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Old 07-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #976
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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.
Ehh, racism based strictly on skin color is pretty common. With the exception of white people ( ), seems every one wants to be lighter. In many Asian cultures the extremes people will go to get coveted white skin is remarkable. In my limited experience it seems that the interracial mixing in Latin America has gone on for so long that more or less that lightness or darkness of skin is the only thing left sometimes to differentiate. But as I'm say I'm not very knowledgable about that part of the world so perhaps someone else can speak more accurately on that.

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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 no legally exist today?

And, since there is no longer "a systemic, institutionalized subjugation" of blacks - what can a nation do other than remove it?
I don't think there is much you can do from a legislative perspective. You know there's things like affirmative action and such, but that's far from a panacea and many believe it exacerbates rather than solves the problem.

As I said, we're at the point now where we're in the arena of racism that can't be meaningfully legislated away. We've dismantled the structure of institutionalized racism but the ideas and beliefs that once gave legitimacy to that system are still in the process of being eradicated. The worst part is that many of those ideas and beliefs are almost subconscious, particularly though not exclusively for whites.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #977
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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?
No. It's not that simple.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #978
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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.
.

This gets at a fear that I have found some African Americans have, which further complicates the journey towards equality. It's the fear that biracial children will lose their identify as blacks, the fear that they will want to escape their black heritage and assimilate, if you will. It's like they've become like the white racists of old who used the "one drop rule." One drop of black blood makes you black and dont' you forget it. Again this is all rooted in history when blacks who were light enough to "pass" often did so and automatically became part of the system of discrimination. There's the fear that before long "everyone" will want to claim biracial or multiracial instead of black and our entire culture could evaporate. It's a really complicated mess in a lot of ways, because African American culture has been essentially been created and defined by this painful history. Subconsciously I wonder if sometimes we fear that moving past that history might necessarily mean the disappearance of ourselves as a unique culture. It's heavy stuff.

I found that some of the ugliest responses to my marriage to my wife, who is white came from fellow blacks. (Though again this is still a minority and more and more I find more of people of both races accepting of us as time has passed).
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:49 AM   #979
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Subconsciously I wonder if sometimes we fear that moving past that history might necessarily mean the disappearance of ourselves as a unique culture. It's heavy stuff.
That's quite a trap. And it's very sad. Thank you for sharing this - it's very helpful.

Thankfully, in the Kingdom of God, there is no racial distinction (at least not in a meaningful way). I can't wait until it is fully realized...

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- since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. - Colossians 3:8-11
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:25 PM   #980
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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.


no one has claimed and ignored that there is no anti-white racism.

what are you talking about?
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #981
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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?


i don't think you're being a racist. but i do think you're not grappling with *why* this case hits such a nerve and is so resonant for so many people, especially black Americans.

i wouldn't have convicted GZ of Murder 2 either. and i blame the guns and the asshole vigilante mentality more than race.

but race is a part of this.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #982
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i don't think you're being a racist. but i do think you're not grappling with *why* this case hits such a nerve and is so resonant for so many people, especially black Americans.
Thank you for not thinking of me that way. I agree - I still grapple with the *why* this case hits such a nerve with the black community. Even after Sean's post (which he packed more insight into a few sentences than I've heard on just about every show or read in any article) - I don't see how the acquittal of Zimmerman equals racial injustice.

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i wouldn't have convicted GZ of Murder 2 either. and i blame the guns and the asshole vigilante mentality more than race.
I am very much in agreement with you on this - and I am hopeful the laws will change as a result of this case.

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but race is a part of this.
I still do not understand why it has to be. In this particular case - it seems the main discussion should be around the future legality of armed citizens roaming the neighborhood. By making race a part of this - it appears I am taking the "side" of white-hispanics simply because I don't think Zimmerman is guilty of breaking the law as it is written today.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #983
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I still do not understand why it has to be. In this particular case - it seems the main discussion should be around the future legality of armed citizens roaming the neighborhood. By making race a part of this - it appears I am taking the "side" of white-hispanics simply because I don't think Zimmerman is guilty of breaking the law as it is written today.
Because many of us believe that had Martin not been black, had not been wearing things like a hoodie that make him appear "gangsta", and had looked like he "belonged" in that gated community, then Zimmerman would never have followed him in the first place.

Certainly people entered and exited the community immediately preceding Martin's arrival, so why make a 911 call and start following him in this particular instance?
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #984
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Because many of us believe that had Martin not been black, had not been wearing things like a hoodie that make him appear "gangsta", and had looked like he "belonged" in that gated community, then Zimmerman would never have followed him in the first place.

Certainly people entered and exited the community immediately preceding Martin's arrival, so why make a 911 call and start following him in this particular instance?

I think it is a valid point, and there's more than likely some truth to it. But this wouldn't make Zimmerman guilty of murder - it would him guilty of being unreasonably suspicious (which is not illegal).

There is no proof that Zimmerman broke any laws, which is why I thought the jury reached to verdict it did. However, by making race the central issue of this incident - it seems to place those who think Zimmerman is "not guilty" into a camp of souls that are entirely unconcerned with racial equality when, in fact, it has nothing to do with the legal arguments of the case.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #985
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There is no proof that Zimmerman broke any laws, which is why I thought the jury reached to verdict it did. However, by making race the central issue of this incident - it seems to place those who think Zimmerman is "not guilty" into a camp of souls that are entirely unconcerned with racial equality when, in fact, it has nothing to do with the legal arguments of the case.
I agree that race should not have been a factor in the legal proceedings, but race does influence the legal system in a variety of ways, especially in terms of jury behavior. I think this article summarizes the racial bias of some elements of the justice system succinctly:

The Trayvon Martin case: Race and juries | The Economist

The most pertinent section:

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Are juries racially biased? Of course they are. Economists Shamena Anwar of Carnegie Mellon, Patrick Bayer of Duke, and Randi Hjalmarsson of Queen Mary University studied Florida jury verdicts from 2000-2010; they found that "(i) juries formed from all-white jury pools convict black defendants significantly (16 percentage points) more often than white defendants and (ii) this gap in conviction rates is entirely eliminated when the jury pool includes at least one black member." However, the non-jury "professional" elements of the American justice system may be even more racially biased. Last year John Roman of the Urban Institute crunched the data on "justifiable homicide" determinations broken down by race and by whether or not the state was a stand-your-ground state. These are determinations made by police or prosecutors as to whether a homicide was justifiable, before the case ever reaches a jury trial. He found that white-on-black killings were more than twice as likely to be found "justified" as white-on-white killings, and more than three times as likely in stand-your-ground states. And of course it was the trained law enforcement professionals in the police force, not any jury, that initially decided George Zimmerman should not even be arrested for the killing.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:51 PM   #986
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Originally Posted by BoMac

Because many of us believe that had Martin not been black, had not been wearing things like a hoodie that make him appear "gangsta", and had looked like he "belonged" in that gated community, then Zimmerman would never have followed him in the first place.

Certainly people entered and exited the community immediately preceding Martin's arrival, so why make a 911 call and start following him in this particular instance?
Lots of assumptions being made here though. Only 50% of the community was white to begin with. Being black didn't stand out
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #987
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There is no proof that Zimmerman broke any laws, which is why I thought the jury reached to verdict it did. However, by making race the central issue of this incident - it seems to place those who think Zimmerman is "not guilty" into a camp of souls that are entirely unconcerned with racial equality when, in fact, it has nothing to do with the legal arguments of the case.
I think we need to separate the purely legal arguments from the emotional/life experience arguments.

Yes, from a legal point of view, the correct verdict was reached. This was not a miscarriage of justice, it wasn't a tainted jury (though strangely composed wrt sex and race but that's just an observation), there is no suggestion of prosecutorial misconduct or anything of the sort.

But this case also brought up the way young black men are often looked at with suspicion, from the way they dress to the way they walk, talk, appear, etc. So yes, race matters in that respect. When you say race doesn't or shouldn't matter but then go on to discuss whether TM was dressed like a "gangsta" (what is a "gangsta" exactly) it sounds bit like cognitive dissonance.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:08 PM   #988
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That's quite a trap. And it's very sad. Thank you for sharing this - it's very helpful.
.
It's more than a trap. It's a legitimate question, the answer to which I don't know.

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Thank you for not thinking of me that way. I agree - I still grapple with the *why* this case hits such a nerve with the black community. Even after Sean's post (which he packed more insight into a few sentences than I've heard on just about every show or read in any article) - I don't see how the acquittal of Zimmerman equals racial injustice.
It's more than this (though this is part of it):

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Because many of us believe that had Martin not been black, had not been wearing things like a hoodie that make him appear "gangsta", and had looked like he "belonged" in that gated community, then Zimmerman would never have followed him in the first place.

Certainly people entered and exited the community immediately preceding Martin's arrival, so why make a 911 call and start following him in this particular instance?
For me I would question this verdict regardless of the race of those involved. I just feel that when someone shoots an unarmed person even if they felt it was warranted at the time, there should be consequence. To me this verdict suggests a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach that is dangerous. I understand the argument that Martin attacked Zimmerman and might have harmed even more if he hadn't fired, but that scenario seems far from certain. There's a lot we can't say for sure about what happened. This part of my response has nothing to do with race. I actually don't "blame" Zimmerman for shooting--I might have done the same; but I still think he should be held accountable.

The part that does have to do with race is the sense that I (and many other blacks) have that if Zimmerman had been black he would not have been found not guilty. In all the "oh yeah look at this story, black man commits heinous violence against white person" that have been circulating on Facebook this past week none have as the capper that the black guy was acquitted. If there is such a story out there besides the OJ Exception I have yet to hear it. What we in the black community hear in this acquittal is that the justice system has spoken and said that a white man can kill black man and suffer no consequences. Obviously that has a long historical precedent so it doesn't come from a vacuum. You can understand the difficulty in persuading that historical precedent no longer applies when you have a situation that looks awfully like exactly that historical precedent.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #989
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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.
But it seems like extremist blacks are more easily given a platform. Louis Farrakhan used to attract a lot of media attention, but a neoNazi leader didn't. When I was in college, the student newspaper used to print Op-eds and letters to the editor by this woman who made it clear she wanted to see whites suffer just like black people, and by her choice of words, she was not kidding. Yet, no one said anything about that. I don't know if it was white guilt or intimidation that allowed such comments to be published like that, but it was scary to read such venom.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:20 PM   #990
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I actually don't "blame" Zimmerman for shooting--I might have done the same; but I still think he should be held accountable.
In which way? How can we hold someone accountable if they are not guilty of committing a crime as they are written today? Yes, we can (and should) use this case to rewrite some of these laws around self-defense and being armed in a public place, but that was not the job of this jury. Their only job was to come up with a verdict based on current, not hypothetical, law.

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The part that does have to do with race is the sense that I (and many other blacks) have that if Zimmerman had been black he would not have been found not guilty. In all the "oh yeah look at this story, black man commits heinous violence against white person" that have been circulating on Facebook this past week none have as the capper that the black guy was acquitted. If there is such a story out there besides the OJ Exception I have yet to hear it. What we in the black community hear in this acquittal is that the justice system has spoken and said that a white man can kill black man and suffer no consequences. Obviously that has a long historical precedent so it doesn't come from a vacuum. You can understand the difficulty in persuading that historical precedent no longer applies when you have a situation that looks awfully like exactly that historical precedent.
Many great points here, Sean. Is it possible the media initially made the mistake of setting this trial up as such an example? A jury can't acquit/convict anyone based on emotion and/or historical baggage - they must come to a verdict based on evidence and knowledge of the law.
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