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Old 07-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #961
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Not all racism is the same. For instance, the racism an Asian would experience would be different from what you are describing above.

To claim and ignore there is not racism against whites occasionally is just plain wrong and unless it is addressed alongside all other racist comments/thoughts then the "honest discussion" on race will remain one-sided and create more division and less unity.
But on the other hand, to offer up racism against whites as if it is anywhere close to the extent of racism against minorities doesn't help an honest discussion either.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #962
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Racism against whites (in America anyway) has not:
- been legislated
- been constitutionally enshrined
- resulted in segregation, poorer employment opportunities, reduced access to educational opportunities
- been linked to poverty and structural socioeconomic disadvantages

And on and on and on. It's not the same thing at all.

Which is not to say that individuals of other races are not capable of being racist towards caucasians. But that racism has not resulted in systemic disadvantage.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #963
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...if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?
Here is the statute - based on the evidence of the case, how could TM use this as a defense? There is zero evidence he was attacked - only followed. Being followed does not qualify for "stand your ground"...

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(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:42 AM   #964
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But on the other hand, to offer up racism against whites as if it is anywhere close to the extent of racism against minorities doesn't help an honest discussion either.
True.

But it would be helpful to identify all racist language/attitudes and call them out/correct them when possible.

Racism does not need to be equally severe to be relevant.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:44 AM   #965
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But that racism has not resulted in systemic disadvantage.
And ever since the Civil War - the US has been moving in the right direction in regards to racial equality.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #966
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But on the other hand, to offer up racism against whites as if it is anywhere close to the extent of racism against minorities doesn't help an honest discussion either.
True. Whites do not have a history of slavery, segregation, lynching, discrimination and so on, just like black people do. The racism from blacks towards whites is anger and frustration rather than a need to feel superior.

But even so, I don't think slurs against whites or hate-filled rants from the Black Panthers and people like Louis Farrakhan should be shrugged off. It really doesn't help with the race discussion and the healing that needs to be done. Those comments just add to the problem and make things more tense.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:48 AM   #967
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And ever since the Civil War - the US has been moving in the right direction in regards to racial equality.
Er, segregation and the Jim Crow laws were not the right direction. I'm actually amazed that you said that.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #968
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This is from a blog post I'm working on right now:

Racism is universal. But American racism is uniquely ugly beast. I won't say that there's no other racism similar to our brand. I imagine that there might be similar type in South Africa. I remember reading Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and finding his description of the relationship between the majority Pashtuns and minority Hazara eerily similar to white/black relationships in the U.S. What makes American racism particularly ugly is that it is rooted in the systemic, instutionalized subjugation of one group by another based on skin color. Many of our worst stereotypes, ugly assumptions, and basest fears about each other have historical roots in systems that are long gone but whose ideologies live on hiding out in the darkest corners of our hearts. They spring out unbidden when racial discord makes the news or we find ourselves at gas station in a rural southern town or on a nightime street corner in a certain part of town. Having lived internationally I can tell you that your "regular racism" is usually based simply on the fact that the person is a foreign "Other", an immigrant or a minority in a dominant culture. This racism stems from ethnocentricism, ignorance, and a lack of understanding of a foreign culture. The man who looks down on the immigrants or minorities in one country may just as soon find himself on the receiving end when he visits the country next door. Not so in America.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #969
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The racism from blacks towards whites is anger and frustration rather than a need to feel superior.
Thank you for acknowledging that. Nothing justifies or excuses any kind of racism but recognizing the differing roots of that racism is nonetheless important.

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But even so, I don't think slurs against whites or hate-filled rants from the Black Panthers and people like Louis Farrakhan should be shrugged off. It really doesn't help with the race discussion and the healing that needs to be done. Those comments just add to the problem and make things more tense.
I agree. But it's important to recognize that these are fringe types, extremist. It'd be like me saying "even so I don't think slurs against blacks and hate filled rants from the KKK and people like the NeoNazis should be shrugged off. It doesn't help with the race discussion etc etc" Of course I wouldn't say that because we all understand that these groups are extremists and that the vast majority of white people share no common ground with these types. The same is true of black people and so, I think we can just agree to exclude these people and their ideas from our discussions.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #970
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Er, segregation and the Jim Crow laws were not the right direction. I'm actually amazed that you said that.
Pearl, I can see how my post comes across that way - what I meant by right direction was more like a work in progress from slavery to full equality.

I'm not claiming that we achieved full-equality in 1865 or even 1965, but we surely have made progress.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #971
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And ever since the Civil War - the US has been moving in the right direction in regards to racial equality.
Broadly, yes. Though between 1877 and the start of the civil rights movement--almost a hundred years--there was a massive pause if you will.

The difficulty in race relations today is that there is nothing left to legislate. On paper, we are all equal. But of course we don't live on paper. Changing the human heart can't be done with passage of a bill. That takes time. In all honesty it may simply mean waiting for older generations to die off coupled with a concerted effort to make sure our kids come up with with different ideas about race.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #972
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This is from a blog post I'm working on right now:

Racism is universal. But American racism is uniquely ugly beast. I won't say that there's no other racism similar to our brand. I imagine that there might be similar type in South Africa. I remember reading Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and finding his description of the relationship between the majority Pashtuns and minority Hazara eerily similar to white/black relationships in the U.S. What makes American racism particularly ugly is that it is rooted in the systemic, instutionalized subjugation of one group by another based on skin color. Many of our worst stereotypes, ugly assumptions, and basest fears about each other have historical roots in systems that are long gone but whose ideologies live on hiding out in the darkest corners of our hearts. They spring out unbidden when racial discord makes the news or we find ourselves at gas station in a rural southern town or on a nightime street corner in a certain part of town. Having lived internationally I can tell you that your "regular racism" is usually based simply on the fact that the person is a foreign "Other", an immigrant or a minority in a dominant culture. This racism stems from ethnocentricism, ignorance, and a lack of understanding of a foreign culture. The man who looks down on the immigrants or minorities in one country may just as soon find himself on the receiving end when he visits the country next door. Not so in America.
That's very interesting. Though I would think the racism toward native descendants in Latin America (by the lighter skinned Spanish/Portuguese descendants) may be similar to what you describe.

If what you say is true - is there any solution possible since there is no way to go back in time a undo southern slavery, Jim Crow, segregation.... all things which do not legally exist today?

And, since there is no longer "a systemic, institutionalized subjugation" of blacks - what can a nation do other than remove it?

EDIT: I see you answered this in the above post.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #973
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In all honesty it may simply mean waiting for older generations to die off coupled with a concerted effort to make sure our kids come up with with different ideas about race.
This is how I feel about equality for gay people, as well.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #974
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In all honesty it may simply mean waiting for older generations to die off coupled with a concerted effort to make sure our kids come up with with different ideas about race.
I think this will be a big thing. Among our closer circle of friends, 3 of the last 5 babies born were biracial. This definitely wasn't true in our parents' time, nor really at the time when most of us on this board were born. Once today's kids are in school and are surrounded by children from all sorts of backgrounds, progress will continue on.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #975
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I am curious about the racial element in this thread - are people seriously suggesting that I - a white person that agrees with the jury in the Zimmerman trial - is somehow a racist against blacks because I think there is not enough evidence to convict Zimmerman? How is that connection made? If so - would that mean I am somehow a racial-cheerleader for Hispanics?
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