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Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:31 PM

Has anyone found this to be true since President Obama was elected?

I am a white mid western girl transplanted to Oklahoma. I have been a diversity trainer, on the side, for almost 20 years. I openly admit that from time to time even I make what might be called cultural mistakes, but they are not made with anger, they are made due to ignorance of the feelings and life experience of others.

We were raised to respect all people, Mom would not tolerate injustice, always expected us to treat people as we would want to be treated.

The past 6 years since President Obama was elected, the serious racists have come out from under their rocks to attack all Black people. Disrespect abounds, no Black person is safe from their hatred and intolerance. What has been interesting to me is that I have found that Black friends of mine, many who I have had for years, some since undergrad, have become so angry with the system that they are looking at every white person with the same hatred, no exceptions.

I find I am afraid to talk with them about anything of substance for fear of offending them and have them accuse me of being intolerant. It really hurts me to lose some friends I have loved for so long. We have sat in my living and argued about tons of things, including race relations over the years, but still came away friends. I don't sense that is possible any longer and it makes me sad.

I taught a diversity class last week that came close to blows. It was a group who all work together and have for some time. According to their boss, the racial dynamics have been getting worse by the day for the past 6 years. I can tell you I have never led a group like that one. The minute I brought up white privilege the place was up for grabs, screaming and hollering at each other, talking, no screaming about Ferguson and Wilson being set up and treated unfairly. One young Black woman in the back of the room held her own in the "discussion" but it escalated to the point that one older Black lady asked if she could be excused because she was "fearful".

Once I got control again, we went on to other exercises but the room was full of tension. I suggested to the owner of the business that he may want to bring in a professional mediator to try and help the situation.

The divisions are worse than I have ever seen, I said a few years ago I felt a civil war was very possible and was pretty much shut down here on DU, how do you feel now? Have any of your opinions regarding race changed?

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Reply Has anyone found this to be true since President Obama was elected? (Original post)
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 OP
Wellstone ruled Dec 2014 #1
tk2kewl Dec 2014 #2
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #5
tk2kewl Dec 2014 #9
GeorgeGist Dec 2014 #18
el_bryanto Dec 2014 #3
bhikkhu Dec 2014 #8
okaawhatever Dec 2014 #13
customerserviceguy Dec 2014 #33
el_bryanto Dec 2014 #36
customerserviceguy Dec 2014 #42
nichomachus Dec 2014 #4
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #6
progressoid Dec 2014 #11
JoePhilly Dec 2014 #7
Liberal Lolita Dec 2014 #10
KT2000 Dec 2014 #12
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #14
brer cat Dec 2014 #24
uppityperson Dec 2014 #15
True Blue Door Dec 2014 #16
nruthie Dec 2014 #17
Rhiannon12866 Dec 2014 #19
SweetieD Dec 2014 #20
uppityperson Dec 2014 #21
SweetieD Dec 2014 #22
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #23
Odin2005 Dec 2014 #25
elleng Dec 2014 #26
RKP5637 Dec 2014 #27
kelly1mm Dec 2014 #28
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #39
kelly1mm Dec 2014 #41
Matrosov Dec 2014 #29
JEFF9K Dec 2014 #30
Lil Missy Dec 2014 #31
Johonny Dec 2014 #32
Skeowes28 Dec 2014 #34
Skeowes28 Dec 2014 #35
Shankapotomus Dec 2014 #37
BubbaFett Dec 2014 #38
redstatebluegirl Dec 2014 #40

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:43 PM

1. Wow,

you gave some or many of my suspicions truth. When you read the Media or Press,many stories are total hit pieces on minorities or other disenfranchised groups. Mostly negative to African American groups. Seems to have really accelerated in January of 2009. Want to verify this divisive nature,read the letters to the Editor or comments on various story lines. Seems to be a well orchestrated feedback or comment group and you wonder why the distrust.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:47 PM

2. I felt that the assholes started coming out of the shadows during the Bush admin.

 

maybe more so since Obama, but I think it became apparent under Bush.

Then again, it might simply be that new media has made them more visible

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:57 PM

5. Maybe, but I didn't see it as nasty until after November 2008.

Much as I love blaming President Bush for things, this doesn't seem to have escalated until after January 2009. It depends on the makeup of the group, if it is blue collar, less educated it is really nasty. People say "we are losing control of our country" or "the thugs are taking over our country". I tend to agree that the word "thug" has replaced the "n" word and should be considered a racist comment in today's world.

More educated groups show the same amount of hatred, also use the "thug" word a great deal thinking it is better than the alternative, but it doesn't get as nasty. The racism in that crowd is still below the surface because there are people in attendance who don't agree with them at all, keeps the real racists in check.

I hope I am wrong but it has kept me awake recently.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:03 PM

9. i can honestly say that prior to the obama presidency...

 

that i perceived that the permissiveness described in nichomachus' post #4 was well under way

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:55 PM

18. Katrina was the eye opener ...

for anyone naive enough to think racism was dying.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:50 PM

3. I wonder how much of this economic as well

The working and middle class is getting more and more poor - seeing opportunities slip away. They are looking for someone to blame and, well, the right wing is there to tell them who's fault it really is.

Very few on the left are pointing to wall street or the plutocrats as an alternate enemy (i.e. the ones who are really screwing us) so there you go.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:02 PM

8. I think a lot of it is economic

I recall growing up in California and never really even being aware of prejudice against Hispanics. I went through school more or less oblivious - some of my friend's last names were Ramirez, Serrano, Garcia, and my first big crush's name was Robles. Years alter I recall thinking back and realizing they were Hispanic, and it made no difference whatsoever to anyone at the time.

It wasn't until the 80's that I heard any hate speech directed their way, and it coincided with a lot of economic changes and the stagnating of the economy as a whole under Reagan. It became socially acceptable to complain about people speaking spanish, and to blame them for poor wages and how hard it was to find a job. I do think when people are having a hard time, its easier for them to blame it on another race. When people are feeling marginalized themselves, making another group their inferior feels like giving themselves a leg up on the social ladder.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:30 PM

13. ^^^^^this^^^^coupled with a media that is exacerbating the problem. nt

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 12:37 AM

33. And when you bring up the phrase

"white privilege", you've lost them. I really think that the proponents of that line of thinking need to come up with a better term for it, if they're going to make their point. It just shuts people down to hear it.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 09:10 AM

36. It has pluses and minuses

On the one hand it expresses something that is real and that white people have to acknowledge if they are going to make any real progress. On the other hand it is distasteful for many when first heard. I found it distasteful when I first heard it (but in fairness I heard it in college, where both I and the person explaining it to me lacked emotional maturity)). Is it worth the shock value and distaste to push them through to understanding? Or is there a softer way to explain it that would be just as effective.

I am a proponent of that line of thinking, and I kind of think the value of the phrase and the idea it expresses is worth temporary discomfort.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 3, 2014, 10:12 PM

42. In college

you actually pay to hear ideas that challenge your worldview.

At the family Thanksgiving dinner table, not so much. A softer phrase, eventually possibly leading to the words 'white privilege' migh have a better chance of getting listened to, and provoking thought amongst the listeners.

When you come at someone who is far from being a one-percenter, who probably has been told all of his/her life that affirmative action for people of color have stolen job opportunites, with the words 'white privilege', they're likely to mentally shut you down forever.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:53 PM

4. I don't think racism has increased

It was always there. It's just that the increase in racist vitriol coming from supposed political leaders and media commentators has given protective cover to the garden variety racists who had learned to keep their hate to themselves. They're now been given "permission" to express the bigotry they always felt.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:58 PM

6. I didn't mean to imply it had increased

but rather that it is now more acceptable to voice it and live it.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:17 PM

11. Yes, it's acceptable now. But its more than that.

I know a few people who would only show their racism with "jokes" in the past. Now those "jokes" have turned to openly vile anger.

There is a seething ugliness out there. And the media seems to be supporting it.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:59 PM

7. Obama's election has caused their anger to boil over.

They've been angry for years, but they hid it. They only showed their racism in certain circles. And they hated hiding.

Electing Obama took them over the edge.

They can no longer contain it.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:17 PM

10. I think it has gotten worse

I've seen people I used to think of as non racist, show a side I never imagined. I'm talking about people who helped fight for civil rights in the 60s.
So many watch Faux Spews, and buy into their "reporting" hook line, and sinker. It is sad how many people claim that racism is no longer a problem in this country, while acting totally racist themselves.
I raised my kids in, and lived in a multicultural neighborhood for years. I moved to the suburbs last year, and have been shocked by the comments my new neighbors have made about my old neighborhood.
When we first moved we told some friends from our old neighborhood about a house here, that was a great price. They weren't interested because they were afraid that their mixed race household wouldn't be excepted. After a year here, I agree.
The best race relations I remember in my life where during the late 70s, and early 80s. It seems to me that, as the right wing has grabbed more power, certain groups have quit trying to hide their hatred.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:24 PM

12. Lots of voices stoking division

and hatred. At the grassroots people need to figure out how to bring the level of this down.

I recognize this from my high school days in the late 60s. Racial tensions were at a fever pitch in our school as well as the rest of the country. There was violence and property damage in demonstrations by the black students. Most of it stemmed from the fact that they were treated differently than white students. They were disciplined way more often for offenses that white kids were not. There was no way they could be heard and understood by the white administration.

Rather than take a "military/police" type response the principal called a school assembly to announce the formation of a black student union that would have direct access to the administration. The administration was shuffled to bring in black members - vice principal, counselors etc.

Something else that happened was that the Black Panthers came to the school grounds and provided focus and leadership. A hierarchy was formed within the black student community with the Panther members garnering respect.

During this time white students were made aware of injustices that were taking place all around them. Though we did not have that term then, we learned that we had white privilege. There was more crossing of those invisible barriers and things did change - not for everyone but for some. Most importantly, the bigots were marginalized.

There are of course differences between then and now but the basic principles remains the same - the need to be heard and understood, the need for a constructive outlet, and most of all a commitment to equality and fairness.

Until the bigots are marginalized in this country, rather than fed with hatred through media, things will just get worse - probably not all out civil war but skirmishes that will further erode this country.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:30 PM

14. Very well said, thank you!

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 07:43 PM

24. You have made some good comments, KT2000.

I would like to lift up this:

"At the grassroots people need to figure out how to bring the level of this down."

I firmly believe that real change can only occur at the grassroots level. As long as people feel comfortable with overt racism in their own environment, they don't care what others think, and they will continue to believe that they are "right." I remember the sixties also, and the efforts by some school administrators, pastors and community leaders succeeded in at least forcing some of the racism behind closed doors. Without those voices, it was much easier to explore the paths to equality and fairness for all.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:31 PM

15. Racism has become more open but I have no worries of talking with my friends, it is very much even

more possible with the opening up and showing blatant racism.

"I find I am afraid to talk with them about anything of substance for fear of offending them and have them accuse me of being intolerant."

I find this really sad because I am experiencing the opposite. I am listening more, giving support rather than advising people what to do or how to feel or explain away things.

Your description of your diversity class sounds like it became openly and nastily racist. More talk is needed, more people LISTENING and trying to overcome their fears. Having a professional mediator could help.

I see more anger at hidden racism, and now outwardly "ok to show" racism. I see more fear by racists, leading them to be more nasty.

My opinions regarding race have not changed. We are people, first and foremost, and letting fears turn us into assholes picking on someone is just plain wrong. Time to get past this shit.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:44 PM

16. Racist behavior has indeed become more brazen.

But the tension you're talking about must be a regional thing. The West Coast where I live has only gotten more and more racially smooth and accepting since we got a black President, at least in terms of how people live in everyday life. Still a ton of police racism, but that's a power issue rather than a social one.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 05:55 PM

17. Yes, things have gotten much worse.

The racists all crawled out from the woodwork with the election of Obama. Before that they had sort of bit their tongues enough that they weren't that noticeable. But, Fox news and the Republicans made it socially acceptable for them to start spewing their garbage wherever they please. They opened Pandora' s Box with the likes of Sarah Palin and the tea party loons. Instead of being ignored they were being treated with respect and were being actually listened to and encouraged to bring out the worst in people. Suddenly these people were being treated as respectable citizens; not the ignorant yahoos they are. Their hatred is now out in the open for us all to see. I don't see the situation improving, and the idea of another civil war is not that difficult to imagine. I've been around for over 70 years and watched things go from bad to worse.
It's like some repulsive disease.

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Response to nruthie (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:11 PM

19. Exactly!

The fact that we're hearing hate speech over the airwaves and from those publicity seekers who inexplicably have a national forum has given license to the bigoted and ignorant. I grew up on the '60s and '70s and never heard anything like this.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:13 PM

20. I don't see any major changes tbh

I am black. I grew up in a 99% white midwestern area in the middle of nowhere. I've seen this same hatred and sickness forever. I don't see any difference. Maybe white people are just noticing it more.

Some examples. My town was the only town in the entire county with any black families or really non-white families. there was usually at least one black guy on the football or basketball team. Of course it never failed when we played rivals in other places that were 100% white, people would be saying N-- this and that. ridiculous. I also remember an incident where a girl who was Half black won a county fair princess (obviously first one) and there were folks who threw rotten eggs at her car in the parade and called her all kinds of racist stuff. I have my own personal stories to have being called racist things to my face. This was the late 80s/ early 90s. I moved from there about 10 years ago.

So I don't know what utopia folks were living in where they thought racism was quiet or over.

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Response to SweetieD (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:17 PM

21. Do you mean it is more overt or just that it is being noticed more by more white people?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:20 PM

22. I think white people are noticing racism more now.

mostly due to social media.

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Response to SweetieD (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 06:29 PM

23. I never thought it was over, this just feels much worse.

I've been confronting racism for quite a while with white people, since I am one, and that is the prism I see the world from. I can't imagine, nor do I try to, what you have gone through. I try to understand and confront it, educate when I can.

What I am seeing is an escalation. Perhaps I have been wearing rose colored glasses, but I have never lived in a utopia, unless you consider Indiana, Missouri and Oklahoma utopia for people of color. I have never felt we were void of racism, I'm not that out of touch . What I do feel is the brazen way it is showing itself now makes me more concerned than ever for the safety of all of us. You cannot solve problems with so much anger and animosity in the room. You can't get people to listen, and listening is the beginning.

I don't minimize what minorities have gone through. If the projections are correct white people may see what it is like soon enough. I can only hope the new majority will handle it better than we have.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:22 PM

25. I didn't realize this kind of widespread racism still existed until 2008.

It was personally shocking and horrifying to me, since I was taught as a kid that the only racists still around were bitter old people who were too set in their ways to change, but now I am seeing even some of my fellow Millennials sounding like Klansmen.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:30 PM

26. Fortunately I have not found that to be the case with my African American friends.

Sorry you have.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:37 PM

27. After the 60's I thought it was slowly improving. At work I worked with many black people and

people of all nationalities. It all always went smoothly for the most part, but maybe that was because I was in hi-tech where that is often the common denominator.

What I have noticed is growing and growing hostilities. I attribute a lot of that to hate radio/tv/internet, hate jocks of all types on the radio/tv/internet. They fan the flames of separation.

Yes, I have noticed a sharp uptick in hostilities since Obama. IMO it's brought all of the racists out of the woodwork. We thought they had gone away, they hadn't. And I think they despise what they see as that uppity --- in the Whitehouse. It is pathetic, sad and disgusting.

Many in the US embarrass this country.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:41 PM

28. Somewhat off topic but as you posted you are a diversity trainer, I thought I may ask and get

a reasoned response. I noticed in your OP that when you mentioned black people you capitalized the B while when you mentioned white people you did not capitalize the W. Is there a reason for this? I ask because I do see it often in writing and wondered if there was some reason for it as it seems non-sensical to me.

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 02:59 PM

39. It was a typo I didn't correct but..

The immediate assumption was that I was disrespecting white people, I am one so that is not something I would do. I normally cap both in my teaching materials. I want to show respect for all of the participants and many people identify by those names.

Interesting the most overreaction I had from the crowd, which was pretty evenly split between White, Latino and Black was from the White participants. They acted like animals trapped in a corner, it made me very sad.

When someone notices a failure to capitalize I usually know I'm in trouble, it has happened before obviously I am not a very accurate typist I failed that class in school on purpose so I didn't have to do it the rest of my life. What I mean by trouble is, the small things are what we get caught up in, and it takes forever to get over the small issues to get to the big ones.

I don't see it as non-sensical when dealing with very hot issues like this. The little things mean more than you realize.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 05:57 PM

41. I supose I was drawn to it as it seemed purposeful in that the 5 times black was used the B

was capitalized each time and the 3 times white was used the W was not capitalized.

I did not immediately assume any disrespect was intended, but rather wondered if it was a writing convention in the diversity training community.

The argument is that you can uplift a certain race (especially if it is/was historically marginalized) with certain promotions (for example, Black History Month) and it is not disrespectful to historically advantaged races (ie, there is no White History Month - although one could argue that every month is White History Month lol)

That is what I though was maybe the case, but you clarified that it was just a typo.

Thanks.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:48 PM

29. White supremacists are coming out of the woodwork

 

Democratic presidents always seem to bring out the crazier factions of the conservative movements. Militias were especially popular during the Clinton years for instance, as the inbreds thought he was going to hand sovereignty of the United States over to the United Nations, among many other things.

An African-American rising to the ultimate position of power within our government however, is also the ultimate insult to these people. President Obama not only reached the highest office in the nation, but he did so with the support of the majority of the people, as slim as that majority might have been.

It's understandable that this unapologetic display of racism would also make members of our African-American community more tense. They're now the targets of the conservatives who'd have you believe a Kenyan Muslim is our President and is attempting to undermine the white population somehow.

They're sadly painting whites with a broad brush at times, as though we're all responsible for the racism that seems to be getting deeper and deeper, but at the same time that kind of response is understandable when they have to be extremely frustrated about not having their voices heard. African-Americans are screaming out in pain and not enough of us are willing to listen.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:51 PM

30. I haven't noticed any changes, except maybe in the opposite direction.

But all bets are off when it comes to cases like O.J. and Ferguson.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 11:56 PM

31. Yes, I have noticed the same thing. n/t

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 12:31 AM

32. The thing is Obama has been all right and not the "worse than Bush" they expected and they hate it

They expected for us to just shrink to their subtle name calling, but we haven't. They expected to get away with the racist language. We've been holding their feet to the fire each and every time. Each year they get more and more blatant and angry as we call them racists. The more their policies have failed, they more our policies have been shown to be needed... the more pissed they get. They honestly have nothing else but to hate because of his race. The more we say all you have is the race card the more pissed they are that we both know "that's all they got."

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 01:28 AM

34. Call it majority privalege

 

Those racusts were always there just need something to rouse them up and obama was perfect and the GOP can't stand the dems in power

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 01:29 AM

35. You will get friends back

 

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 09:38 AM

37. It seems to me, in regards to oppressed groups,

we have a competitive problem layered on top of problems of race, patriarchy and homophobia.

Disagreeing with someone who doesn't look like you has its own set of issues but even agreeing with someone who doesn't look like you can trigger a combative reaction in someone. This is because Americans are so competitive they want to have a monopoly on the truth. To agree with them is to try and steal THEIR truth.

If you don't match the appearance of that demographic then you have no right to their truth. "Don't try to get over here with the right group. You stay in the wrong group over there where you belong. Just be wrong because I'm more comfortable seeing you that way."

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 09:41 AM

38. It's open season on mexicans/latinos

 

I've never heard white people speak so freely (shittily) in unmixed company with jokes about mexicans, blaming mexicans. etc.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 03:03 PM

40. Thanks Everyone!

I got some great feedback here and through messaging, things that I can use later on to help make this program better. I am going to Dallas in a few weeks to watch what is supposed to be a great trainer. I forget his name, I'll look it up again, but he is doing a private training at a company there and I asked if I could observe and he agreed.

I agree with the idea that white privilege scares them off, but in a way, it has often helped both me and the individual recognize some issues that need work right away. Yes, it scares them, but it is a proven model that has worked well in the past. I am careful how I use it and when I use it. I have used majority privilege and it can bring the same reaction.

Thanks again, good discussion!

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