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Old 01-18-2007, 08:05 AM   #61
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Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Angela, Angela, Angels, we don't all listen to NPR and drive Subarus. Only about half of the people who post in this forum do so.
I don't do either and I don't see the need for or relevance to that comment either I guess it's supposed to be sarcastic or a putdown or something. I think we should ALL endeavor to get past stereotypes here in fym.

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Old 01-18-2007, 08:30 AM   #62
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

No. Some people of all races discriminate against each other.
That is true also.

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Old 01-18-2007, 08:50 AM   #63
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This issue was discussed on Paula Zahn last night

ZAHN: ... Roland Martin, executive editor of "The Chicago Defender" newspaper and host of "The Roland S. Martin Show" on radio, Kamal Nawash, the founder and president of the Free Muslims Coalition.

Republican political strategist Amy Holmes, who was a speechwriter for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Virginia Delegate Donald McEachin thought his resolution would promote racial harmony, not provoke racial division -- the proposal, that, this year, the 400th anniversary of historic Jamestown, an early slave port, Virginia should apologize for its role in slavery.

DONALD MCEACHIN, VIRGINIA STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: I can't think of a better time for Virginia to apologize for and to atone for the sins of slavery than now, during this 400th anniversary.

KOCH: But one colleague in the Virginia General Assembly didn't like the idea, Delegate Frank Hargrove telling a local newspaper that, when it comes to slavery -- quote -- "Our black citizens should get over it." He added that no one alive today had anything to do with slavery, commenting, "Are we going to force Jews to apologize for killing Christ?

Dwight Jones heads the legislative black caucus.

DWIGHT JONES, PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS: To suggest that we need to just get over slavery is an absolute affront, as though slavery was a birthday party that somebody had last Saturday night. It raped our mothers and fathers. It killed our sons and daughters.

KOCH: David Englin sits next to Hargrove on the assembly floor.

DAVID ENGLIN, VIRGINIA STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: I want my colleagues to understand, Mr. Speaker, what it means when people of -- of the respect and stature of a member of this body perpetuate the notion that Jews killed Christ.

KOCH: Hargrove won't apologize.

FRANK HARGROVE, VIRGINIA STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: I think your skin was a little too thin.

KOCH: He did defend his comments to CNN.

HARGROVE: I think slavery was horrible. There wasn't no -- no justification at all for slavery. But I didn't have any part in it.

KOCH: States and countries have long been reluctant to apologize for slavery. They fear it would open them up to reparations, lawsuits, like those already brought against major corporations alleged to have profited from the slave trade.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in December, expressed -- quote -- "deep sorrow" over his country's role in slavery. President Bill Clinton did the same in Africa in 1998.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: European Americans received the fruits of the slave trade. And we were wrong in that.


KOCH (on camera): But neither the U.S. Congress, nor any state has ever officially apologized for slavery.

(voice-over): Even if the Virginia measure passes, supporters worry it would only be a symbolic victory.

JONES: The bill could pass, and attitudes won't change. And, to me -- to me, it's more important that attitudes change.

KOCH: Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.


ZAHN: Let's go back to tonight's "Out in the Open" panel, Roland Martin, Kamal Nawash, Amy Holmes.

So, Kamal, when a comment like that comes out, that blacks should get over slavery, what message is this man sending to all blacks?

NAWASH: I -- I think his views -- first of all, I don't think this guy is a racist. I don't think Delegate Hargrove is a racist.

I think what he's saying is what millions of Americans think. He's basically saying:, slavery was bad. Slavery was bad, and it's in the past. And we need to move forward. If you think what happened is bad...

ZAHN: Yes, he said let's not recycle it over and over again.

NAWASH: He said let's move forward. If you think there's inequality now, let's improve it. Let's talk about the future. I mean, why should someone like me have to apologize or you? Why would someone like you have to apologize?

In American culture and most cultures, it's all about individual responsibility. And why should the son of a criminal have to suffer for the crimes of his parent? It's not fair. If you think it's unfair, why don't you say, hey, why don't we have equality in the future. Why should we talk about the past?

HOLMES: No one is asking you personally to apologize. Virginia state is apologizing for its history of slavery and then from there moving forward. We know that if we don't remember our history we're doomed to repeat it. And this man's flip, thoughtless remarks, why can't blacks just get over it as if there has not been any consequences of slavery, lingering discrimination...

ZAHN: I don't think he's saying that there are no consequences of slavery. Is he?

NAWASH: I don't think he's saying that. You shouldn't put words in his mouth.

ZAHN: He did say it was a bad thing.


NAWASH: We shouldn't put words in his mouth.

MARTIN: But here's the piece that you were missing. An individual doesn't necessarily have to apologize. It was an institution. Slavery was approved by local council.

HOLMES: Exactly, a state-sponsored institution.

MARTIN: One second. By the state, by the federal government, governors, the Supreme Court. The point...

NAWASH: We corrected that. That was what Brown versus Board of Education. That was what Plessy versus Ferguson was all about.

HOLMES: OK, so help me to understand it. Why did we apologize for the Japanese.


MARTIN: Why did we apologize for Japanese internment camps.

NAWASH: I thought that was wrong. We shouldn't have apologized for that.

MARTIN: Why have be apologized -- no, but see, there's a reason. It's also why internationally when you have certain incidents, countries apologize for those incidents. You do it because it is right, it is proper.


NAWASH: Would you feel better if...


MARTIN: It's called ownership. It's called admitting it.


ZAHN: But do individuals like Kalamie (ph) bear ownership of this? You're saying it purely should come from institutions and we bear no responsibility. MARTIN: No, it's a matter of institutions. When the United States Senate, when apologized for their failure to say anything and do anything about lynching, it does matter. You are establishing that you actually acknowledge what took place.

HOLMES: Acknowledging a wrong.

NAWASH: But isn't that what the Civil Rights Act all about -- when we passed the Civil Rights Act and say hey, there's no more separation, there's no more segregation?


NAWASH: But by point is now, in the eyes of the government you're completely equal.

MARTIN: No, I'm not.

NAWASH: And if you're not, then you should ask for equality. You should be asking for equality, not looking at the past.

MARTIN: No, and that's what happens when you don't have a full understanding of how it impacts people today. It does matter to apologize.

NAWASH: Maybe I don't. Maybe I don't.

ZAHN: Let me talk about this moral equivalence people are bringing out. In the same interview, Delegate Hargrove equated apologized to blacks for slavery to apologizing to Jews for killing Christ.

HOLMES: Well, clearly he doesn't know his Biblical history. That's a whole 'nother, you now, can of worms that I don't think we need to get into. I think he needs to apologize for having made that remark about Jews killing Christ. It's just completely unimaginable that he would say that. Nothing further to add.

ZAHN: He was just said he spoke his mind, we called...


HOLMES: He doesn't have his history correct. But I think the point that you're trying make and he maybe was trying to make and fumbling is it's the idea of individuals bearing white guilt of historic wrongs. I think those are things that we can...

ZAHN: Right, your family didn't have slaves.


NAWASH: No. We may be white but we didn't -- and I'm an immigrant.

MARTIN: But I want to say...


HOLMES: Hold on just a second, Roland. The point we're talking about, as I said, as I said earlier, is about institutions acknowledging this. We have newspapers from the Northeast -- they have published apologies...

NAWASH: Would it make a difference?

HOLMES: ... for having published advertisements for the slave trade. Now there's no slave trade today, but those newspapers have felt that it is appropriate that they acknowledge and take responsibility for their history and their part.

ZAHN: Hang on one second -- should there ever be a statute of limitations on these apologies that you're talking about? Are you talking for hundreds of more years that you still think institutions should be?


ZAHN: You get the final word, Roland.

MARTIN: The point is, there is no statue of limitations when you have never acknowledged the wrong It's no different in the personal relationship when someone hurts someone else. What do they always say in a marriage? If you never acknowledge how you hurt the other person, then it continues. Acknowledging the wrong, it means something and we should never dismiss it.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:08 AM   #64
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I'm going to hazard a guess that Anna meant her post as a general observation on a trend that's been surfacing repeatedly lately, not just with regard to this one thread and not necessarily aimed at anyone and everyone who replied to Justin at some point(s) in it. My guess is anyone who fits the pattern she described is well aware of it (and has done it repeatedly, if not here, then elsewhere) and if that doesn't sound like you, well it likely isn't, so no need to trouble yourself over it.

Sometimes the best way "to keep things in perspective and in line" is simply to drop your sparring with a particular person. I am not saying that as a rule ignore statements you find objectionable, nor treat anyone with kid gloves. However, if you got into it with someone to begin with because of jaw-dropping non-sequiturs or brick-wall blindness to your point, and after four or five exchanges you're still at that same stage, then drawing the whole thing out to 15 posts or whatever never really achieves anything except mutually "cooperating" in ruining the chances of a thoughtful discussion for everyone else. Plus, the longer you go at it the more likely both of you are to get nasty, and for what? Honestly, how many times has a satisfying "victory" and an acknowledgement of your perspective come out of that? And you can't blame this all on one person when it happens either, that's misguided at best and a cop-out at worst; it takes two or more people to make that happen, and "He doesn't make any sense" or "Her views disgust me" is no excuse. Step away from it after that third or fourth post and let it go, or if you want to continue discussing with someone else then firmly but civilly indicate that you're done discussing the matter with whoever's getting under your skin, or if something truly unacceptably nasty and vulgar has been said then report the post, PM me or whatever. But there's no sense in repeatedly driving into a wall over it, and you can't say you don't realize it when that's happening; that just isn't credible.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:55 PM   #65
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Originally posted by yolland
I'm going to hazard a guess that Anna meant her post as a general observation on a trend that's been surfacing repeatedly lately, not just with regard to this one thread and not necessarily aimed at anyone and everyone who replied to Justin at some point(s) in it. My guess is anyone who fits the pattern she described is well aware of it (and has done it repeatedly, if not here, then elsewhere) and if that doesn't sound like you, well it likely isn't, so no need to trouble yourself over it.

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Old 01-19-2007, 12:59 AM   #66
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To me this whole issue is rather nuanced really and a lot of it has to do with issues that are very hard to put into words.

I don't know that an apology for slavery is NECESSARY. One might argue that the 13th Amendment etc was an implicit acknowledgement of wrong done. However, the Virginia senator's response was also unnecessary. Here we're talking about a largely symbolic gesture and he wants to make an issue of it? I mean why? Why would anyone so vigorously oppose such a measure? I don't buy the whole "he's not a racist argument." He IS a racist and his comments about Jews and Blacks make that crystal clear. He would have felt right at home at a Klan rally with the things he said.

The rather crude and insensitive statement (now doubt masquerading as the "courageous truth-telling" that seems to be so popular these days) that blacks need to "get over slavery" was highly inappropriate coming from a white person.

It's like this. Imagine that someone has been murdered. Now imagine that the daughter of the murderer says to the daughter of the victim. "You need to get over it. I don't need to apologize for this. I didn't kill you're father." Now each of those sentences but may be TECHNICALLY true, but given who is speaking they are highly offensive and hurtful. Now if the daughter's brother said the same thing i.e. "I know it hurts to lose dad. But we've got to move on with our lives etc. We can't let what happened in the past ruin the future" well that's a different thing all together. This would be analogous to the commetns about what Bill Cosby might say. Cosby might say something like that. He's been a very vocal critic of a lot what's happening in black culture in America today. Not all blacks appreciate his point of view. Others do. But I think most of us recognize, that being black himself gives him the freedom to address these issues in ways that white simply cannot and should not. It's kind of like how you can complain about your own family but just let someone else start bagging on your mom and see what happens.

Put simply, white people do not have the right to tell blacks when and how to deal the with legacy of slavery and discrimination.

And let's talk about reperations for a minute. This is what really gets people's ire up. Now, I don't think reperations should be paid. . .not because they aren't deserved. They are. The Japanese Americans certainly earned them, and frankly so have African Americans. But I'm opposed to reperations because I don't think they will do any good in healing the psychic, economic, and emotional pain caused by slavery in America, and in fact I think they may do some harm. We're far enough away from slavery that we can't argue that we're making any real and meaningful restitution that those who felt the harm up front. BUT we're NOT far enough away that slavery no longer "matters." In the stream of history, 142 years or so is not that long. And when you consider that segregation only ended within the last fifty years, one can hardly argue that the effects of these crimes have "passed." Talk to me in 500 years and we'll see where things stand then.

Finally, in terms of the comment that "racism happens everywhere." This true. As someone who has spent years living outside the U.S. proper I've seen that truth for myself. But I've also noted that most racism doesn't have the uniquely ugly, historical character of racism in America. Most racism in prejudice is built on perhaps ignorance, fear of the unknown Other, fear of those who are "different" or who are seen as a threat. Racism in America, like slavery in America is a whole other beast, rooted in a deliberate to dehumanize an entire race of people for the profit of another. American black-white racism is among the ugliest and most intractable on this planet, because it's root are not in the present where they can be easily ripped out, but deep in history, deep in our national psyche.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:46 AM   #67
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Outstanding post, Sean. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Originally posted by maycocksean
Put simply, white people do not have the right to tell blacks when and how to deal the with legacy of slavery and discrimination.
This is the part that so many (white) people do not seem to understand. They'll claim no racism on their part, and then proced to have all the answers because hey! they've either "experienced" discrimination once or twice, or they've read something somewhere that they think gives them insight enough to criticize and advise. I see this at work with my alledgedly well-meaning colleagues. It drives me crazy, but no amount of comment on my part, or anybody's part, really, will make them think, much less think anything through.
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:09 AM   #68
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Yes, that was an excellent post. That is the bottom line, absolutely-white people do not have, and never will have, that right. But you can't get some people to realize that, no matter how hard you try. But you still have to try, it's important enough. Once we stop trying, aren't we part of the problem?
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:40 AM   #69
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Thank you Sean.

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