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Thread: Thoughts on Race

  1. #61
    Plant-Based Person nauthiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stegan View Post
    I'm fascinated by the fact that this thread has been buried while the gender thread has almost completely run its course.
    So, Stegan, now do you see why everybody wanted to stay away?

  2. #62
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaliMama View Post
    While I can't say that I've been scared away from this thread, I have been disgusted, saddened, frustrated, and at a loss for how to steer it back to a productive course.

    veganshawn, your baiting and shame language are inexcusable. Miso Vegan has shown you more patience than you are deserving of in this debate. She apologized to you, did you not read what she wrote? You received an apology after willfully misinterpreting her post, but you showed no graciousness, not even an acknowledgment. Instead, you have continued to be rude, insulting, divisive and dismissive. I don't even know what to make of your "everyone is scared off" post. You can't be that clueless. What do you think we are afraid of? Your refusal to understand what is plainly stated to you? Your insulting tone? Your personal attacks?

    Please consider that it may not be "fear" that is driving people away from this thread, but simply your unpleasantness and a feeling of futility.

    Racism nearly always makes for heated debates. People have ideas and perceptions of themselves and others to which they are deeply attached. If we feel that we are being asked to explain them, or let go of them or change them, we become defensive. Sometimes we don't even know why, or we do and it still makes no sense. That's okay. You've got to be willing to see the forces at work outside of you if you want to change them, or change how they affect you.

    Racism exists in our society. It affects us. We can talk about it, and we can learn from each other. I have a good deal of faith in the majority of VRFers. I think that we can have this conversation, and we can do it with respect for one another. And, honestly, if you don't think that you can participate in this debate without resorting to insults and personal slurs, then you should step out.
    Baiting? I have not baited anyone. I am not being defensive, I don't hold any racist thoughts or ideas. And I come from a unique position of being white and also a victim of racist harassment and attacks, how many other white people on here can say that? I bet not many.
    I never said racism didn't exists, I know for a fact it does, from fighting nazi skinheads at punk rock shows, to seeing young black men in my neighborhood pulled over by the police wondering if they did anything wrong. I see it in the health care debates when middle class white people hold up signs of the president making him look like Hitler. I see it when people say "that someone is dressing black" because they are wearing hip hop clothing. I see it in the justice system that still unequally gives people of color namely blacks longer jail sentences. I see it when people comment on the immigration status of Latino people, I see it when people assume that someone of Asian decent is "Chinese". I see it when ever I think of mascots for major and college sports teams still using Native America names, images and sadly caricatures.
    What I said and stand by is the notion of racism and institutionalized is that i don't agree that it is alive and well, I think it is on deaths door and in a generation or two will be dead.
    But I am also not so self hating as to say that all white people have this magical privilege that makes things easier for them, I know many of us suffer under the brutality of poverty and the lack of a decent education, we suffer equally from lack of health care, and the lack of wealth distribution. It is offensive when anyone says that being white automatically makes things easier.
    We have a ways to go, and when we can all work togethor with out pointing fingers and making false accusations of skin color automatically = privilege then we can really change our country for the better.

  3. #63
    an open book Miso Vegan's Avatar
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    Would you believe racism is alive and well if people of color told you they still lexperience racism on a daily basis?

  4. #64
    an open book Miso Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganshawn View Post
    Are you reading what I am writing? I brought up the Appalachia area to show that white privilege doesn't help poor whites. I showed that "white privilege" really only helps people with money.
    And if you are reading what I am writing, you would see I did not disagree with you - I said when there's a benefit to be had, whites will gain that benefit over PoC.
    But what it comes down to is that you don't have a working definition of White Privilege. White privilege is not that each white person gets a hand up, or all white people are in better situations than all black people or all native Americans. You don't even have to be white to benefit from White Privilege. And just getting to live one's life without experiencing racism is White Privilege.

    So I take it back to class and access to wealth, which I will keep saying allows you to buy what ever privilege you want.
    It didn't protect professor Gates from being arrested in his own home after he proved he was the owner of the home.

  5. #65
    Plant-Based Person abbicus's Avatar
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    As I have been reading this thread I have been thinking about the interaction between race and class and how its really hard to separate the two in some situations. My mind started to see it as analogous to the whole nature vs. nurture thing; its usually both, and in only some cases can you easily separate the two (like very poor white communities on one end and police profiling PoC on the other). In most situations I can see both issues but its hard to ferret out exactly the boundary between the two (although I recognize there isn't really a sharp boundary and that your race partially determines your economic outcome). Is this a horrible/ok/good way to see it? (This thought just popped into my head, I don't have a huge attachment to it, fingers crossed that this doesn't contribute to the drama).

    Also, I was happy to see the "Unpacking the Knapsack" link as I had read this in a sociology class several years ago and it was nice to see again. I still remember "can buy a band-aid and it will match your skin" item on the list. Most of the other examples on the list I had at one point thought about, but the never even crossed my mind to think about band-aids, so for me that was the example that hit home since part of white privilege is really not even having to thinking about it.
    Lisa: I hate going to the zoo. I feel so sorry for the animals.
    Homer: Lisa, the zoo opens up a whole new world for the animals. In the wild they would never experience boredom, obesity, loss of purpose...you know, the American dream!

  6. #66
    we are borg grog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miso Vegan View Post
    It didn't protect professor Gates from being arrested in his own home after he proved he was the owner of the home.
    Did he? I never caught the whole story on that. All I heard is he gave the cops hell and they pulled him in.
    Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? - Gandalf the Grey

  7. #67
    an open book Miso Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abbicus View Post
    Is this a horrible/ok/good way to see it?
    I think that's an appopriate way to see it. The intersections of oppressions are real. What I'd hope we'd not fall into is a trap of ranking which oppressions are worse/better (a hierarchy of oppressions").

    Quote Originally Posted by abbicus
    Also, I was happy to see the "Unpacking the Knapsack" link as I had read this in a sociology class several years ago and it was nice to see again. I still remember "can buy a band-aid and it will match your skin" item on the list. Most of the other examples on the list I had at one point thought about, but the never even crossed my mind to think about band-aids, so for me that was the example that hit home since part of white privilege is really not even having to thinking about it.
    17 years ago in Women's Studies we read it, and I still remember that the band-aid was what struck my friend the most, too.

  8. #68
    an open book Miso Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grog View Post
    Did he? I never caught the whole story on that. All I heard is he gave the cops hell and they pulled him in.
    Oh yes, he showed his ID. And his Harvard ID. But since that wasn't good enough, the cop called for backup, including the Harvard security.

    Here's a great blog post by a noted anti-racist author (read the whole blog, he's one of the foremost deconstructors of white privilege and race):
    http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise...bias-cambridge

  9. #69
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    Miso - I already said that one of the areas where institutionalized racism still exists is law enforcement, professor Gates case shows that, the cop who arrested him is a racist,

  10. #70
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miso Vegan View Post
    Would you believe racism is alive and well if people of color told you they still lexperience racism on a daily basis?
    I said that racism is alive, but it isn't well, I stand by that. And isn't it racist of you to assume I have not had these talks with poc?

  11. #71
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    abbicus - thank you for your input. I never thought about band aids, but then again band aids come in all shades and colors and lack of colors (clear). I read that unpacking the knapsack and that persons experiences and mine are different, I think that is what it comes down to, you can't say that just because someone is white they have had an easier life or because someone is a poc then they had it a tough life.

  12. #72
    TO THE CORE! La Végétalienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganshawn View Post
    I think that is what it comes down to, you can't say that just because someone is white they have had an easier life or because someone is a poc then they had it a tough life.
    ...which is exactly the point miso made earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Miso Vegan View Post
    White privilege is not that each white person gets a hand up, or all white people are in better situations than all black people or all native Americans.
    Last edited by La Végétalienne; 08-30-2009 at 03:50 PM.

  13. #73
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    So then there is no such thing as white privilege, only class privilege IMO. As Miso also said you don't have to be white to benefit from white privilege, so why call it white privilege when it is not?

  14. #74
    Reprazents veganshawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Végétalienne View Post
    Regardless of whether racism is more or less prevalent now than it was in the past is irrelevant. If it still exists then we need to be fighting it until it doesn't exist anymore at all. People use the same card to downplay the feminist movement.
    Yes we need to fight racism (something I have done all my life with my words and my fists when needed), but we need to refocus our efforts on where racism is prevalent and change those areas. It does matter that things are better now, because if you still act like it is 1950's Mississippi then you are going to turn off allies in the fight against racism, because they are going to think no matter what good they do no one will notice.



    I say this with all due respect: it's not about you. It's about all the people for whom racism (insitutional and otherwise) does have an effect.
    I already have shown how over my lifetime have been a victim of racism and racist violence. Until I was a teenager my nick name was chink, I was made fun of by both my black and white friends for being "Chinese", I had to fight all the time because of this.
    I always experienced racism because my step father was black, my mom was called a n***er lover by people, my sister was called a half breed etc... so it may not be about just me, but my life has been affected negatively because of racism. And no matter what it says in a book about race, until you have walked in everyone's shoes you can't say that racism doesn't affect white people.


    True, but this is a case of intersecting -isms. PoC generally (whether this was the case for you or not) have a more difficult time accessing the resources that would allow them upward mobility. Does that mean there aren't well-off poc? No. Does that mean there aren't white people living in extreme poverty? No. It simply means that the percentage of poc living in poverty is greater than the percentage of white people living in poverty.
    But not all groups of POC are poor, Asians are the second richest group of people in America, and if you look at it by number of people and there wealth in said group (white vs Asian) they are the richest group of people. So what are they doing or what have they been given that has allowed them to overcome some horrible racist actions against them in the past, here is an interesting link.

    http://www.asian-nation.org/racism.shtml

    I think at the end of the day we all see racism as the evil and vile thing it is.
    Last edited by veganshawn; 08-30-2009 at 04:17 PM.

  15. #75
    an open book Miso Vegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganshawn View Post
    I said that racism is alive, but it isn't well, I stand by that.
    Quote Originally Posted by veganshawn
    What I said and stand by is the notion of racism and institutionalized is that i don't agree that it is alive and well,
    Ah, I see. Here you imply that someone else said it's "alive and well." Since no one used that phrase until you did, I attributed it to you. Um, my mistake.

    And isn't it racist of you to assume I have not had these talks with poc?
    No, but if you have, it doesn't show in your understanding of the issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by veganshawn
    So then there is no such thing as white privilege, only class privilege IMO.
    I'm sure all the people who experience racism and institutionalized racism daily are comforted by your opinion that it doesn't exist.

    quote=veganshawn]As Miso also said you don't have to be white to benefit from white privilege, so why call it white privilege when it is not?[/quote]

    If you would just read about it you'd have found the answer to your question. You seem to be reading the terms "white privilege" and "institutionalized racism" and thinking the name says it all, without reading what they actually mean. The more you argue your case, the more obvious it is that you don't have a deep understanding of these social theories. As such, it's the reason you keep repeating yourself and presuming we're not reading/hearing you. There is always a learning curve when someone first time anyone comes across these sociological concepts, so doing the reading and then sitting with that information and letting it sink in helps it make more sense.

    If you prefer, here's a video on white privilege, from a white guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA

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