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Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:19 PM

 

Tim Wise: Race-Talk is a Language White Folks Need to Learn

I’ve been white long enough to know there are different reasons why so many of my group have a hard time discussing race and racism in America.

For some, it’s about their own biases, which they seek to deny or at least keep from view, lest people conclude they’re not as open-minded as they profess. For others, it’s defensiveness at the mention of ongoing inequality and unfairness still faced by persons of color. After all, acknowledging those might call into question the legitimacy of their own social status. A third group would rather talk about class, gender, or sexuality — areas where, because of their relationship to those identities, they can focus on where they got hurt, rather than where they were advantaged (even as both things can be true, and often are).
...

What white people hear when Black folks say “white people”

If you’re not from the South or didn’t grow up in a large city with a significant number of Black folks, you likely don’t speak the language of race.

As a result, when Black people start talking about race and racism, you think they’re talking about you.

When they talk about white people, you think they mean all 200 million white Americans, all the time, including those that were just delivered and haven’t even gotten their Apgar scores yet.

You believe their indictment of whiteness is personal because you don’t understand the broad and symbolic way Black Americans use language.

When Black people say “white people” or “white folks,” 9 times out of 10, they are not referring to 200 million individuals called white. For lack of a better way to put it, they are speaking of “Whiteness, Inc.” As in, the corporate entity registered in Delaware for tax purposes but with branch offices all over the country.
...
When Black people talk shit about white folks or whiteness, they are typically talking about whiteness as a state of mind. In fact, that’s what the late, great comedian, Dick Gregory, said whiteness was — and all it was.

https://timjwise.medium.com/race-talk-is-a-language-white-folks-need-to-learn-c12a0c8091f8

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Reply Tim Wise: Race-Talk is a Language White Folks Need to Learn (Original post)
StarfishSaver Sep 22 OP
brer cat Sep 22 #1
MustLoveBeagles Sep 22 #2
Drum Sep 22 #3
StarfishSaver Sep 22 #6
Drum Sep 22 #8
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Solly Mack Sep 22 #4
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Hugh_Lebowski Sep 22 #7
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wellst0nev0ter Sep 22 #11
Hugh_Lebowski Sep 23 #12
Hortensis Sep 23 #14
Amishman Sep 24 #38
wellst0nev0ter Sep 24 #40
StarfishSaver Sep 24 #43
tonedevil Sep 24 #46
WhiskeyGrinder Sep 23 #16
TigressDem Sep 23 #13
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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:26 PM

1. Interesting read.

K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:26 PM

2. K&R

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Response to Drum (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:44 PM

6. Obviously, given the depth of Wise's piece, that's NOT 'it, then"

 

If those nine words are all you took away from this article and all you saw fit to comment on, well ...

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:47 PM

8. I'll rescind my comment, with the acknowledgment that I'm uninformed n/t

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Response to Drum (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:49 PM

10. ...

 

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:36 PM

4. K&R

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:43 PM

5. I don't even know if that applies, now that I live in Europe

But even so, I DID grow up in the South, went to college in West Philadelphia (sort of like Northeast DC at the time), roomed by choice with two black friends from high school, and never really gave the matter a lot of thought. It was what it was.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:45 PM

7. Interesting how it sounds if you make the same argument in the converse ...

You believe (whites) indictment of blackness is personal because you don’t understand the broad and symbolic way White Americans use language.

When White people say “black people” or “black folks,” 9 times out of 10, they are not referring to 20 million individuals called black. For lack of a better way to put it, they are speaking of “Blackness, Inc.” As in, the corporate entity registered in Delaware for tax purposes but with branch offices all over the country.

When White people talk shit about black folks or blackness, they are typically talking about blackness as a state of mind. In fact, that’s what the late, great comedian, Richard Pryor, said blackness was — and all it was.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:48 PM

9. Lol

 

"Why do YOU get to say it, but WE can't?"

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 22, 2021, 11:58 PM

11. Article talks about white defensiveness over race

And we get people getting defensive. Funny that.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 12:13 AM

12. Not being defensive, I just found it amusing that if you reverse the words

it ends up sounding like it was written (and with a straight face, no less) by someone like, say ... Stephen Miller ... as a (fairly offensive) justification for saying racist things.

And I just found that observation ... kinda trippy.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 05:27 AM

14. :) Yes. It takes skill, and either a genuinely or determinedly

anti-racism heart, to talk what's being called "race talk" without slipping into racism. And the humility to admit the universality of bias so we don't fool ourselves into imagining that "my people' can have a whole special way of talking about another race without racism.

Reversing the races before postings, or while reading, can be revealing.

Sure, white people should be able to listen to black people of good heart discussing white people to understand how they feel, without taking offense where none is meant. Understanding's good.

But still, reverse Tim Wise's races and you get a damned funny notion that blacks should learn the "broad and symbolic" race language developed by white people to "talk shit' about black people so they can better understand and appreciate what white people mean -- for the important goal of learning more about themselves.

Gee, wonder how that would fly in The Root.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #11)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 05:50 AM

38. Text inversion like this is a really good tool for exposing biases

And we all have them, especially on racial issues.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 09:49 AM

40. Text inversion is nonsense

It ignores the context of the original text, creating a fantasy that feeds into the toxic grievances of those in the dominant group.

In other words, its the "reverse racism" fallacy on steroids.

Let's engage the argument on good faith instead of muddling up the discussion with baseless accusations of racism.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 11:08 AM

43. Text inversion is not a good tool for exposing biases. But it IS a good tool for obfuscating them

 

Kind of like when people say, "Why can't we have WHITE History Month?" or "If we had a National Association for the Advancement of WHITE people, you'd call that racist!" or "If I had a bumper sticker that said WHITE Lives Matter, I'd be run out of town."

Or my all time favorite: "Black people say the N-word, so why is it racist if WE say it?!"

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Response to Amishman (Reply #38)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 01:32 PM

46. As useful as...

 

All Lives Matter.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 06:47 AM

16. This would be "interesting" only if we didn't live in a white supremacy.

But we do, so swapping “Black” and “white” in an article like this makes as much sense as swapping them in an article about health outcomes.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 04:00 AM

13. So just call them the REICH WING and be clear.

Talk about the behavior, cause then I know it isn't my "whiteness" that is automatically offensive.

I get it that this is all systemic, but LOOK HOW MANY WHITES have been side by side in the protests standing up for equality.

IF you are talking to allies or potential allies, the LEAST you can do is be clear, I am talking about the Ultra Whites who think they poop rainbows with sprinkles and it don't smell like everyone else's.... otherwise DELUSIONAL people who believe that the color of someone's skin is an indictment or get out of jail free card.

Even call it "Systemic Whiteness" but talk about the behavior and not the person.


It's the way whites should be talking about blacks.


BY THE CONTENT OF YOUR CHARACTER, NOT THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN goes both ways... and all the rainbow in between.


ONE RACE.

The Human Race.


Because talking about "white folks" like they all like that, but, "Oh not you" is just as systemic as the assumptions made by law enforcement that lets them target blacks 9 times out of 10 even if the person is as far from a criminal as many whites are far from racist.


Raise the bar if you want REAL CHANGE.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 06:49 AM

17. There are plenty of white people in Democratic/leftist/progressive spaces who perpetrate the white-

supremacist systems we all live in. Pretending this is only a “reich-wing” issue makes it harder to tackle.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 08:42 AM

19. White people telling Black people "if you want real change, do it the way I tell you to do it"

 

doesn't bring about "real change."

And no ... Black people spending decades struggling mightily to find just the right way to talk to overly-sensitive and/or close-minded white people who nevertheless keep coming up with ridiculous excuses to ignore and even blame us is not "just as systemic as the assumptions made by law enforcement" in a racist system that targets, subjugates, and murders black people who don't talk to or comply with them the right way.

But the mindset of some white folk that leads them to insist that it's somehow OUR fault that "real change" hasn't yet occurred because our fight against racism hurts their feelings and instruct us to go back and find a more acceptable and less uncomfortable (for them) way to talk about it if we want them to take our struggles seriously, is a critical element that the racist system relies on to maintain itself.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #19)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:16 PM

30. Bull Shit.

It's very simple. Define the problems and look for solutions. There is a world of choice there that has nothing to do with whites telling blacks how to do anything.

IF you REALLY want to stop RACISM, be the example. QUIT saying, "Black people do XYZ because they are black" and "White people do XYZ because they are white." That's racism pure and simple and you can't fix something that's so broken with it's own broken down behaviors.

People DO NOT DO things based on the color of their skin. We learn these behaviors. That means there is hope. What we learn we can unlearn and learn to do new things that work better.

All people do stupid stuff. White people are socialized to perpetuate systemic racism. But we aren't born racist.

Just like black people have been stuffed into the margins of society by a rigged system without access to equal treatment under the law. But they are not born to behave as criminals.

So if you say instead, this is a way that white people are affected by the system and have to resist the status quo to make racial justice a reality, that is defining the problem and looking for solutions.

I don't let any white people around me say, "Black people or any particular color do XYZ" because that's racist and I won't let it slide.

Every race has all kinds of people behaving along a full spectrum of behaviors. The color of someone's skin doesn't make them behave any particular way. It can affect which kinds of things influence them because there is still so much racism in the system.

BUT REAL CHANGE happens when we ALL STOP acting like the color of someone's skin can tell us everything we need to know about them. It's racist when white people do it to other races and the reverse is also true. Because defining someone by the color of their skin is the bottom line of racism.

I can sympathize that after 400 years and we still have the authorities murdering black people in the street, many black people are too tired to talk about this stuff without resorting to labeling whites the same way they get labeled.

No one is perfect.

AND we all got to do it together. I am not asking black people to spare my feelings. I DO TAKE THESE STRUGGLES PERSONALLY. Because black people are people. That means they are MY PEOPLE. I DON'T CARE WHAT COLOR SOMEONE'S SKIN IS.

I care HOW they show up in this world.

Progress not perfection.

STILL we have to be honest or we will NEVER get anywhere.


Whites justifying their shit isn't solving any problems and neither does it help when black people do it.

FORGIVE? Yes. Surely. It isn't intended to perpetuate the problem. THAT I can understand.


But calling piss rainwater doesn't make it so.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:26 PM

31. You're way off base here.

I can sympathize that after 400 years and we still have the authorities murdering black people in the street, many black people are too tired to talk about this stuff without resorting to labeling whites the same way they get labeled.
WTF is this. It's not "labeling whites" to say "white people built and have sustained white supremacy in this country, and that white supremacy results in cops killing Black people, and all white people benefit form white supremacy."

STILL we have to be honest or we will NEVER get anywhere.
Okay, you benefit from that same white supremacy, whether black people are "YOUR PEOPLE" or "HOW they (or you) show up in this world" or what.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 11:18 PM

32. You are cherry picking certain bits.

Skipped right past the part about define the problem and look for solutions.

AND
People DO NOT DO things based on the color of their skin. We learn these behaviors. That means there is hope. What we learn we can unlearn and learn to do new things that work better.

All people do stupid stuff. White people are socialized to perpetuate systemic racism. But we aren't born racist.

Just like black people have been stuffed into the margins of society by a rigged system without access to equal treatment under the law. But they are not born to behave as criminals.

So if you say instead, this is a way that white people are affected by the system and have to resist the status quo to make racial justice a reality; that is defining the problem and looking for solutions.


WHAT I SAID ABOUT LABELING is that even if it happens, it happens.


White people get shot and pepper sprayed and hanged for standing up for black rights. The EXISTENCE of White Supremacy is NO REAL BENEFIT TO ANY ONE. It's existence is a horrific reality that needs to be eradicated.

YES. I can be a less obvious target, because I am white until I open my mouth. BUT IS THAT ANY WAY TO LIVE?

While it is true, I am not constantly living with whites behaving racist toward me, until I stand up for someone and I don't get stopped for DWB (Driving While Black) or shot for being black in the vicinity of a crime. I DON'T SUFFER from the effects of White Supremacy because I am white, but I do not have all these "benefits" of being white that some do.


YOU haven't LIVED my life, so you telling ME that I have benefited from "white supremacy" is a stretch. You don't know a thing about me, but you judge and THAT is what is wrong and has to change.

That's like a white person saying blacks benefit from abusing welfare. PURE BULL SHIT.


WE DON'T HAVE TIME to argue with our allies like this.

WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO BRIDGE OUR DIFFERENCES, NOT KEEP PUTTING POINTY verbal STICKS INTO EACH OTHER.


TELL ME what parts of White Supremacy benefits "all whites".

It isn't like we all have shares in some stock that pays dividends.

IT IS TRUE we did not suffer the effects of red lining or the same kind of discrimination in the workplace simply based on skin color. So I believe in and support the programs that seek to bring balance to those long standing issues.


What you do NOT understand is that White Supremacists have BETRAYED ALL WHITE PEOPLE as well as ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR.


They have dragged US down by association and EVERYONE who participates in racism is more aligned with the REICH WING than those who refuse to participate in racist behaviors and work to see the world change for the better.


On any day it could be any of us. There are so many hidden and subtle forms of racism. Any of us can get caught up in it.


No one is perfect.









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Response to TigressDem (Reply #32)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 08:54 AM

39. Okay, I'll respond to all of it.

Last edited Fri Sep 24, 2021, 10:48 AM - Edit history (3)

Skipped right past the part about define the problem and look for solutions.
The OP defined the problem and solution: A lot of white people don't know how to talk about race; they often get hung up on "not THIS white person!!!!!" to prove how they're not like, you know, OTHER white people. The solution is to learn how to talk about race without having to prove that it's not about you.

AND
People DO NOT DO things based on the color of their skin. We learn these behaviors. That means there is hope. What we learn we can unlearn and learn to do new things that work better.
Part of the article is also about not pushing back on details and insisting that someone who is trying to educate you use the phrasing you prefer rather than trusting the writer.

All people do stupid stuff. White people are socialized to perpetuate systemic racism. But we aren't born racist.
Okay!

Just like black people have been stuffed into the margins of society by a rigged system without access to equal treatment under the law. But they are not born to behave as criminals.
This is landing pretty badly for me.

So if you say instead, this is a way that white people are affected by the system and have to resist the status quo to make racial justice a reality; that is defining the problem and looking for solutions.
And the OP is saying, one way we have to ensure we're able to do that is to be able to talk about race across races.


WHAT I SAID ABOUT LABELING is that even if it happens, it happens.
Okay, so are you mad about being labeled as white, or what?

White people get shot and pepper sprayed and hanged for standing up for black rights. The EXISTENCE of White Supremacy is NO REAL BENEFIT TO ANY ONE. It's existence is a horrific reality that needs to be eradicated.
White supremacy benefits white people. It's a horrific reality that needs to be eradicated and also benefits white people.

YES. I can be a less obvious target, because I am white until I open my mouth. BUT IS THAT ANY WAY TO LIVE?
What does this mean, that you're white until you open your mouth?

While it is true, I am not constantly living with whites behaving racist toward me, until I stand up for someone and I don't get stopped for DWB (Driving While Black) or shot for being black in the vicinity of a crime. I DON'T SUFFER from the effects of White Supremacy because I am white, but I do not have all these "benefits" of being white that some do.
In the aggregate, you get better health care, better loan terms, better consideration for jobs, a much larger benefit of the doubt regarding your perceived threat and also your likelihood to be targeted for violence when you're out in public. If you're a white woman, the existence of the police as we know it is constructed on protecting an ideal of white womanhood. Media, culture and society is built to affirm your existence. It comes with a price, of course. But all white people benefit from white supremacy.

YOU haven't LIVED my life, so you telling ME that I have benefited from "white supremacy" is a stretch. You don't know a thing about me, but you judge and THAT is what is wrong and has to change.
It's not a question of judging.

That's like a white person saying blacks benefit from abusing welfare. PURE BULL SHIT.
I have to say, your similes are...a little revealing.

WE DON'T HAVE TIME to argue with our allies like this.

WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO BRIDGE OUR DIFFERENCES, NOT KEEP PUTTING POINTY verbal STICKS INTO EACH OTHER.
Which is also what this article is calling for. It's saying, "White people, many of you need to learn how to talk about race without getting defensive, taking the discussion personally, or telling Black people how to talk about race." And I feel like this response is getting kinda meta.

TELL ME what parts of White Supremacy benefits "all whites".
A good place to start is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, which is a list of privileges that can certainly be affected by class, gender and other conditions, but that the author picked because they were often most affected by race. Some of the most obvious are:
I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.


It isn't like we all have shares in some stock that pays dividends.
Generational wealth is another example, as Black people are still way behind as a result of slavery. This of course does not mean that every white person has generational wealth. But white supremacy does mean that if a white person needs to deposit out of nowhere a large check in a bank, "inheritance" is a much more believable story from white people than Black people.

IT IS TRUE we did not suffer the effects of red lining or the same kind of discrimination in the workplace simply based on skin color. So I believe in and support the programs that seek to bring balance to those long standing issues.
Why not dismantle those systems entirely, rather than keeping them in place and trying to "balance" them?

What you do NOT understand is that White Supremacists have BETRAYED ALL WHITE PEOPLE as well as ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR. They have dragged US down by association and EVERYONE who participates in racism is more aligned with the REICH WING than those who refuse to participate in racist behaviors and work to see the world change for the better.
I don't really get what you're saying here. White supremacists built this nation. The founding fathers were white supremacists. So I guess yeah, the foundations they've laid have dragged the country down by preventing much of the population from leading full, enriched and enriching lives. And those foundations are hard for everyone to give up and dismantle. But it's not a "left/right" thing.

No one is perfect.
Don't I fuckin' know it.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #39)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 11:03 AM

42. Excellent!

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain this so thoroughly. I just don't have the patience right now ... I'm glad you do!

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #42)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 04:40 PM

47. .

I do what I can!

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #39)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 11:38 AM

48. Let me make it "less meta". Defeating racism by using racism causes unnecessary conflict.

Using "white" and "black" isn't actually solving the problem or even defining it because we as humans are MORE than our race and NEED to SEE that to get BEYOND racism.

IN THERAPY people will be told that having a Black and White viewpoint will prevent one's ability to see ANY of the grey or colors in between that represent actual solutions.


What I would PERSONALLY like to see is a "continuum of racist to non-racist behaviors". I suppose I will need to create it myself as it's so "different" a type of thinking that most people will not have any idea of what I mean.

WHAT DOES A PERFECTLY NON-RACIST PERSON LOOK LIKE and HOW DO WE SEE OURSELVES and RATE OUR PROGRESS if we DON'T KNOW WHAT THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP IS?

THAT WAY we could look to make continuous improvement toward the ideals that are being requested without being penalized for not knowing what we don't know.


You say that the Founding Fathers were "White Supremacists" but

(1) That wasn't even a definition at the time.
(2) What I can see is that they were a bunch of white folk looking for freedom from other white folk and they DID NOT AGREE on the issue of SLAVERY.
(3) There is documented history of the Founding Fathers making an effort to deal with their OPPOSING VIEWS on slavery ****
(4) They knew what they did would need to grow and they put in the means to make those changes by making it a LIVING DOCUMENT and putting "All men were created equal" and not putting actual "slavery" into the Constitution because THEN as NOW there were OPPOSING VIEWS, but not a full solution.

The Founding Fathers did not work tirelessly against slavery, but would not "validate it" in the Constitution. AND there have been multiple times it was argued and addressed legally even before the Civil War.

One source example:
**** https://www.npr.org/2011/07/06/137647715/weekly-standard-founding-fathers-opposed-slavery

That was why they did not mention the words "slave" or "slavery" in the Constitution, but referred only to "persons held to service."

(My take)
THAT WORDING HOLDS THE PEOPLE HAVING SLAVES AS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR WITH THE EXPECTATION THAT THE SERVICE COULD BE ENDED.

In England around that time, people went to the "poor house" to work off debt, but were only "indentured servants" with an END TO SERVITUDE IN SIGHT. So there was probably a hope that slavery could be ended in such a way that the plantation owners wouldn't go bankrupt themselves and there could be a way out for people who had been dragged into another country with no means to make it on their own.

Possibly the transition of "share cropping" was the best idea they had at the time.




As a white person living "in the system" I have done all I can to research what is wrong with it and needs to be changed, but if I don't understand specifically what I am looking for it can be hard to find as the system doesn't WANT to be changed.

My parents were pretty forward thinking and I have been standing up to stupid white people since I was 5 or 6 that I can remember. They encouraged me to keep that attitude even when it got tough.


I have been raped as a child by both white and black, so it informs my world view that:

"THE BAD THINGS PEOPLE DO IS ON THEM, NOT THEIR RACE." Race isn't an excuse for bad behavior, but it doesn't cause them either.

On DU when I don't reveal my race and simply speak my truth, people accuse me of being black.

SO YEAH, I AM WHITE UNTIL I OPEN MY MOUTH.


As a white person who stands up for equality among whites and blacks, I get verbal slap downs from both sides.

I am simply looking for a way to be helpful without all the slapping.




And THANK YOU for actually giving me some actual answers. I am sorry it was such an effort.

I appreciate the referral to Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and will pick it up as soon as I can.



INTERESTING thoughts about "DISMANTLING THE RACIST SYSTEMS"


Why move toward balance first? To find out what works and keep pushing that.

So we BUILD AN INDEPENDENT WORKING SYSTEM and TRANSITION to IT instead of DESTROYING THE ONLY SYSTEM WE HAVE and LIVING IN THE CHAOS --- WITH NO SUPPORT TO MAKE THE NEEDED CHANGES.


Like support black owned or women owned businesses brings them into the system as valid replacements without destroying everything else and promoting laws that make it illegal to discriminate gives people and businesses a chance to change versus just destroying the system indiscriminately so there is "payback" for 400 plus years of pain.



I GUESS MY BIGGEST QUESTION IS:


ARE WE PROMOTING EQUALITY FOR ALL or looking to "get back" at the current white population for everything that has gone before?


I AM ALL FOR EQUALITY FOR ALL and anyway I can help.


BUT IF I HAVE TO "understand" that "talking about 'white people' isn't supposed/intended to be offensive because it's the 'WAY' black people talk about racism......

I CAN BELIEVE there isn't the "intention" to be offensive.

BUT I won't call a black person a "Nigger" because I KNOW BETTER. IT'S OFFENSIVE.


TELLING ME that ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE ...... is offensive.



TELLING ME HOW white people benefit shows me a path out of the insanity.


THANKS AGAIN FOR MANY CONSTRUCTIVE IDEAS.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #48)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:39 PM

60. You really express...

 

white people's burden so well. If I didn't know the racial history of the US you might convince me to feel sorry for us.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #60)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:53 PM

63. I don't feel "burdened"

I simply think that while this understanding of White Privilege is important, where do we go from there is also important.

It's more accurate to say, "I feel helpless to make a difference if I don't have next steps." So this type of conversation can be very uncomfortable.

Say your house is evaluated for being sold on the market and all the evaluation says is, "This isn't set up right, this is broken, that is no good because no one who owned the house has dealt with it...." but the evaluator did not give any idea of how to make it better, what specific goals could make that happen, would it be a comfortable conversation?


All I am saying is that if white people feel uncomfortable with the conversation as is, it isn't surprising.


Should we still keep talking? Of course.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #63)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 01:30 PM

68. Your writing expresses...

 

a feeling of you carrying a burden. I don't know you beyond that. I don't know why you expect a conversation about 'race' in the US to be comfortable. Of course I can't speak from experience, but I suspect that conversation has been uncomfortable for black people for 400+ years.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #68)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:19 PM

81. Could be that feeling helpless is kind of the same as burdened.

I don't expect a conversation about race to be comfortable.

PRODUCTIVE would be nice.


I guess I was just hoping that conversations about White Privilege would not get hung up on whites having to only listen and not have any ideas or questions about where to go from the understanding that it exists.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #48)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 09:31 AM

72. .

Defeating racism by using racism causes unnecessary conflict.
Talking about the social construct of race and acknowledging how culture is based is not racism. It's also not conflict, but it might *feel* like it, because it's uncomfortable, mainly for white people, which is the point of this OP.

Using "white" and "black" isn't actually solving the problem or even defining it because we as humans are MORE than our race and NEED to SEE that to get BEYOND racism.
White supremacy is built on whiteness, so talking about "white" and "black" is definitely necessary to solve the problem.

IN THERAPY people will be told that having a Black and White viewpoint will prevent one's ability to see ANY of the grey or colors in between that represent actual solutions.
Okay.

What I would PERSONALLY like to see is a "continuum of racist to non-racist behaviors". I suppose I will need to create it myself as it's so "different" a type of thinking that most people will not have any idea of what I mean.
Making racist actions "colorblind" does what all colorblindness does: Ignores the power that the social construct of race has and does nothing to dismantle it. It also ignores that we live in a white supremacy.

WHAT DOES A PERFECTLY NON-RACIST PERSON LOOK LIKE and HOW DO WE SEE OURSELVES and RATE OUR PROGRESS if we DON'T KNOW WHAT THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP IS?
It's not about being a "perfectly nonracist person" or even "rating progress." In fact, working on yourself as a person is only half the work. The rest of it has to be working with others to dismantle the system.

THAT WAY we could look to make continuous improvement toward the ideals that are being requested without being penalized for not knowing what we don't know.
This makes it sound like there's some kind of AntiRacism Inc. that is "requesting" you to know things and "penalizing" you when you don't. It may feel like a "penalty" when you get feedback, but that's just the self-defense talking: "I'm a good person! I'm not racist! You're judging me! If you won't tell me how to do it 'right' I won't do it at all!"


You say that the Founding Fathers were "White Supremacists" but

(1) That wasn't even a definition at the time.
Okay. "Feminist" wasn't either, and people call Jane Addams one all the time.
(2) What I can see is that they were a bunch of white folk looking for freedom from other white folk and they DID NOT AGREE on the issue of SLAVERY.
And...they built the founding documents of this nation on white supremacy.
(3) There is documented history of the Founding Fathers making an effort to deal with their OPPOSING VIEWS on slavery ****
And then built the documents of this nation on white supremacy.
(4) They knew what they did would need to grow and they put in the means to make those changes by making it a LIVING DOCUMENT and putting "All men were created equal" and not putting actual "slavery" into the Constitution because THEN as NOW there were OPPOSING VIEWS, but not a full solution.
White supremacy is about more than slavery, and eliminating slavery does not eliminate white supremacy.

The Founding Fathers did not work tirelessly against slavery, but would not "validate it" in the Constitution. AND there have been multiple times it was argued and addressed legally even before the Civil War.
"Not validating" slavery in the constitution is a pretty low bar for recognition.

As a white person living "in the system" I have done all I can to research what is wrong with it and needs to be changed, but if I don't understand specifically what I am looking for it can be hard to find as the system doesn't WANT to be changed.
You're right, systems resist change. But there's no changing a white supremacist system. For me, one great example is our criminal justice system. Law enforcement in this country has its roots in private groups that would protect property, state officials finding people fleeing slavery, and pogroms against immigrants (in some cases racialized) and political radicals. We know nonwhite people are stopped and arrested disproportionately, face disproportionate police violence, get harder sentences and get less of a chance at parole/cash bail. We have seen over the past few decades that "stop focusing on nonwhite people so much" is not an effective reform, because the purpose of white supremacy is absolutely focusing on nonwhite people to keep them marginalized. This system cannot be reformed.

I have been raped as a child by both white and black,
I am sorry.

"THE BAD THINGS PEOPLE DO IS ON THEM, NOT THEIR RACE." Race isn't an excuse for bad behavior, but it doesn't cause them either.
This is indisputable. Observing that white people are not great about talking about race is not saying they do a bad thing.

As a white person who stands up for equality among whites and blacks, I get verbal slap downs from both sides. I am simply looking for a way to be helpful without all the slapping.
One of the most important things white people should realize when it comes to dismantling racist systems is that there is going to be a lot of feedback and sometimes it will feel like slapping. After all, we're *really trying,* so why are people hurting our feelings? Why don't people want our help? And as I said before, white people absolutely must be ready to be uncomfortable while doing this work. It's emotional! It's hard! People's feelings will be hurt! But we must keep on -- and if we wait for everyone to be comfortable at every step, the work won't get done.

And THANK YOU for actually giving me some actual answers. I am sorry it was such an effort.
No apologies necessary.


Why move toward balance first? To find out what works and keep pushing that.

Like support black owned or women owned businesses brings them into the system as valid replacements without destroying everything else and promoting laws that make it illegal to discriminate gives people and businesses a chance to change versus just destroying the system indiscriminately so there is "payback" for 400 plus years of pain.
But...we have Black- and women-owned businesses now that are thriving, and we have anti-discrimination laws, and we still have white supremacy. When does the "balance" start working? Balance is not justice.

I GUESS MY BIGGEST QUESTION IS:
ARE WE PROMOTING EQUALITY FOR ALL or looking to "get back" at the current white population for everything that has gone before? I AM ALL FOR EQUALITY FOR ALL and anyway I can help. BUT IF I HAVE TO "understand" that "talking about 'white people' isn't supposed/intended to be offensive because it's the 'WAY' black people talk about racism...... I CAN BELIEVE there isn't the "intention" to be offensive.


Many Black people have a "way" about talking about racism that is different than how white people talk about racism because Black people have to navigate and live with it differently than white people do. It's not offensive to acknowledge that. It's also not offensive to say, "It would be great if white people could talk about racism with the same honestly that Black people do, even though that honest conversation might have some uncomfortable moments of self-discovery and defensiveness."

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #72)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:56 AM

78. Wow

 

All I can say is

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #72)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:33 PM

83. Don't agree with everything, but maybe you ARE helping me understand it differently.

When you say we have Black and women owned businesses etc.. but still have white supremacy, I agree and think we still keep empowering those groups and projects that work and strip out the things that don't work in the system to the point where it is either just and fair or we have something to replace it that is.

Anarchy and chaos won't promote fairness and justice, it will just go back to rule of the jungle.

We got rid of redlining and we need to keep an eye on anything that comes up that tries to bring that back.


BALANCE not in seeing the wrong of white supremacy and injustice on one side and equality and justice on the other, but more like a FULL balanced approach to making EVERYTHING equal and just for all as was the core of the original concept, even if it only was meant for men...




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Response to TigressDem (Reply #83)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 08:41 PM

91. .

Last edited Sun Oct 3, 2021, 10:58 PM - Edit history (1)

When you say we have Black and women owned businesses etc.. but still have white supremacy, I agree and think we still keep empowering those groups and projects that work and strip out the things that don't work in the system to the point where it is either just and fair or we have something to replace it that is.
The problem is, our version of market capitalism isn't built for "empowering," no matter a person's race. It's designed to be a zero-sum game, with people competing for jobs, spending dollars and markets. And without *dismantling* white supremacist systems, Black people who are thriving as entrepreneurs will still face barriers in lending, housing and health care.

Anarchy and chaos won't promote fairness and justice, it will just go back to rule of the jungle.
It's not like we have just the two choices of the current system and "anarchy and chaos." A person could argue there's plenty of anarchy and chaos in many parts of the country right now.

We got rid of redlining and we need to keep an eye on anything that comes up that tries to bring that back.
We may have gotten rid of redlining, but the problem is, the legacy of redlining -- purposefully disenfranchised neighborhoods, populations who struggle to build credit, the lack of inherited wealth among Black people -- is still with us. So then the question is, how do we correct the legacy of redlining?

And a lot of white people struggle with that part, because even thinking about a "correction" can feel unequal to white people -- like white people are going to lose something.

BALANCE not in seeing the wrong of white supremacy and injustice on one side and equality and justice on the other, but more like a FULL balanced approach to making EVERYTHING equal and just for all as was the core of the original concept, even if it only was meant for men...
The example of gender equality is another great example. White women were shut out of building wealth and independence in this nation for decades, and were granted those rights incrementally and after much debate and discussion. Women who weren't white faced even greater barriers. And even with all of the little nibbles around the edges granting women piecemeal rights, we're still fighting gender-based battles that are hundreds of years old. Reform is not the answer, and the system we have will not bring justice.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #30)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 10:03 AM

41. Colorblindness is vanishingly counterproductive

Last edited Fri Sep 24, 2021, 01:15 PM - Edit history (1)

Study after study have shown that more often than not, white people become involved in anti-racist activism once they realized they are part of the in-group that benefited from unearned privileges.


Promoting "colorblindness" gets you the War On CRT.

Let's not abandon threads of discussion because they make some people uncomfortable.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #41)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 11:09 AM

44. Whenever I hear anyone say, "I don't see race"

 

I know that they definitely see race - and also are more likely than most to make value judgments based on it.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #44)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 01:14 PM

45. Self-declared "colorblind" people

are the first to crucify Al Sharpton and others for being "race hustlers."

That crowd needs to maintain that bubble of innocence, or else they will have to question pretty much everything about the world they live in and what they have accomplished.

As Upton Sinclair said, it's difficult to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on not understanding it. That goes double if their salary is the psychological wages of whiteness.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #45)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:43 PM

84. YOU all are calling me "color blind" I don't think that way.

I see color. I love color. What a boring f**king world without it. BLAH.

I simply believe that we can't ask to resolve the issues of racism by making everything a person can or can't do ABOUT race.


TO BEGIN to realize that we are all HUMAN above and beyond the color of our skin, doesn't ignore the color of our skin.

It simply refuses to believe that a person is limited by the color of their skin to certain behaviors. We have choices and certainly our historical knowledge and experience informs those choices, potentially directing us in certain directions. But if our minds are open, we can make different choices.

I want to support anyone of any race to be the best person they can be whether the challenges they face are because of or in spite of the color of their skin.

Because a person being happy in whatever skin they are in is a more productive member of society and makes the world a better place.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #84)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 02:00 PM

88. You said you were going to go start your own conversation about this..

 

When are you going to do that?

Because your continued attempts to dominate this discussion with lengthy posts about yourself and lectures about how the rest of us should approach this topic (which, I bet no one is even reading anymore) have sufficiently proven Tim Wise's point and are now just becoming tedious.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #41)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 11:49 AM

49. IF a person says, "I don't see color as affecting people" YES, I aggree.

WHAT I AM SAYING is that the COLOR OF SOMEONE'S SKIN is NOT an indication of WHO THEY ARE OR CAN BE.

I see people's color as a variation, hair color, eye color, skin color makes up the person.

Maybe I am LESS color blind and more interested in who someone IS -- ALL THAT PERSON IS, not just deciding who they are by some predefined judgements.


I am not "in the know" enough to even understand what "War on the CRT" means.


I don't mind being uncomfortable, but I want to move BEYOND using Racism to fix Racism.


THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.


You give me examples of HOW people benefit by being white without acting like ALL WHITE PEOPLE get that benefit, then I can do something about it.

This "GENERAL - White Privilege - mantra is what seems counter productive.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #49)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:00 PM

51. You think we can't talk about any kind of white privilege unless we prove that

 

every single white person in America has benefitted from it?

How convenient...

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #51)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:16 PM

54. I did NOT say that.

I am looking for hard core examples of how I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

When I was 5 years old, some white lady told me I couldn't play with her daughter if I also played with the Indian girl and I apologized to my white friend because I wouldn't be playing with her because her Mom was being stupid. The Mom tried to make it about some stuff the girl's older brother's did that was wrong and I told her it was still stupid because the girl wasn't part of that.

I made a difference in my neighborhood because our group was multi-racial by choice because we were friends, not colors to each other. Young, simple, but effective.

When I was 6-7 years old I got raped by both white and black. I decided at that time that what people do wrong is on them, not the color of their skin. It makes a difference in how I treat ever person I meet.

I am still overly honest most times.

I am not perfect.

I don't expect others to be perfect either.

In my 20's I accidentally offended a friend at work and learned about how any reference to "animal traits" goes back to blacks being considered property like animals. Light-bulb moment. I apologized for being stupid myself and thanked her for the education.

Was it comfortable? NO

Was there offense and confusion on both sides? Yes and NO.

I thought I was teasing her for running so fast and beating me from the bus stop to the door of our work by saying, "Were you a racehorse in your past life?" TO ME an obvious impossible but light-hearted statement that showed how impressed I was by how speedy she was and how jealous I was that she left me in the dust.

By explaining the past, she brought me into a deeper understanding of how racism is laced in a lot of common ideas.


So I am open and grateful for any way I can be a better person in this world, especially in regards to finding more ways to defeat racism wherever it happens. Even when it comes out of my own mouth.








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Response to TigressDem (Reply #54)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:23 PM

56. That's exactly what you said.

 

I'm sorry these terrible things happened to you

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #56)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:28 PM

58. NO. I am not looking for "PROOF". I agree things are "systemic".

What I am asking for is ways to "SEE" those things in the "system" because I know I have my own blind spots.

I really have gotten some good suggestions here, once it went past the general.

I can't do anything about the "general" existence of "white privilege" except to ask, HOW CAN I HELP? WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

When all I get back is, you gotta acknowledge that as a white person you are racist and you suck, I feel stymied.

I don't see how it helps.


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #58)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:30 PM

59. ...

 

You give me examples of HOW people benefit by being white without acting like ALL WHITE PEOPLE get that benefit, then I can do something about it.


Your words.

And, as I said, your consistent instructions on how this discussion should be had before you will participate in it are why your participation at this point in this particular discussion is not meaningful.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #59)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:48 PM

62. Very exhausting


I don't mind being uncomfortable, but I want to move BEYOND using Racism to fix Racism.


Even mentioning race is being racist. How do you have a good-faith discussion with people like this?

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #62)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 01:00 PM

65. Mentioning race isn't an issue. NEVER going BEYOND that and making it ALL about race is still racism

People like this?

OK, what am I like?

I want some clarity about white privilege issues that go beyond simply IT IS A THING so I can help make change happen since I am in the group who has the power to do so.


I get MORE solid feedback and steps to improve when I get uppity and challenge this issue than when I simply say, "Uh huh"


So sorry. I have a brain and I use it. If that offends you, so be it.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #65)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 01:16 PM

67. Give me clarity about how you got raped

That's what your entire argument sounds like to me now.

Being negative, insensitive and "uppity" doesn't further a discussion.

Do better.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #67)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:27 AM

73. My rapes taught me that any color of human can be cruel.

But it is hardly the ENTIRE argument. I simply think that while White Privilege surely exists and we must admit it and own it, to get BEYOND racism and into productive actions against it, we can do better than white wash or white trash entire parts of history.

Historically, I think we look at the actual facts and see where people were being intentionally cruel, where people were not educated or unaware of how their actions affected others and where people tried to help and may have made some progress.

With an HONEST unflinching appraisal which doesn't vilify all whites, which may BE the attempt to talk about White Privilege, but isn't how it plays out.... because any question or request for how to make things better results in being attacked as some type of white supremacist in hiding.... an HONEST unflinching appraisal will help identify problems and solutions.


As for my rapes. Plural.

My first was at a neighbor's house with my Mother and our neighbors. There was a Dad, a Mom, an older sister and a 16 year old boy.

I was being given a black baby doll by the older sister as a gesture of showing me to love and care for all kinds of people by the older sister.

They sent me down to the basement (most likely with no ill intent) with the 16 year old to retrieve the doll from their storage.

He proceeded to ask a 6 year old to "play a game" with him and took off my panties and stuck his dick inside me. I pushed him away because it hurt and he said "OK" gave me the doll and we went back upstairs. I had no idea at that age what the hell had just happened.

Later that year another older boy threatened to tell my Mom that me and his younger brother (5 years old and I was still 6) were doing naughty things if I didn't go into our basement crawl space with him. To protect the younger brother and myself I thought, I went with him. Same basic scenario with a 12 year old white boy as with the 16 year old. My Mother caught "us" and sent him home.

Lecherous "Uncle" tried to put his fingers down my panties. Also white. Chased me from one place to the next trying to get alone with me. I finally told a trusted adult what had been happening and they made that stop too.



NOW if I were to apply the reactions I have gotten for my questions to your question, I could assume you are just a pervert who gets off on listening to rape stories.

BUT I know most people here care about women and while they may feel a rape would color their opinions, wouldn't actually blame them for their rape or get off on the pain and anguish caused.

SO I give you the benefit of the doubt about your intentions and simply asked for that same rule of thumb to be applied to me as well.


Peace

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #62)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 08:30 PM

69. It is, indeed

 

Maybe that's the point ...

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #69)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:42 AM

74. Isn't it funny how sometimes people can actually agree on core issues, but argue a lot?

I grew up on the West Coast and got probably a more liberal education than many white kids, in more ways than just school.

So I did get into the history of slavery and how whites decimated the Indians because there were many in power who thought whites were supreme to other races. The misuse of Chinese on the construction of railroads, the internment camps where Mexicans and others were used to farm and owed so much just for room and board that they were essentially slave labor any way. How the Mexican men started banding together to protect their women and eventually that evolved into gangs with much more sinister agendas while still believing they needed to do whatever it took to protect themselves from white society.

I KNOW there is so much historically to understand WHY whites are mistrusted.

I also know that in all that history were also whites who stood against the mistreatment and attempts to resolve these problems somehow legally.

We started this country while we still had multiple opposing viewpoints on how best to resolve these issues. IF it had been the intent of ALL the Founding Fathers to validate and litigate slavery as legal, they Constitution would have said, ALL WHITE MEN are created Equal, not ALL MEN are created equal. And as a woman, I am still in similar status waiting for a real equality to be recognized. So I feel the pain of being seen as less than for something I have no control over either.

I HATE THE EFFORTS of the REICH WING to keep us all fighting with each other and to keep their tentacles in the structure of society so they can keep trying to decimate the opposition and retake control and establish the rich over the poor, the white over the others.....

I want to do all in my power to stop that.

I simply want some ideas of what in today's system is still supporting that agenda.

AND despite all the flak I am getting with the replies, I am getting some answers.

So thanks for starting the thread.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #74)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:45 AM

76. It's interesting how you keep trying to make this thread all about you

 

This isn't about you.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #76)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 01:06 PM

86. But aren't I the actual "target audience" of the article in the OP?

Aren't you trying to show people like me how to think properly so we can understand how talking about us white folk and all the crap we have done isn't anything personal?

Or is this all about how black people are pissed that we THINK we have any input or feelings about how you talk to us?

Not dismissive.

Yep.


Discomfort for all.

The new America.

Fun.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #86)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 01:12 PM

87. You are the target audience of the piece

 

But instead of reading it and learning anything, you exhibited and then doubled down on exactly the defensive mindset Tim Wise is describing and urging the target audience to step away from.

And no - he's not telling you how to "think properly" but he is telling you that if you are really serious about this, you should stop disrupting conversations with complaints about how the conversation is offensive to you, as you have consistently done and continue to do.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #59)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:55 PM

64. IF I were giving orders on how it should happen before..... we wouldn't be talking.

I am simply trying to take the conversation FARTHER.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #64)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 08:35 PM

70. It's not up to you to "take the conversation FARTHER" by telling everyone what you think

 

the conversation should be.

You would actually take the conversation FARTHER if you stopped trying to disrupt the conversation by making it about you and your issues and listened to what other people had to say.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #70)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 10:41 PM

71. Biggest giveaway that this was a waste of time

Is how she waxed poetic about how much she has done for The Blacks.

If she wants brownie points from us, sign up as a member of the NAACP, get the membership card, and post a screenshot in the replies. That's sure to shut us up

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #71)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:12 PM

79. WOW.

Guess you really are a jerk.

What have YOU ever done to increase the peace and understanding between blacks and whites or any different ethnicity?

If you have stories about that, I wouldn't automatically assume you were show boating. Again, I would go back to giving you the benefit of the doubt and hear what you had to say as being your experience that there IS HOPE. People CAN make positive choices.

It isn't ALL bleak and horrible out there. Some people care.

I don't think I have done "a lot" for blacks. I simply think I was raised to think differently and was allowed to live as a respectful person in a world that is often full of hatred and stupidity.


When someone is TRYING to understand, I don't see how it is a waste of time. Don't go into diplomacy if you think that way. That would be a waste of your time and anyone else who had to deal with that attitude.

But keep being a challenging grump here. You still have some valid points despite your delivery and we can take the heat.

In fact, your idea to join the NAACP was a great one. THANKS!!



NAACP Application

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_1bsjo-7jhoSetdxAxvhuMbMz935HAbk/view?usp=sharing







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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #70)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:43 AM

75. OK.

So I will start a different conversation, somewhere else.

But despite our disagreements, I think we may both have learned from each other.


Thanks.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #75)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 11:49 AM

77. Yes, it's probably better for you to try to start a conversation on race that's more to your liking

 

than continuing to try to steer this conversation into a deep dive on you and your feelings.

Good luck.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #77)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:16 PM

80. Are you this dismissive with everyone you meet?

Way to build bridges!!

Make friends.

Influence people.

YOU MUST BE A ROCK STAR AT PARTIES!!


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Response to TigressDem (Reply #80)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 12:25 PM

82. Not dismissive. Just honest

 

It's always amusing to be lectured interminably by someone and then be called "dismissive" when I say "OK, you do you" after they announce they're walking away from the conversation because they don't like the way this one is going for them.

And, yes, I'm very popular at parties.

(FYI - it's not my responsibility to "make friends" with or "build bridges" to you ...)

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #82)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 01:02 PM

85. I didn't ask anyone to "build a bridge TO me" but traditionally people working together ...

VS tearing each other down is called building bridges and it is assumed "TOGETHER"

And isn't the point of posting someone on DU to find a solution together, to get people moving in a positive direction?

I don't need any more friends, so sorry if you took it that way.

I am sure you are quite a nice person, but like many of us here, kinda driven to be heard and make a positive difference.


PEACE.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #13)


Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 05:44 AM

15. Where I was growing up, there was similar sentiment, but against Blacks.

"When I say (N-Word), I don't mean THAT kind of Black"

That's the takeaway I got from this particular piece; "Well we don't mean THAT kind of 'White'".


As pointed out elsewhere, it's easy to say "Well not X, I mean Y". It's a sentiment of race-based bigotry that applies, with a broad brush, "Everyone who I disapprove of until I say otherwise".


While I agree with the sentiment, I can also understand the pushback. If a random white person said "I hate it when (Racial stereotype of any minority)", they'd be accused of racism, and rightly; Saying "White people" or "Wypipo" or whatever race-based childish bigotry someone's trying to cover for, it should be rightly trashed as racist and bigoted. This sort of thing brought up by Mr. Wise only hinders race relations across the board, and indeed encourages said bigotry and hate.


Like I said, I understand the principle and it's sound in spirit, but it can also cause/enable FAR more problems than it solves. When I was growing up, as recently as the 90s/00s, I heard "Not THAT type of black person, this kind (Insert Stereotype)" to justify the N-word, and that was in relatively liberal upstate New York. Not worth it, IMO, and if you're talking about racists, one should simply say "racists", not the all-encompassing broad brush of "White People"

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 08:48 AM

20. You're equating Black people being called "nigger" with white people being called "white people"?

 

Seriously?

Referring to white people as "white people" is not the problem. Some white people trying to divert attention from the issue and making every effort, no matter how ridiculous, to justify not doing the hard work needed to address racism - including by casting themselves as the real victims as some are doing without any self-reflection or embarrassment - is the problem here.

It's interesting that several posts here are perfect illustrations of exactly what Tim Wise is addressing in his article.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 08:55 AM

22. No ma'am, I'm saying that the sentiment and end result are the same.

We've had a dialogue recently, and you know that I'm at the -very least- open to change and willing to listen. I'm not equivocating the severity of something like the N-word to "White People", but the exact same argument of "Not all white people" is often used to justify "Not all black people" in exactly the same way. This article reads, again as mentioned upthread, -exactly- the same as the "They're not all N-words" bullshit I heard growing up from an entirely white town prejudiced against blacks.

I hope you don't take my meaning to be one of hate or racism, I'm trying to explain that the very people this article tries to reach often use the exact same phrases and sentences to justify their own deep-seated racism and bigotry. "Not all (X)" is a rallying cry for the racist and the hate-filled bigots, and this article plays entirely into those same hands.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 09:00 AM

23. You think black people being called nigger and white people being called white people has the same r

 

No, they don't.

I don't think your point of view comes out of hate or racism. But it does suggest a lack of understanding of the dynamics of white supremacy and why It makes these false equivalencies you're trying to draw completely inoperable.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 09:09 AM

24. I'd agree that the words/phrases don't carry the same weight, to be sure.

What I'm arguing is that the sentiment, of "Not all X", is one that I heard commonly growing up; You weren't an "N-word" if you weren't in the city, if you were involved in politics, if you were involved in the school PTA or the HOA. There are these 'disqualifying' situations in which case one was not an "N-word", and as someone who was born/raised in an all-white suburban area, this is exactly the same kind of reasoning that I read in this article. It's directed towards white people, and it comes across -exactly- as the same type of racism and bigotry as I saw growing up.

To be clear, I think the article is accurate but misguided. It uses "White people" as a slur just as people in my hometown used "Black people" as a slur, for all the same reasons and in all the same ways; From a place of ignorance and "Othering" people of a different race. In my personal opinion, it was wrong for my hometown to do that sort of bullshit, and equally, it's wrong for anyone else to do the same.

I'm entirely open to the notion that I'm wrong. I'm human and fallible, and I'm inclined to believe your arguments before my own as you speak from a place of authority. That said, my initial post was spoken from experience and my first thoughts based on my own life experience. If I'm wrong, then please educate me, given my limited-to-no experience in the affairs of POC and bigotry (My town was well-desegregated and integrated with Asians, Eastern Europeans, South Africans and South Americans, but no one I could credibly call 'Black'.)

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 09:52 AM

26. They not only don't carry the same weight, they should never be equated in a discussion like this

 

White people is not used as a slur, it's used in an attempt to explain mindset that many white people have and is actually very pervasive and damaging.

It's interesting that many people have no problem discussing other groups in general - Black people, women, Republicans, Dems, men, etc. - without feeling the need to qualify every reference with language that makes clear that what's being discussed doesn't apply to every single Black person, woman, Republican, Dem, man or having the entire discussion derailed and hijacked with a debate about terminology - but whenever anyone (especially a Black person) says "white people," some white folks seem to get triggered into "not all white people" lectures and turn the discussion into complaints about how THEY are being personally attacked and if only we didn't malign well-meaning white people, we'd be able to see "real change."

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 11:56 PM

33. "It uses 'White people' as a slur"

Thanks for giving the game away.

Most W**** p***** don't see themselves as part of a race, or any special outgroup or ingroup. They see themselves as normal individuals while those in outgroups are anomalies.

Once W**** p***** are casted as part of an outgroup, it creates trauma for them and they lash out, which is why we can't have an honest dialogue about race in this country.

Hope you don't mind me censoring the W-word.

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #33)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 12:02 AM

34. Bingo

 

"It's racist for anyone to refer to us collectively as 'white people' because we are individuals who shouldn't be identified by our race, so I wish Black people would stop referring to us that way."

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #34)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 12:32 AM

37. Thank you. That's the w**** state of mind Tim Wise was talking about

The freedom to think you're normal. The w-word needs to be hidden and buried or else that worldview would collapse and people will have to confront ugly truths.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:01 PM

52. It is more like being called "boy" or saying "black people" do X because they are black.

There is an unspoken bias that says "white people" (AKA all you ignorant white supremacists who don't even KNOW you are white supremacists) that is like those dog whistle words like "boy" or attributing criminal behavior to "black people" because they are targeted by the criminal "justice" system disproportionately and have less access to expensive legal help so represent a higher portion of people found guilty of crime.

When you say, IT IS racist to do X and it's built into the system like this, it is a different conversation.

If it's offensive for white people to be lazy and talk about race how it used to be talked about, then the same can happen in reverse context.

I DON'T CARE if people say offensive things to me. I can choose to be offended or not.


WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR is the way to find the bricks and nails that are holding racism together and dismantle them without bringing a whole house down on my head, figuratively.

So I prefer a conversation that gets to the actual point and doesn't throw a lot of shade when it isn't a necessary part of fixing the problem.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #52)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:04 PM

53. You keep telling us what the conversation must consist of before you'll engage in it

 

But it sounds like you just are looking for excuses not to engage in it beyond long posts about why you think the conversation is all wrong because you don't like it.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #53)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:20 PM

55. NO. I get it that White Privilage exists.

It's simply that "BLAME" has never been a very effective means of conversation. Especially when it's made as a blanket statement.

I'd like to see things be better and I'd like to be part of making it happen.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #55)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:26 PM

57. You are the one introducing blame into this discussion

 

Because, it seems, you equate any discussion of white privilege with blaming white people for having that privilege.

Until you get past that rather huge obstacle in your thinking and stop assuming that YOU are being blamed for something, you'll never be able to meaningfully contribute to the discussion.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #57)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 12:45 PM

61. White and Black thinking is inherently biased and oppositional.

I can listen to discussions of "white privilege" without taking offense or feeling blamed, if there is something ELSE to focus on, like any steps to take to create a solution.

THESE HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPENED AND ARE HAPPENING and white people did it. Admit it. Is that what you want me to hear without feeling blamed for being white?



OK. I admit it.



HOW IS THAT HELPFUL? is just where I go from that point. I want MORE from the conversation.


AND IF ALL you are telling ME, is no matter what I say is that "UNLESS YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND, you don't meaningfully contribute to the discussion......."


WOW.



Wanting to move a conversation forward to the next logical steps is counterproductive.


Who knew.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 06:50 AM

18. K&R. Posting this article really illustrates the need for an article like this.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 08:50 AM

21. Ain't it true?

 

Last edited Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:31 AM - Edit history (1)

It is very kind of folks to be so willing to offer illustrations of what Tim Wise is talking about. They've helped make it so much easier for anyone interested in this topic but not fully understanding it to get a grasp on what he is saying

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:25 AM

28. MA'AM.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #28)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:31 AM

29. LOL

 

I see what you did there...

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 09:17 AM

25. I see this so often on social media

A lot of "not me" defensiveness. I always understood it wasn't all encompassing.

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Response to mcar (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 23, 2021, 10:01 AM

27. It's only a problem when referring to "white people."

 

There's something very triggering about that to some white folk who have no problem with other groups being spoken of as groups (note the qualifier "some" ...)

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #27)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 12:09 AM

35. Yup, I'm white and have benefitted from Whiteness, Inc

I'll admit it. I can't say I'm not racist, because whatever I feel I am or am not, my actions may be seen as racist by someone who is not White or has been negativity impacted by White Privilege.

On edit - it's like the Sexual Harrassment training we went through in the Navy. Doesn't matter if you've convinced yourself it's just joking or nothing serious, the target of your actions is the one who gets to define if it's offensive or not.

What little crumbs minorities in this country get from government programs does not make up for the benefits generational money or looking like the boss man's peers brings to a significant number of others.

So I don't get offended or am fearful by the weary resentment of others that are not so fortunate. They have every right to label the System as it affects them. That I am part of that system, while not of my own choice, is something I cannot deny.

I just have to be the best fat old white lady I can be. So any respect I will receive will be due to my own merits, not my expectations.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 24, 2021, 12:18 AM

36. Benefiting from white supremacist system does not make one racist

 

And you sound like an awesome fat old white lady. I'd love to sit next to you at the next party... I think we'd have a blast.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Sat Oct 2, 2021, 01:06 PM

66. Black Jeopardy on SNL always has a "White People" category

I don't think I've seen a Black Jeopardy skit that wasn't one of the best skits on the show that Saturday night. Full disclosure, I'm white and fairly old, and I can't speak to how the skit works for others. But for me it comes across as daring, brilliant, and very funny. The OP hits me the same way. Thanks for posting!

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Response to StarfishSaver (Original post)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 03:21 PM

89. Tim Wise is correct that white people need to learn to talk about race and talk about it better.


But, Tim Wise, in his usual smugness, dismisses something important. Well-intentioned white people can suffer social or organizational consequences if they don't speak of race well or flip into defensiveness. Wise is good at it and makes money from doing so I can see why he has blinders. This is not to say "poor white people". It's just that there isn't much benefit in the short term for discussing race when (almost by definition) it's so easy to make mistakes or reveal actual biases and reap consequences.

I also think Tim Wise is being disingenuous when he says that "We're not talking about you". It is about our daily decisions and actions that maintain white supremacy -- each and every one of us as far as I can tell.

But yes, we white people, every one of us individuals, has to learn to talk about race one way or another if we're going to change.

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Response to SYFROYH (Reply #89)

Sun Oct 3, 2021, 03:51 PM

90. I see your point

 

But I think most people - white and other races - who are really interested in honestly addressing the problem don't allow the possibility of social and organizational consequences get in the way of talking and learning. And there are very few real social and organizational consequences for white people who speak about this, even when they speak in a way that makes people of color uncomfortable since most white people are able to navigate around and away from these issues without having them impact their lives in any meaningful way.

Black people can't pick and choose when or whether to talk or think about race or decide not to discuss it because we don't like how the conversation is going - it's with us every second of every day.

But generally, I agree with your points and appreciate reading your thoughtful take.

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