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Thread: Racism

  1. #1
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Default Racism

    I couldn't decide whether to put this here or in Philosophy whatnot but it seemed slightly more appropriate here. Anyway, it matters little.

    I was raised in a pretty racist atmosphere. Racial epithets were used freely. Attitudes were staunchly negative towards black people. Conversations got really uncomfortable after my and my brother's bikes were stolen from the bike rack in front of the pool we belonged to, which was racially segregated. This was in the 80s by the way, not the 50s or 60s.

    It never felt right to me but I didn't say much about it until I was a teen. Then I started getting mad and refusing to speak to my family if they used racist language. It became a family joke. They all had a good laugh about what an impetuous young idealist I was, and how when I got out into the real world I would understand why they felt the way they did.

    Fast forward to now. I think I've been in the real world as a grownup for a few years (though maybe I'm not completely there yet) but it still bothers me when people reveal their racist attitudes. But sometimes it feels like the stakes are too high for me to speak up. It occurs to me that staying silent is nearly as bad as having the attitudes myself.

    Lately I've been reading books and blogs (such as stuff white people do) about race and privilege, and about being an anti-racism ally. It has been pretty eye-opening. I know that although my intentions are good, the environment in which I was raised and just being super-white myself have blinded me to some of the more subtle kinds of racism that still exist. When I talk about race and the conversation partners are not all white, I get nervous about saying the wrong thing. It becomes all about me, rather than all about listening to their experiences and shifting the focus off of myself. (Hell, I even start threads about racism that are mostly about myself on forums, how self-centered is that?)

    Not sure what my goal in starting this thread is. I guess I'd like to open a dialogue (civil) about race. My frame of reference is the US (and mostly in the South) but I'm interested in how things are in the rest of the world as well. And I guess partly I started the thread to come out as not having fully excised my own racism, as a mechanism to keep striving for that.

    All thoughts welcome, as long as they're civil.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    First, I love macon d and his blog. I read it regularly.
    I could also recommend some other really good blogs and websites that touch on the issue, if you want.

    And second, I wanted to say that I'm glad that you're honest and open in your OP. I think that's really the most important part about this whole thing because honestly it's tricky on both ends having an open discussion on race.

    I certainly hope this thread takes off.

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Thank you! I would love to have some links to other blogs. I also read field negro, Love Isn't Enough, Media Assassin, Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture, and Resist racism.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I grew up in a generation, where you're taught that we're all equals blah blah blah, but the problem is the method's they use, at least for me causes white guilt. and I mean great, but there's still so much emphasis on that person's black, that person's white ect, and I do realize it's retarded to say you don't notice color, but at the same time do we need so much emphasis? maybe it's because I'm not a minority that I don't understand racial pride.then again I don't understand gender pride. I just don't see how you can have pride over something you have no control over.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

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    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Is this thread specifically about white attitudes towards blacks?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    No.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Fast forward to now. I think I've been in the real world as a grownup for a few years (though maybe I'm not completely there yet) but it still bothers me when people reveal their racist attitudes. But sometimes it feels like the stakes are too high for me to speak up.
    I can actually relate to that a lot. One of the biggest reliefs for me in finally having friends of "color" in high school, even if they were "white" from say, Latin America, was being able to discuss race and racism openly, without hostility, and without a focus on personal blame. There was a different tone to the discussions, and even if we couldn't relate to each other's experiences, we didn't have to try and convince each other that they were actually real. There was an intuitive awareness of racism as a system, and that awareness and acknowledgement allowed us to discuss racism with an interesting blend of detachment and personal investment. I still find myself occasionally tiptoeing around the feelings of many of the "white" people I know, don't know, and even love, when it comes to race.

    I love macon d as well!
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    I can actually relate to that a lot. One of the biggest reliefs for me in finally having friends of "color" in high school, even if they were "white" from say, Latin America, was being able to discuss race and racism openly, without hostility, and without a focus on personal blame. There was a different tone to the discussions, and even if we couldn't relate to each other's experiences, we didn't have to try and convince each other that they were actually real. There was an intuitive awareness of racism as a system, and that awareness and acknowledgement allowed us to discuss racism with an interesting blend of detachment and personal investment. I still find myself occasionally tiptoeing around the feelings of many of the "white" people I know, don't know, and even love, when it comes to race.

    I love macon d as well!
    funny I do the same thing with non-white. like everyone is taught to tiptoe around the other because of junk put in our heads as kids. which causes anxiety, and it's like I don't know what to do. And my favorite is the attitude of: you're white you can't possibly know what it's like to be an outsider. And It's like I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was a kid put into special ed and I'm schizoaffective, so you're right I have no idea what it's like to be looked down on.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    funny I do the same thing with non-white. like everyone is taught to tiptoe around the other because of junk put in our heads as kids. which causes anxiety, and it's like I don't know what to do. And my favorite is the attitude of: you're white you can't possibly know what it's like to be an outsider. And It's like I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was a kid put into special ed and I'm schizoaffective, so you're right I have no idea what it's like to be weird or different.
    I know what you mean. I feel like all of us inherited a broken system and we're all struggling with it. Some of us mostly struggle in abstract, less tangible ways, which is part of privilege I suppose.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    @Ivy: Racialicious is my favorite.

    There is also Social Science Lite, a blog created by two Harvard graduates who majored in social science, and Alas, a blog.

    Angry Black Woman is a good one, too. I personally like their definition of racism - although many disagree.

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