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  1. #121
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Eileen, I don't find that unreasonable, but I also don't think that simple visibility of minorities in positions of power does anything to end racism at the micro level, and possibly nothing at the macro level. Certainly, no racist white man will change his mind about a woman or a black man just because they get elected to office.
    I believe (precisely because of whatever's comments) that visibility DOES have effects at the macro level, and I believe also that eventually it affects the way the average person thinks about race/gender/sexuailty. Just because it doesn't change a specific racist's mind doesn't mean that it won't affect the way his children think.

    Truly, I don't think that racism at the micro level can be fixed, and (again), I don't think that the right answer is to wait around for things to level out. That might never happen. People should not be systematically denied opportunities within the institutions of America (schools, government, health care systems, etc) because individuals are racist.

    I can't get over the implication that electing candidates who represent subsections of society "gaining power" is a wholesale endorsement of using political office to grab the spoils for a group. Group behavior is not any more or less ethical than individual behavior. When one person abuses power, it's wrong. When an entire race or power does it, it's still wrong.
    If this is indeed wrong, the problem is how the institutions are set up to favor one group and disenfranchise another. Personally, I have a problem with viewing the election of these candidates as an attempt to "grab the spoils for a group." That is REALLY charged language. I don't think it's about grabbing spoils. It's about making things more equitable than they are.

    Plus, I don't think that your example of two candidates being "for all intents and purposes the same" holds much water. When is that ever the case? And how many black Americans have voted for Obama when, upon examination of the platforms, actually are closer in beliefs to Hillary Clinton (or even to John McCain) than to Obama? Your example seems like a hypothetical without much resemblance to the real world.
    Well, it was hypothetical. Maybe it doesn't happen in real life, but the point is that personally, I'd put issues first and identity second, but I still think that identity can be an important factor.
    Last edited by Eileen; 07-25-2008 at 11:06 AM.
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  2. #122
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I believe (precisely because of whatever's comments) that visibility DOES have effects at the macro level, and I believe also that eventually it affects the way the average person thinks about race/gender/sexuailty. Just because it doesn't change a specific racist's mind doesn't mean that it won't affect the way his children think.

    Truly, I don't think that racism at the micro level can be fixed, and (again), I don't think that the right answer is to wait around for things to level out. That might never happen. People should not be systematically denied opportunities within the institutions of America (schools, government, health care systems, etc) because individuals are racist.
    I would feel very sad for the world if I believed that racism cannot be fixed at the micro level. It can be made better, can't it? And having someone's children see a good example is nice, but that specific child will have to grow into an adult and make decisions for themselves not to be racist. Everyone has to learn that. Growing up, I never had a black President, Senator, Representative, Township police office, or teacher (and I did have a mild bigot for a father). I grew up to be someone who can't stand racism. Why? Side note: since when are politicians great people to look up to? Do you know many politicians? Some are good people with their hearts in the right place, but who get sucked in by the power and the prestige. Others are out-and-out creeps.


    If this is indeed wrong, the problem is how the institutions are set up to favor one group and disenfranchise another. Personally, I have a problem with viewing the election of these candidates as an attempt to "grab the spoils for a group." That is REALLY charged language. I don't think it's about grabbing spoils. It's about making things more equitable than they are.
    Grabbing the spoils is what politicians do; it's in their nature. Grabbing the spoils for your group is what exploitative groupthinkers do. Some people call it "working hard for your consitutents." I call it "thievery." Any policy that explicitly favors one group over another is outright discrimination (and, thus, completely unacceptable) in my book. And any policy that implicitly or unwittingly favors one group over another should be changed or abolished.


    Well, it was hypothetical. Maybe it doesn't happen in real life, but the point is that personally, I'd put issues first and identity second, but I still think that identity can be an important factor.
    I think that the identity would supersede the policies for the vast majority of people who look at identity at all (except in the case of black politicians and legal professionals on the Right, who get crapped on by people on all sides). I'd like to believe that millions of Americans are for Obama because of his policies, but I don't see it. I see people who find him personally charming and inspiring, and people (like Liz Spikol, in the earlier article) who want to vote for a man who is part-black. THAT is unsettling. Of course, I find Hillary Clinton and John McCain just as unsettling, if not more, but their possible elections don't have the same historic implications in terms of race. Hillary's womanhood is a very interesting topic to me, as well.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #123
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I would feel very sad for the world if I believed that racism cannot be fixed at the micro level. It can be made better, can't it?
    Well, I am sad for the world, but I believe the big things (civil rights acts, for example) can make things better.

    I mean... what do you think would change your father's mind? I live in the South, and racism is alive and well here still. I sure don't know what to tell those people to make them change their minds about the worth and dignity of every human being.
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  4. #124
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Well, I am sad for the world, but I believe the big things (civil rights acts, for example) can make things better.

    I mean... what do you think would change your father's mind? I live in the South, and racism is alive and well here still. I sure don't know what to tell those people to make them change their minds about the worth and dignity of every human being.
    Talking to him. Pointing out the fallacies. Exposing him to new things. Setting an example. Never caving in. Not laughing things off or shoving them under the rug. I think he knows inside what is right and what is wrong. He just grew up in a time that was less tolerant (and in which he had some negative interactions with blacks). But it's not going to be his world very much longer.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #125
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Talking to him. Pointing out the fallacies. Exposing him to new things. Setting an example. Never caving in. Not laughing things off or shoving them under the rug. I think he knows inside what is right and what is wrong. He just grew up in a time that was less tolerant (and in which he had some negative interactions with blacks). But it's not going to be his world very much longer.
    What caused the progress, then? Why is this time more tolerant than that time? What's the difference?


    I agree that those things you mention can make some individual impact, but unless that impact is made en masse, does it matter to the larger world?
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. #126
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Many whites of the 19th Century thought that rounding up blacks and repatriating them to Africa would be better for both them and for white society. It was "compassionate," in other words. Do you think that sending blacks who had spent their entire lives in the United States and wanted to be free men here should have to go to a continent they've never seen? Is it not racist to want to wish to do so, even if you aren't being malicious in your motives?
    Please. Do not point at me. I never proposed idiocy. Be honest. Be humble. Learn from Xini Xander.

    And the same thing continues in the 21st Century.
    The authorities do it all the time. They "repatriate" the Mexicans and the Hispanics and send them "home"! Their home is in the US. Your land is their land.

    You have odd ideas of compassion. Compassion is not simplistic and naive. Compassion is not to send people to a foreign country. Compassion is to give them Civil Rights.
    Compassion is to be generous. America is for the people who live in America.

    I do not say Europe is better. The Europeans send people "home" every day.
    To countries they have never seen. To speak a language they never learned.

  7. #127
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Please. Do not point at me. I never proposed idiocy. Be honest. Be humble. Learn from Xini Xander.

    And the same thing continues in the 21st Century.
    The authorities do it all the time. They "repatriate" the Mexicans and the Hispanics and send them "home"! Their home is in the US. Your land is their land.

    You have odd ideas of compassion. Compassion is not simplistic and naive. Compassion is not to send people to a foreign country. Compassion is to give them Civil Rights.
    Compassion is to be generous. America is for the people who live in America.

    I do not say Europe is better. The Europeans send people "home" every day.
    To countries they have never seen. To speak a language they never learned.
    I am convinced that you either don't understand the words that I type, or you do not care to understand them. Did you see my point at all? Just because someone doesn't have malicious intent, doesn't mean they cannot believe or do something racist. It's exceedingly difficult to have this discussion this way.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #128
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    What caused the progress, then? Why is this time more tolerant than that time? What's the difference?
    Because of intense social pressure and stigmatization and art and more widespread travel and communication. It certainly was NOT by government decree, nor was it by affirmative action.


    I agree that those things you mention can make some individual impact, but unless that impact is made en masse, does it matter to the larger world?
    Yes, of course it does.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am convinced that you either don't understand the words that I type, or you do not care to understand them. Did you see my point at all?
    LOL

  10. #130
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Yes. I got your point. And I answered accordingly.
    I see only malice in rounding up people and sending them overseas. I do not see good intent. I do not see compassion. I do not see generosity. I see only racism.

    So my answer is this: Racism is malicious only. There is no excuse.
    Anthony was meek and gentle with the butchers, too. But he was ashamed of it.

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