. But part of the reason you hear about it is, partially, blacks have been deprivileged and therefore there are a much greater percentage of black men and women who are economically underperforming, have to live in unsafe areas, and resort to making money in illegal ways (which entails more violence).

Plus you’ve admitted that some blacks did play their role in slavery, so why is it just white people are blamed for it? I don’t see blacks walking on eggshells. If they didn’t sell out their own people, slavery wouldn’t have been such a common thing.

Who cares who was responsible for slavery in this case? Again, you’re the only one who seems to care about it in this thread.

You’re right Chris Rock is a contract performer and Don Imus was an employee. But Don Imus’s contract specifically said he was suppossed to be, ”...contreversial and irreverant.” He was going to get suspended until Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson cried discrimination from the tallest mountains. And of course nowadays when that happens, America is all up in arms. When a white man does it he’s told to shut up, he’s stupid and/or he’s a racist.

Please again see my Louis K. reference above. The reaction to the Don Imus thing may have been an overreaction to be sure. But that’s what you get for being in the spotlight – and if we really want to go back and forth with examples, we can. But I think you’re generalizing based on a few examples in an unfair manner.

Do you think Lisa McCllenand’s club wouldn’t allow other people of different nationalities to join? If that was the case she would’ve never been giving permission to do so.

Of course. But the problem is…what was the point of the group?

but we can just type out the word “Cracker” without fear of our post being removed.

I wrote the “n bomb” because I am not black, and so therefore don’t feel appropriate using it. I have no issue writing Cracker because I am white.

janbb's avatar

In the South, cracker is often used by whites as a term of pride and not derogatorily or as a racist term. Just sayin’

john65pennington's avatar

Good question: Obama attended a Muslim church for all those years. does anyone really believe that he is not a Muslim?

iamthemob's avatar

@john65pennington – So what if he’s a Muslim.

Plus, I attended a Christian Church the first fifteen years of my life. Does that mean I’m a Christian?

janbb's avatar

@john65pennington All what years? When he was 5 years old nad lived in Indonesia?

CMaz's avatar

Cracker is something I put my smoked fish dip on.

iamthemob's avatar

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, there are 1.3 million unemployed Black civilians and 112 million employed White civilians (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2000). Thus, even if every unemployed Black worker in the United States were to displace a White worker, only 1% of Whites would be affected. Furthermore, affirmative action pertains only to job-qualified applicants, so the actual percentage of affected Whites would be a fraction of 1%. The main sources of job loss among White workers have to do with factory relocations and labor contracting outside the United States, computerization and automation, and corporate downsizing (Ivins, 1995).

FutureMemory's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal Your threads crack me up.

lloydbird's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal I think that you have a good point about the bumper sticker. I think that we have reached a point in the global society where any shade of human should be able to express pride in their being their particular shade of human. And that all other shades should feel comfortable with any particular shade expressing pride in their being a particular type.

Here, in the UK, there is an annual awards ceremony called The MOBO’s which stands for ’Music of Black Origin’. Well, ok, but there are no specific celebrations for Music of White Origin (Classical perhaps, amongst others). We also have a BBC Radio station dedicated to ” Black and Urban Music”, namely BBC Radio 1Xtra. Again, ok fine, but where are the other equivalents?

Poor, disenfranchised “whites” have as much right to be dissatisfied as any other similarly disadvantaged group.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@iamthemob You’re the one who said that walking on eggshells was a small price to pay, for what my white (devil) ancestors have done to your (poor, oppressed) (yeah right) ancestors. So I’m walking on eggshells for what my ancestors might have done or I get ridiculed. I’m all about free speech, so I don’t care if I get ridiculed, but what bothers me, is that no one on here seems to see that. The second a white person steps off the eggshells were white supremacists or we’re treated accordingly. That’s bullshit!

“You’re talking in hypos here. If you feel like you’ve been unjustly treated because of something you’ve said, please let us know. However, that’s not something that is unique to the debate on racism.”

I’m not necessarily saying I’ve been I’ve been unjustly treated, I’m just saying that because I’m white, when I see or say something’s racist I’m not taken as serious. Like this question that has prompted this entire discussion for example. The entire fluther community seems to be against me, but if I was black and wanted to talk about slavery, everyone would’ve given me a “great question” and a pat on the back.

The other price I’m paying is not being able to get a job that I’m more qualified for because I’m white and someone black has applied and there’s not enough minorities there. Whatever happened to hiring the best man for the job?

“What happened to you that makes you think that? Also, if you are asserting that minorities are immediately privileged to a significant degree in the job market, I hope you have some numbers to back that up. This is just an assertion that you are paying the price without evidence that you are, without that.”

Minorites are immediately privelaged when it comes to jobs. Have you ever heard of affarmative action? I don’t have numbers but what I have is a term that says that you have to have so many minorities or you’re in violation of the law.

Plus you’ve admitted that some blacks did play their role in slavery, so why is it just white people are blamed for it? I don’t see blacks walking on eggshells. If they didn’t sell out their own people, slavery wouldn’t have been such a common thing.

“Who cares who was responsible for slavery in this case? Again, you’re the only one who seems to care about it in this thread.”

Well if I’m the only one who cares about slavery in this thread why is it that everyone else, you included, has brought up slavery and injustices of the past? I just simply asked if a white man running for President could get away with what Obama did. That could’ve just been simply answered yes or no. It’s funny how you was quick to bring up the horrible things whites have done to blacks but when I mentioned the role blacks played in it your response was, “Who cares who was responsible for slavery in this case? Again, you’re the only one who seems to care about it in this thread.”

That’s quite amusing. As far as Louis K. if he was a stand up comedian (a contract performer) then he was on the same playing field as Chris Rock. What about when Kramer from Seinfield said some racist things in his stand up performance and he had to appologize? Or what about Dog the Bounty Hunter who was having a private conversation with his son, and had to apologize for what he said?

You said that I’m being unfair in my examples, but for one thing my examples are current, I’m not throwing up in your face shit that happened in the days of slavery or things that happened until the 70’s I’m talking about things that have happened this decade. And am I being unfair because we’re having a debate and I’m not mentioning things that would help you prove your point. I know you must know of some examples that I haven’t mentioned of whites being treated differently but you sure as hell aren’t bringing them up? Does that mean you are being unfair?

Do you think Lisa McCllenand’s club wouldn’t allow other people of different nationalities to join? If that was the case she would’ve never been giving permission to do so.

“Of course. But the problem is…what was the point of the group?”

Maybe she wasn’t interested in any of the other after school clubs so she wanted to start another one. What’s the point of the African American Club? God knows that they talk about slavery in school. They typically leave out the stuff about blacks helping to enslave their own race. “Let’s just blame it all on white people.”

What’s the point in any of the after school clubs except getting people together that want to talk about a particular subject. But when it’s tailored specifically to whites people need a reason why?

So you’re white, then I guess your whole “I appologize on behalf of the minorities” was just sarcasm. I appreciate that. I’m trying to have a serious discussion and you’re being sarcastic.

Well no matter what numbers you show, if some black person was turned down for a job because he was black, which happens to whites (affarmative action) then all hell would break lose.

Oh great you just threw around some numbers, good job.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@FutureMemory Why do my threads crack you up?

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@lloydbird Well thank you. You actually seem to get me. I don’t care if blacks want to have their clubs, pageants, tv stations etc. I just think it’s wrong that when white people want to do the same it’s looked at like an act of evil.

Qingu's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal, have you ever actually been passed over for a job for a less-qualified black person, or is this just some scary abstraction? Because many black people are passed over for jobs because they are black, or—in the human-resources euphemism world—they have “poor communication skills.”

You asked how you’re privileged when Fluther criticizes your opinion… I don’t really see how one thing has to do with the other. Fluther is a fairly liberal place; you are expressing conservative opinions. The reaciton has nothing to do with your whiteness.

I also don’t think you understand the lingering effects of slavery. Slavery created a dehibilitating poverty cycle that still exists today. You said that “If any race is poor (as a whole) now, I think it’s their own damn fault.” This is just complete horseshit… races (unfortunately, but realistically) are often organized into homogenous communities, and these communities transmit wealth and education to the next generations. If you are born into a shitty community and a poor, uneducated family, the fact of the matter is that you simply do not have the same opportunities as a wealthy kid in a nice community.

Note that nothing I just said in the last paragraph has to do with racism. But racism was obviously a factor not only in creating the poverty cycle (slavery in America was race-based) but in maintaining the poverty cycle, as slavery was institutional for nearly a century after slavery and remains institutional in many places, despite the Civil Rights Act. Things have gotten a lot better recently; I would certainly agree that the poverty cycle is a much greater problem for blacks today than racism (Martin Luther King said this as well).

But it’s just ignorant to ignore the effects of the poverty-cycle, and it’s pretty foolish to ignore this context when discussing things like affirmative action or black organizations. I have mixed feelings about affirmative action, but I think it’s fairly revolting to see people born with privilege incessantly complain about an earnest attempt to even the odds.

Qingu's avatar

@john65pennington, please tell us more about this “Muslim church” that Obama attended.

This may be the most fact-challenged thing you’ve ever said on Fluther. And that’s saying a lot.

Protip: just because you’re frightened of someone (like Rev. Wright) doesn’t mean they’re a Muslim. Say it with me: “I am scared of all Muslims, but not all people who scare me are Muslims.”

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Qingu To my knowledge I haven’t been passed over for a job by a less qualified black person, but affarmative action exists so it could happen. How hard is that to understand?

And come on I didn’t say I was underprivelaged just because Fluther criticizes my opinion what I said was, (your intentional omitting of my entire reason makes me need to quote the whole paragraph) “How is it that I am privelaged when I can be passed over for a job for someone who may be less qualified, because I’m white? How is it that I am privelaged when if I ask a question like I did today I have an entire community against me? This happened two years ago. If a black person starts getting upset about slavery 100–200 years ago, no one is against him. How is it that I am privelaged that if I had a radio talk show and I uttered the phrase, “nappy-headed ho” I would lose my job, even though my contract states that I am suppossed to be controversial and irreverant?”

If you’re going to try and paraphrase me, you could at least not use the weakest reason that I listed.

I don’t think it is horeshit that now if you are poor it’s your fault and you need to get off your ass. Madonna came from nothing. Obama is president, Kurt Cobain was homeless for awhile. You ever watched football or basketball? These are some of the people who came from poverty and got off their asses!

I agree being born rich certainly would have it’s advantages, (even though I’m white believe it or not I wasn’t born rich! I know that must shock you.) you can’t just sit around and whine and wait for shit to be handed to you. Especially not with affarmative action and the United Negro College Fund in existance.

Slavery WAS NOT just race based. It was also based on money. There were even black slave owners in America. There were white and Native American slaves too. Blacks were the primary choice though because white people couldn’t handle the heat and physical stress as well and Native Americans knew the land too well and kept escaping. Plus black people just stood out more.

iamthemob's avatar

Like this question that has prompted this entire discussion for example. The entire fluther community seems to be against me, but if I was black and wanted to talk about slavery, everyone would’ve given me a “great question” and a pat on the back.

I only see about 12 or so people responding on this thread…that’s the entire community? That’s not even close. When I responded, I had no idea what race you are. This is the internet – so I can’t really see you. So…I think that the above sounds more like a persecution complex than actual support.

Minorites are immediately privelaged when it comes to jobs. Have you ever heard of affarmative action? I don’t have numbers but what I have is a term that says that you have to have so many minorities or you’re in violation of the law.

Absolutely untrue. You have to do some research on affirmative action, and I would also look at this and this. Most important to point out – affirmative action has been carved out as a response to remedy the effect of 14th amendment violations so that it is not, although it factors in race, considered a racist practice. There is nothing that mandate anything – it’s simply that having an affirmative action policy will not, in and of itself, be considered a constitutional violation by an employer or the government.

Well if I’m the only one who cares about slavery in this thread why is it that everyone else, you included, has brought up slavery and injustices of the past? I just simply asked if a white man running for President could get away with what Obama did. That could’ve just been simply answered yes or no. It’s funny how you was quick to bring up the horrible things whites have done to blacks but when I mentioned the role blacks played in it your response was, “Who cares who was responsible for slavery in this case? Again, you’re the only one who seems to care about it in this thread.”

Here’s why it was referenced: (1) your details called for a comparison between a (black) man in one situation and a white in the other (2) you stated that the church was racist (3) going online, it seems only that the church is very pro-black (4) so we look at how with whites such pro-white statements might be considered racist, (5) and part of that is the fact that blacks were enslaved (note: PART) for centuries in the U.S. by whites (we can only look at the relationship between blacks and whites in the U.S. for the relevance here), and therefore must be vocal as part of what we’ll call the recovery process – no one in the U.S. has been systematically taught to be ashamed of being white.

Therefore, the purpose of mentioning slavery is to show why it’s not racist on the side of blacks, not to any statement about whether whites can suffer racism, and not to blame whites for anything.

As far as Louis K. if he was a stand up comedian (a contract performer) then he was on the same playing field as Chris Rock. What about when Kramer from Seinfield said some racist things in his stand up performance and he had to appologize? Or what about Dog the Bounty Hunter who was having a private conversation with his son, and had to apologize for what he said?

I don’t think you’ve seen Michael Richard’s tirade if you’re bringing him up. He was pissed at a guy who was heckling him – and he said that 50 years ago the heckler would have been lynched and screamed “He’s a nigger!” repeatedly to the audience while pointing at the guy. Yes, that calls for an apology – it wasn’t a joke that went wrong. As for Dog’s, it’s hilarious because he was demanding his son break up with his black girlfriend because Dog didn’t want her around because he wanted to say “nigger” and not worry about her! That’s insane – here’s a clip:

I don’t care if she’s a Mexican, a whore or whatever. It’s not because she’s black, it’s because we use the word nigger sometimes here. I’m not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I’ve worked for for 30 years because some fucking nigger heard us say ni**er and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I’m not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa [Dog’s daughter] was dating a ni**er, we would all say ‘fuck you!’ And you know that. If Lyssa brought a black guy home ya da da… it’s not that they’re black, it’s none of that. It’s that we use the word nigger. We don’t mean you fucking scum ni**er without a soul. We don’t mean that shit. But America would think we mean that.

Again, context matters. But the main problem is – there IS NO WORD THAT IS THE EQUIVALENT. White people haven’t walked down the street and been called a word that reminds them of the fact that they were legally less of a person, maybe currently are, etc. There is no such word.

You said that I’m being unfair in my examples, but for one thing my examples are current, I’m not throwing up in your face shit that happened in the days of slavery or things that happened until the 70’s I’m talking about things that have happened this decade. And am I being unfair because we’re having a debate and I’m not mentioning things that would help you prove your point. I know you must know of some examples that I haven’t mentioned of whites being treated differently but you sure as hell aren’t bringing them up? Does that mean you are being unfair?

I said you were being unfair in overgeneralizing through your examples.

What’s the point in any of the after school clubs except getting people together that want to talk about a particular subject. But when it’s tailored specifically to whites people need a reason why?

But you’re using the example without stating the purpose of the group and the discussions. We don’t know that they weren’t racist. That’s all I’m saying.

So you’re white, then I guess your whole “I appologize on behalf of the minorities” was just sarcasm. I appreciate that. I’m trying to have a serious discussion and you’re being sarcastic.

(1) no one can speak on behalf of an entire minority community. (2) I am gay, so no.

Well no matter what numbers you show, if some black person was turned down for a job because he was black, which happens to whites (affarmative action) then all hell would break lose.

Please read above re: affirmative action. Also, affirmative action programs that are not specifically tailored and create results where whites are likely to be unfairly denied work or admission are struck down as unconstitutional as well. Blacks are often denied jobs just because they’re black…and so are whites. That’s what the EEOC is for. So…all hell hasn’t broken loose, but it’s already happened.

Qingu's avatar

@Self_Consuming_Cannibal, a fundamental problem with several of your lines of arguments here is that they are anecdotal, not statistical.

You dismiss the entire concept of poverty cycles… on the basis of two lucky individuals, Madonna and Obama. You claimed they “got off their asses,” which is really one of the most obnoxious conservative myths, the idea that all poor folks need to do is just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Were you born poor? Are your parents educated? I don’t deny that it’s possible to work hard and get yourself out of poverty, but your attitude here is exactly the problem: you don’t seem to have any idea how incredibly hard it is, and how much of it is simply more luck than work (as in the case of two of your examples).

You dismiss the overwhelming history of race-based slavery in America… on the basis of a tiny fraction of non white slaveowners.

This is important. Because every rule, every trend, has exceptions. Pointing out those exceptions doesn’t mean the rules or trends don’t exist. Nor does it mean that policies meant to combat and balance those trends—like Affirmative action—shouldn’t exist.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@Qingu & @iamthemob I really don’t have the time, energy and desire to go on with this. It has been a fun and challenging debate though and I do appreciate the time, but with no disrespect intended, it’s getting a bit boring.

@Qingu FYI Yes I was born poor and I still am and I’m white as well. Is it my fault? Yes because I haven’t gotten up and done something with my life.

@iamthemob You don’t know if I’m white? Well just try looking at my avatar.

GOOD DAY TO YOU BOTH

iamthemob's avatar

@Qingu – we killed him!

Jaxk's avatar

Very interesting discussion. I would like to point out a few errors that seem to be woven throughout. Rev. Wright was not just pro black he was racist with statements like “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.” It would seem a bit over the top.

As for Rand Paul, he is a libertarian. Libertarians believe in the rights of individuals. His comment was based on an individual business owner having the right to hire or serve anyone of his choosing. There are precedents for this such as Hooters only hiring women. Men would hurt their business. There are many others but that is still the point. If a business owner feels a specific individual would not be in the best interest of their business, it should be their responsibility (right) to make that decision. It was an individual rights issue not a race issue as has been purported. You may disagree with the point but twisting it to fit your purpose doesn’t work.

As for generational poverty, we have created that in our pursuit of equality. We thought that providing housing and subsistence for the poor would help to lift them out of poverty. It didn’t. What it did was to teach them how to live on government assistance and they taught their children to do so as well. Many ethnic groups came here as poor and underprivileged. Poles, Chinese, Italians, etc. they faced similar problems but there was no government assistance in those days. They had to learn to survive. Now we create entire communities, generally in the inner cities, designed to live off government assistance. We tell them they are underprivileged and can’t compete. We tell them so often that they believe it. Some don’t get the message (or don’t believe it) and get out. Many do not. If we want to break this cycle, we’ve got to stop this incessant banter about being underprivileged. We are not fixing the problem but rather prolonging it.

And we’ve got to get rid of this ‘Protected class’ ideology. If you want to rob someone, make sure they are not black or Hispanic because that could mean life in prison. Or heaven forbid they turn out to be gay and you didn’t notice, you’ll be crushed. For some reason we believe that a crime against a protected class is worse than the same crime against a person. If you beat and maim me, that’s assault and battery. But if I’m black or gay, that’s assault and battery AND a hate crime. You would do yourself a favor by picking on the old white guy. Much less jail time. I don’t know about anyone else but the crimes seem the same regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

It may be time to start treating everyone the same. It may be time to get past this idea, that if you are black you can’t compete. I thought that was what the first black president was supposed to show. If you want it, you can get it. It may be more difficult if you’re poor but not unattainable, you just have to work a bit harder.

One last question. Since the black community is substantially against gay marriage and we know blacks can’t be racist (at least according to this thread), can blacks be bigots?

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, there is nothing racist in the statement you quoted. It is an insane and (in my opinion) unbalanced and dangerous statement, but it’s not racist.

Your interpretation of the root cause of blacks’ poverty cycle is really illustrative of the depths to which your ideology creates your delusions. Note that blacks were in a poverty cycle long before government programs and the great society. Poles, Chinese, and other immigrants are not remotely analogous to the situation of black Americans.

You are another shining example of a privileged person ignorant of his own privilege. Have you also pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps and gotten successful, despite a poor, uneducated family and community? Maybe then you can lecture blacks and other victims of poverty cycles about how easy it is, and how they’d be so much better off without government entitlements.

And yes, of course blacks can be bigots.

iamthemob's avatar

@Jaxk

Thank you for that bit about the Rev. – I was asking about whether there was any direct racism for a while. I wouldn’t count that as a directly racist comment – but the implication is pretty clear. Also – crazy.

As for generational poverty, we have created that in our pursuit of equality. We thought that providing housing and subsistence for the poor would help to lift them out of poverty.

Here’s where we part ways – you step in to nominally clarify the issue, but you’re attributing the continuation of generational poverty to one cause or impetus? Surely there are problems with the welfare system, and it contributes significantly to the problem…however, to claim this as the only cause seems a bit naive.

Many ethnic groups came here as poor and underprivileged. Poles, Chinese, Italians, etc. they faced similar problems but there was no government assistance in those days.

A lot of them also died. And a lot of them were denied employment due to their ethnic background.

And we’ve got to get rid of this ‘Protected class’ ideology. If you want to rob someone, make sure they are not black or Hispanic because that could mean life in prison. Or heaven forbid they turn out to be gay and you didn’t notice, you’ll be crushed.

You’ve grossly oversimplified the issue. The “all crimes are hate crimes” ideology is misguided. Hate crime legislation should be tailored to deal only with crime that occurs because of or mainly due to the race, sexuality, etc. of the victim. This is an additional intent element, which is used generally as a means to differentiate crimes, and also goes to the additional harm caused on peripheral victims of the crime. If the identity of the victim is not a factor, then this is not a hate crime.

It may be time to start treating everyone the same.

Considering that I got called faggot on the street the other day – I’d wager probably not.

Since the black community is substantially against gay marriage and we know blacks can’t be racist (at least according to this thread), can blacks be bigots?

Yes. Recognize that the racism issue is about power, not about prejudice. Anyone can be a bigot about anyone else, since prejudice is more related to fear and ignorance alone.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, your claim that blacks’ poverty cycle is the result of government entitltements doesn’t even make sense in the post-1960’s world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States#Over_time_-by_Race.26_Sex

And I missed the business about hate crimes. Do you know that many hate crimes are punished for offenses against whites?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

First of all I cited two reasons for the poverty cycle. Government assistance and perpetual bombardment of an underprivileged class. When Clinton reformed welfare and many lost their entitlements the poverty level actually went down. I’m sure you have some great reasons for this but it strikes me as significant. You seem to think I’m saying that if they would just get off their lazy butts and go to work the problem would be solved. It is much more complex than that. Both points play a major role in keeping the cycle going. And frankly it is not the Blacks that are at fault for this situation but rather the do-gooders such as yourself that continue to drag out these programs that obviously don’t work.

I can agree with your comment that I am ignorant of my own privilege. Since you have no idea who I am or what I’ve done. I’d find that amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic. The problems aren’t the same today as they were 40 years ago. I grew up in the fifties and the attitudes were quite different then than they are now. The issues I mentioned didn’t cause the problem they are merely a roadblock to solving the problem.

As for your personal income link, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. If it is that Asians are the real privileged class, you may have a point.

As for you link to hate crimes, It doesn’t mention anything about charges filed or convictions. It only seems to be crimes reported as such by victims. Prosecutions are not pursued for hate crimes against non protected classes. You’ll need another link if you want to make the statement “many hate crimes are punished for offenses against whites?” Specifically one that talks to convictions.

Jaxk's avatar

@iamthemob

Frankly I’m not sure where you got the idea that welfare was the only cause. I actually talked to two issues as I said above. Even that doesn’t mean they are the only reason but I believe they are significant contributors.

We have come a long ways from the fifties (let alone before that). We’ve put a lot of legislation in place that was needed to break down the roadblocks that existed. My point here is that most of those roadblocks have been eliminated or greatly reduced. Some of the programs we put into place to bridge the gap from where we were to where we are now, are actually becoming roadblocks themselves.

“A lot of them also died. And a lot of them were denied employment due to their ethnic background.”

Absolutely. My point is that there was no help. they either made a go of it or they died. If there had been government housing and welfare for Poles, we may have generations of them living on welfare as well. Probably not the Asians or the Jews, they seem to prosper regardless of the obstacles thrown in their way. But that’s another discussion. The difference here is that Blacks had bigger obstacles to overcome. It took a lot longer to get to where we are than it did for the other ethnic groups. But I believe we are there. It doesn’t mean that there is no racism left but that it is at a low enough level that it won’t block anyone from succeeding.

As for hate crimes, it doesn’t matter what the intention of the legislation might be. If a prosecutor can charge you with a hate crime in addition to any other crime his chances of putting you in jail go up. Since that is his primary motivation you get charged whether he can prove it or not. Even a plea deal improves, when he can stack more charges. Especially charges with long prison sentences.

As far as being called names, that happens to everybody. A little side note. When I was a kid and I did something to make my mother angry (which happened a lot), she would call me a little bastard. I still find it amusing that she would pick that particular word. Anyway the point is that when someone is angry they pick the most offensive term they can think of to use. Whether or not it is even pertains to the person, place, or issue. No matter how enlightened we become, people will still call each other names. If you want to wait for that to stop, we’ll be waiting forever.

Interesting take on the racism, bigot issue. You seem to contradict yourself however when you say that racism is about power and then say it is about fear and ignorance. Frankly I find the ignorance argument tedious.

iamthemob's avatar

@Jaxk

The way it was stated sounded like you were including the message that those receiving government assistance couldn’t compete as part of the fault of the system, not separate and apart from it. So the root cause still remained the welfare or government assistance systems. If there is something else let me know.

We’re in agreement that reform is necessary – but you seem to think that the system is the root cause of continued poverty. Personally, if I were going to cite a root cause, it would be education. The problem is there is absolutely no evidence to back up the statement (or at least none provided) that “It doesn’t mean that there is no racism left but that it is at a low enough level that it won’t block anyone from succeeding.” I think that’s a big gamble.

As for hate crimes, it doesn’t matter what the intention of the legislation might be. If a prosecutor can charge you with a hate crime in addition to any other crime his chances of putting you in jail go up. Since that is his primary motivation you get charged whether he can prove it or not. Even a plea deal improves, when he can stack more charges. Especially charges with long prison sentences.

The primary motivation of a prosecutor is to enforce the laws of the state. I agree that there is a weird incentive to charge and convict, but that’s a different argument. A prosecutor that charges regardless of evidence will be sanctioned eventually. There will generally need to be evidence that there is a hate crime for a prosecutor to seriously move forward. If you have evidence to the contrary, please let me know.

As far as being called names, that happens to everybody.

There is a profound difference between the situation I described and the above statement. You use yourself as a counter, but in a situation where you made your mom angry. What I described was someone in a car passing by. I clearly had done nothing. It was just the fact that I was there. It also reinforces the shame that’s still held onto by people in de-privileged minority classes. The point though, is that as long as there are serious prejudices, hate crime legislation has a use.

Interesting take on the racism, bigot issue. You seem to contradict yourself however when you say that racism is about power and then say it is about fear and ignorance. Frankly I find the ignorance argument tedious.

It’s a semantic issue, in many ways. Here’s the difference: the majority of the people in positions of power in the U.S. ... the vast majority… are white, male, and straight. This has been the case historically – and it used to be that it was universally true (well, barring the in the closet gang). The institutions they have controlled have been used to maintain and reinforce the position of power. It used to be overt. Then more covert. Now it may be mostly unconscious. And even if it’s not the case now, the potential for one class of people to use economic and political power against another – and effectively if done right – means that they can institutionally oppress the other. I’m not arguing conspiracy here – this is just a fact.

Therefore, racism or the privileging of one class above the other because of race requires that there be a capability to do so. Being a bigot or prejudiced means, essentially, that you think a certain person is going to be a certain way because they are of a particular class, race, gender, etc….and hold that as a fact about “those people.” Racism is the use of institutions to reinforce, therefore, the belief that racial genetic factors make one superior over another. A racist is one that believes in the message or the use of the institutions. Minorities viewed as racially inferior, therefore, won’t be able to effectively use it against those considered racially superior.

Use whatever word you want, but note that I didn’t contradict myself as I specifically stated that prejudice was about ignorance/fear, and racism more about being in a power position (or a weak one). Again, anyone can be biggoted or prejudiced…racism is technically something more specific.

AmWiser's avatar

Whew! Was this the debate of the day.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

lol – that’s all I got, for you.

Jaxk's avatar

@iamthemob

No the underprivileged message comes from a lot of sources, not just the government or the ‘System’. It comes from people like the Rev. Wright when he says they want exterminate you or Jesse Jackson. It also comes from the parents and friends that tell you from birth that the system is designed to keep you down. If you tell anyone from birth that they can’t succeed, there’s a good chance they will start to believe it. And when bad things happen it is all too easy to blame the racial prejudice for it. You didn’t get that job, racial. you were turned down for a loan, racial.

The truth is bad things happen to everyone and when they do we all look for someone to blame. Kind of human nature to do that. If the world has been telling you that the reason for all your woes is because of your race, that becomes the easy answer. It’s not you, it’s the system. Sometimes it may actually be, but that is happening less and less.

When I was younger, I had an encounter with the police. I was beaten bloody (Rodney King style) and locked in jail. The desk clerk even told them, they had been called for the other guy (he left while they were beating me). I hadn’t done anything but if I’d been black, it would have been a clear case of racism. I wasn’t, so I had to blame the macho cops as assholes. To be honest (and that took me a while), it was my smart mouth that got me in that predicament.

“Therefore, racism or the privileging of one class above the other because of race requires that there be a capability to do so.”

OK I’ll give you that but there are lots of ways for this to happen. Remember all the country clubs that didn’t allow blacks. Racists, right? This takes us back to the original question. If you can’t join my club and I’m white, I’m a racist. Not allowing you into the club is the only power I have. But if your black, say something like the Black Caucus, it’s perfectly fine. Even though the power you wield is the same, you can’t join my club. Why is that not racist?

And a prosecutor being sanctioned is a very rare occurrence. Read “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham. You’ll get a better idea what prosecutors really do. Truth is they are incentivized to pile on charges and get convictions even if they don’t believe in the guilt. Their careers are gauged on how many convictions and number of prosecutions. A pretty sad performance measure.

iamthemob's avatar

@Jaxk – As I said, use any word you want. I am more particular with racism because racism extends to functions and systems and not just people (institutional racism). The difference with clubs and groups that have solely minority membership is that they deal with the particular issues that minorities face in society – and provides a safe place for them to do so (generalization, but we’re describing the difference). Country clubs denied membership not because whites needed a space to do this…but because blacks were inferior. This is denial of membership solely because of racist views about minorities, whereas something like the black caucus is about the experience of being black in Congress – so there’s a very good reason whites aren’t in it. One side is about denying something to another group, the other is about helping outgroups transition into certain formerly closed groups.

You’re right that prosecutorial misconduct is rampant, and that sanctions are rare. As an attorney who formerly worked for the innocence project, I’ve seen the harm of the drive for conviction. But you addressed it in terms of why there shouldn’t be hate crime legislation. That information isn’t applicable to the validity of hate crime legislation, as it is equally applicable to all criminal charges.

The overall point is this…what are all the white people complaining about here? What is it that you feel that you’re being denied?

JeffHP's avatar

WOW! Is Rev. Wright and the Obama church thing STILL being discussed? Don’t you read or do any independent research? Jeremiah Wright was railroaded by ALL of the media. The media took his 17 min sermon and edited it down to a seven-second sound bite. If you look at the entire sermon, he didn’t say anything bad or untrue. He was actually quoting a white ambassador in much of that speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOdlnzkeoyQ He is actually a great man who raises a lot of money for his community to help fight AIDS.

Jaxk's avatar

@iamthemob – Let me address the hate crimes first. I’ve searched for any records that would indicate convictions for hate crimes against white victims. I can’t find anything on prosecutions let alone convictions. I can find lots of crimes that fit the scenario but most have the ‘Hate Crime’ charge dropped. Which leads me back to the Prosecutorial misconduct point. The only thing worse for a prosecutors career than a poor conviction rate is a history of unpopular convictions.

“The overall point is this…what are all the white people complaining about here? What is it that you feel that you’re being denied?”

Equal justice under the law. As soon as you say protected class, by definition, it is not equal justice. And if the numbers are what they seem to be why in the hell would a hate crime based on race be any different than a hate crime based on any other criteria. When the Bloods fought the Crips, were those hate crimes. They certainly hated each other. Is it a hate crime when rival gangs attack each other senselessly? Is it a hate crime when rival schools attack each other? How about rival sports fans?

If the accusation numbers are any indication of hate crimes, whites are victims more often than blacks. And Jews top the list. But Asians against blacks, blacks against Asians, hispanics against whites or blacks and vice versa. Hell crimes are crime, There is no reason for the protected class anymore (if there ever was). I’m not asking to be labeled a protected class as well, I don’t want that. I want equal justice under the law. That’s all.

Now the country club scenario. You’re speculation on the reasons doesn’t hold true for me. I had a friend, we called him the 6 million dollar man (that was before he made most of his money). He applied for membership at Cypress Point Country Club (very exclusive). He was denied without a hearing. Didn’t even get out of the gate. It certainly wasn’t because he couldn’t afford it, nor was it racial. He made his money in construction and they didn’t want that sort in their club. I was invited to play Butler National. It used to be the home of the Western Open but since they had no blacks the tour moved the tournament to other courses. The guy that invited me told a story that one time he had his wife drop him off at the clubhouse to pay golf. She didn’t even get out of the car. The club asked him to have his wife drop him at the front gate. Women were not allowed on the grounds. The point is these clubs create an environment they like. They can afford to be very intolerant of any disruption to that environment. It may be racial, it may be sexist or it may just be elitist. The same is true of any other selective organization. A white guy in the Black Caucus may have just as valid input as anyone else but they would be disruptive to the environment the Caucus has tried to create. I don’t see a difference.

iamthemob's avatar

@Jaxk

Hate crime legislation is meant to address those crimes committed based on the victims race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. White is a race, and as shown in the 2008 FBI hate crime statistics tables, anti-white hate crimes are recognized. However, the overwhelming amount of reported crimes are anti-black – for every white victim, there are four black ones. Census data places the white population at 74% of the population approximately, whereas the black population is about 12%. Therefore, you have about 6 times as many white Americans as black ones. So, although they are six times the population, they represent one quarter of the victims. This is part of the reason why you don’t hear about the prosecutions or convictions – black men and women are about 24 times as likely to be the victim of a hate crime.

The law protects race against violence, not blacks. It protects sex against discrimination, not women.

When the Bloods fought the Crips, were those hate crimes. They certainly hated each other. Is it a hate crime when rival gangs attack each other senselessly? Is it a hate crime when rival schools attack each other? How about rival sports fans?

Gang violence is handled by its own particular group of laws. It’s not clear whether all violence associated with the crips and bloods conflict can be traced to hate – much of it was about business territories. Schools – no. Sports teams – no. But the educated and athletic enthusiasts have never, as far as I know, been historically victimized.

If you’re stuck on the term “hate crime” we’ll use “bias crime.” Crimes with mixed motives (such as “I want that white dude’s money”) are not, by definition, hate crimes because race came into play somehow.

As to your club example…absolutely the club can keep it’s membership the way it wants to. However, if the reasons are due to biases based on race, for example, they are racist. The black caucus is a subgroup and the bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership – although it’s true that no non-black member has ever joined. But I don’t understand how this is comparable – you also have to be a congressman.

It’s true that members of the black caucus may be racist, but the fact that there is one is not racist, as again, there are understandable reasons why minorities or people with a similar background gather together to provide a more comfortable environment. The country club is doing it for the same reason – but it’s not because they need support, it’s because they can.

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