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Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:12 PM

 

2 black kids adopted by white Republicans 40 years ago

I found this very interesting.



I grew up in a WWC neighborhood with two white parents. My sister and I were the only POC. We were adopted when we were young. I have written about my family before.

I have very mixed feelings about transracial adoptions. Obviously children need homes but taking on a child of a different race comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges. Understanding the cultural aspects is extremely important. Ironically, I think that LGBT parents are sometimes best situated in a transracial adoption because they understand being an “other”. But that is a diary for another day.

I wanted to address this idea that a person could not possibly be a racist if they voted twice for Obama and then voted for Trump.

I grew up with racist parents. Sure they adopted a two biracial kids but they certainly didn’t understand black culture. My adopted parents were evangelical Republicans white working/middle class folks. They believed they were saving two “black” kids from a ghetto life. My father religiously listened to Rush Limbaugh.

They were soft racists. I never heard the n word growing up but there was always this idea that because we were being raised in “white” culture that it was somehow an improvement from our original background. My adoptive mother would complain about our “difficult” hair. We had no black friends or any minority friends until I got to junior high. We had to leave a church after my Sunday school teacher used a racial slur that went uncorrected or noticed until my sister protested that she was never going back. We regular were stuck in situations where we were the only black kids for miles. We constantly heard about what nice kids we were despite our foster care background. My black boyfriend from college got an eye raise even though he was better educated than my entire family.

I also grew up with the working class mentality in Central California. When I announced I was going to Harvard in the seventh grade, my mother laughed and said I would go to the local community college like everybody else. Where did I get these fancy ideas from? After I went away to Berkeley of all places, I was the snotty liberal who came home and looked down on everyone... (There was probably a bit of truth to that when I was younger). God, I spent most Thanksgivings and Christmas trying to get them to see the errors of their ways.

Immigration has slowly become a bigger and bigger deal. Central California is agricultural land. The big middle of nowhere. Not much industry outside of farming. Farm hands were never a big deal because those weren’t the sort of jobs WWC wanted anyway. But a generation later, immigration has affected the makeup of Central California. Spanish is regularly spoken. Suddenly the “help” now had their own business. Construction, landscaping, shops...pretty much any traditional white working class job now had competition from immigrants making the transition to middle class. There is this idea that immigration is fine as long as it doesn’t displace traditional WWC jobs. The black population of the Central Valley is fairly low so competition from that arena isn’t seen as significant.

I went to school with these disgruntled WWC guys. Hell I dated a few of them. They were the popular jocks who didn’t do well in school at an already failing HS. After HS, they went into jobs that didn’t require a 4 year university. Almost everyone farted around in CC for a while. There were a few that went from CC to 4 year universities. We all are approaching 40 now and they look around and wonder why they aren’t to where their dads/moms were. Brown people now occupy jobs that their parents had. Again no one is screaming racial slurs at each other but the tension is there and it shows up at places like the ballot box. Very easy to blame the “others” for why you haven’t quite made it.

“When you’re accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression".

There is absolutely economic anxiety but the core of the anxiety is that it’s more readily affecting white people. It’s always been there for POC and segment of the WWC but now that pain is being felt everywhere now. It isn’t that Clinton didn’t address these needs. She did but Trump made them front and center. Diversity is fine as long as it doesn’t affect your place at the front of the line.

It isn't that we need to talk less about "identity politics" issues, it's that we need to be clearer that a shared table doesn't mean that your topic is being ignored.

And we continue our fight against soft racism. In some ways soft racism is more damaging than a hard core racist. A hard core racist, I know what I’m getting up front. A soft core racist is much more disappointing because it usually coming from a person that we like or respect.

Some of my ramblings.

Updated:

3 Notes:

Thank you for the reclist!

First abbrevations: WWC = White Working Class and POC = People of Color

52 replies, 11240 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply 2 black kids adopted by white Republicans 40 years ago (Original post)
jodymarie aimee Dec 2016 OP
tblue37 Dec 2016 #1
Ligyron Dec 2016 #10
etherealtruth Dec 2016 #2
pnwmom Dec 2016 #8
mountain grammy Dec 2016 #17
LonePirate Dec 2016 #3
lostnfound Dec 2016 #4
malaise Dec 2016 #5
ehrnst Dec 2016 #6
progressoid Dec 2016 #7
mdbl Dec 2016 #23
Warpy Dec 2016 #9
ehrnst Dec 2016 #11
eppur_se_muova Dec 2016 #12
TexasMommaWithAHat Dec 2016 #16
Cal33 Dec 2016 #26
TexasMommaWithAHat Dec 2016 #15
Nitram Dec 2016 #22
TexasMommaWithAHat Dec 2016 #25
ismnotwasm Dec 2016 #30
Nitram Dec 2016 #34
TexasMommaWithAHat Dec 2016 #38
Nitram Dec 2016 #50
Warpy Dec 2016 #32
Bradical79 Dec 2016 #41
japple Dec 2016 #13
Cryptoad Dec 2016 #14
mountain grammy Dec 2016 #18
frankieallen Dec 2016 #19
Nitram Dec 2016 #21
frankieallen Dec 2016 #31
Nitram Dec 2016 #35
frankieallen Dec 2016 #39
Nitram Dec 2016 #51
Warpy Dec 2016 #33
TexasMommaWithAHat Dec 2016 #46
Ilsa Dec 2016 #47
Nitram Dec 2016 #20
aggiesal Dec 2016 #24
Ilsa Dec 2016 #48
SCantiGOP Dec 2016 #27
Turbineguy Dec 2016 #28
redstateblues Dec 2016 #29
stevenleser Dec 2016 #36
JHan Dec 2016 #52
Solly Mack Dec 2016 #37
dae Dec 2016 #40
copperearth Dec 2016 #43
Dark n Stormy Knight Dec 2016 #42
Bucky Dec 2016 #44
Demsrule86 Dec 2016 #45
uponit7771 Dec 2016 #49

Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:19 PM

1. + a brazillion--and K&R for visibility. Especially THIS:

"When you’re accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression."

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:04 PM

10. Yeah, that's gotta be the take away quote of the year right there.

k to the r

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:21 PM

2. You may want to add the link (below) to correctly credit the author

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/20/1612983/-Growing-up-a-POC-in-WWC-racist-family


Sorry for being a nag ... you may also want to limit your post to the four paragraphs "allowed " by DU

After all my complaining .... this really is a good article, thank you for posting it

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:46 PM

8. +1

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:58 PM

17. Thank you

this is so good, I wanted to share it, but didn't know where it came from..

thanks again.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:29 PM

3. That "accustomed to Privilege" quote has been a driving force in politics for years.

Sadly, 2016 was not immune to it.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:35 PM

4. Interesting but where did you find it? Nt

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:37 PM

5. Thanks for this

Rec

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:39 PM

6. It's like the "pedestal" soft misogyny that the GOP loves

to embrace.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:41 PM

7. When youre accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression".

yup.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:29 PM

23. Profoundly stated!

My mind always goes back to the 70's and 80's when hiring quotas were strongly enforced in govt and large companies. All whites blamed the fact they didn't move forward on quotas. The statement "the only reason he/she got the job is because..." you can fill in the rest. Anyone I heard make that statement never struck me as someone with the brains or the will to do the job in question, meaning they didn't get that they didn't deserve to have the job in the first place. As a person working in that environment, I never remember anyone being given opportunity over me that didn't have the qualifications or ability to do the job. If the so-called slighted privileged person would have been honest with themselves, they would realize the same thing. But they aren't honest with themselves. They live in a fantasy created by TV in the 1950's and perpetuated by right wing radio and Fux nooz. They never lived there, but they thought they did.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:47 PM

9. I've pointed out quite often that white males have taken the biggest hit

with declining wages and disappearing jobs. Women and POC already had mostly shit wages, so we haven't felt the brunt of it.

The right wing has done a great job at pointing at POC as the reason white males are feeling that very real pinch. Never mind all those corporate bastards who offshored the good jobs, the Republican governments that busted the unions, and the Democratic conservatives that rubber stamped Reagan's ruinous tax code that shifted wealth away from the working and to the super rich, the "news" aimed at white males has always pointed to other working people as their problem.

It's likely to get a whole lot worse before it gets better, Democrats don't seem to have a clue how to reach these guys. It might have been different had other groups been raised instead of the apex group being pushed down, but that never seems to occur to conservatives, no matter which party they claim.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:08 PM

11. I hope we don't go down the road of throwing women and POC

under the bus as mere "identity issues" because there are white men who are feeling like mounting a backlash, much like the GOP did for their white male base who felt that a black man who went to Harvard "wasn't going to put them first."

I get "whitelash." But there is a difference between "understanding the white male pinch" and taking the party back to an era where they were kings of the castle.

They are no longer the dominant demographic, and pretending for their sake that they still are will alienate the population that actually is becoming that.

I think that correcting gerrymandering, and reforming the electoral college will go a long way to rectifying one of the elements of the delicate white cis man getting his way to the detriment of the majority.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:13 PM

12. It's like a falling tide lowers all boats -- but those that once floated highest notice it most.

So, human nature being what it is, they blame the other boats.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:34 PM

16. There are more people than we have jobs

And it's only getting worse.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:52 PM

26. I wonder if it's "human nature" or the way sociopaths normally behave. Calculated lying,

 

cheating and stealing (and worse) are all part of what they usually do -- as long as
it's beneficial for them. What benefits them is all they care about. So many top
positions in corporations as well as government are filled by such people.

Just Google "Sociopaths Rule The World." You probably will find several
interesting titles in just the first page alone.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:33 PM

15. As long as we continue to welcome more immigrants

than we have jobs for, this will continue.

I live in the middle of republican country, and I don't know anyone who wants to send anyone back. They do want a controlled immigration plan, though, which I agree with.

As long as these people are called racists for wanting limited immigration, they won't be won over.

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:22 PM

22. UM, Texas Mom, most immigrants have jobs whites would not stoop to do.

What it Georgia that kicked out illegal immigrant farm labor and the produce rotted on the fields and on the trees because the work was too hard and paid too little?

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Response to Nitram (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:48 PM

25. There are plenty of jobs that "whites" did not that long ago

construction, sheetrock, painting, masonry, nail salon, hair styling, waitstaff, and on and on.

ETA - My parents raised three kids on those jobs!

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 08:52 PM

30. Well I don't see white people at the butt crack of dawn

Waiting outside of Home Depot for a days pay

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:55 PM

34. What about picking crops for 12 hours in the hot sun for less than minimum wage?

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Response to Nitram (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:32 PM

38. I know that migrant workers

have picked our crops for a disgustingly low wage.

Be that as it may, there were plenty of other jobs that we used to do. Almost all of the men in my family were in construction doing one thing or another. My cousins and my brother did roofing work for my uncle to put themselves through college. You see, we were the first generation to attend college, and before us, my family engaged in manual labor to feed, clothe, and house their children. I know damn well that whites "and" blacks used to do these jobs. Hell, my husband (white) worked as a janitor with a black friend to put himself through college.

And by the way, I know quite a few Trump voters and I can tell you exactly how they feel: "Democrats want illegal immigrants for future voters, and Republicans want illegal immigrants for cheap labor. They don't give a shit about the working class."

Yep, that's this election in a nutshell. Frankly, I know more people who just didn't vote at all, because they figure they're going to be screwed by both parties.

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 31, 2016, 12:35 AM

50. Bullshit. Democrats want to accept hard-working immigrants the way America aways has

even when conservatives tried to play the bogus fear card about taking away jobs, and crime and bringing disease. It's an old game, and it is totally bogus.

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:35 PM

32. While the first few quotas were racist, affecting Chinese mostly

most immigration quotas were lobbied for by unions. Before then, the borders had been pretty much wide open and thousands came in through Ellis Island per month. Even with such a large country for them to distribute themselves across, they supplied a seemingly unending supply of labor so hungry they'd take jobs that paid well below subsistence. No one on either side wants those conditions to occur again except the plutocracy.

Men like Orange Caligula are thrown into panics for all those "foreign" looking and sounding riffraff who come in and fuck up the scenery. They're thrilled with the H1B types who come in and drive good wages down because they're hungrier than we are.

Perhaps that's the common ground we need to stake out.

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 01:16 AM

41. Immigration is pretty low

It is limited already. Unemployment is low. Not sure what they want.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:30 PM

13. This is a brilliant piece. Thank you for posting it here.

This: "We all are approaching 40 now and they look around and wonder why they aren’t to where their dads/moms were. Brown people now occupy jobs that their parents had..."

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:31 PM

14. you can not vote and support ,,,

a Bigot without becoming a Bigot,,, soft, hard, well done or what ever u want to call it.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:01 PM

18. This really got to me..

K and R

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:07 PM

19. i don't know about this, these people adopted two sisters,

 

gave them a stable home and raised them as their own, and she calls them racists. I hope the parents don't see this, it would probably break their heart.

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Response to frankieallen (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:20 PM

21. frank, I'm not sure what you don't get.

It is a very honest piece that explains in an objective and clear-eyed way the ways in which get parents' unconscious racism affected her. It doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate what her foster parents did for her. I feel exactly the same about my biological parents. I love and respect the good things they did for us and taught us, but I am very disappointed that a racist and xenophobic side became more noticeable as they aged.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:32 PM

31. I guess I'm a bit defensive when it comes to adoptive parents. I have a couple friends, brother and

 

sister, who were adopted. 2 families, the mothers were sisters, one with 3 of her own children and the other with 4. I saw the love that those children got when welcomed into their families, and there was no difference in the parents eyes between the bio kids and the adopted.
To me those parents were heros, people that actually made a difference, didn't just talk about it, or post on a message board, but gave those kids a loving family when they didn't have one of their own, sacrificed for them.
I have always admired those parents, for the 35 years I have know them, for what they did for those kids.
So, what most thought was a great and honest piece, I just didn't see it. In one line she called her parents evangelical, Republicans, white working middle class (where have i heard that before), and even mentions dear old dad listened to Rush "religiously"
Gee, everything the average DUer f**kin HATES.
Those poor girls....

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Response to frankieallen (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:59 PM

35. Get a grip, frank. There's no hate here.

There is clear-eyed acceptance of the fact that even if a couple adopt two sisters of color, they might not fully understand the world those girls will encounter outside the family. It doesn't reflect on their parenting skills, or their generosity in opening their home to the two girls. It is a statement of fact about the fact that many white people don't have a clue about the obstacles that face people of color.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:38 PM

39. That doesn't make them racist, just uninformed.

 

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Response to frankieallen (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 31, 2016, 12:37 AM

51. Sorry, Frank. Uninformed and racist are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, they often keep close company.

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Response to frankieallen (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:54 PM

33. The problem isn't the parents as much as the larger society

reinforcing the fiction that they "rescued" these kids from an inferior black ghetto childhood to the oh-so-superior white suburban one. While that might actually be the case, holding one culture over another as superior is damaging as hell to kids who are the "other."

Transracial adoption in a larger culture as deeply racist as we are only works while the kids are very little. Once they go to school and start fielding questions about why they don't look like their parents, why kids who look like them think they act and talk funny, and worse, the confusion and resentment about being "other" starts to have an effect, and it's not a good one.

The only way I can see it working is if the extended birth family of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins , and everyone else keeps contact, a lot of contact.

I have no doubt that the parents in question had the best intentions in the world and were the best parents they knew how to be. I just know that while families of all colors of the human rainbow should be common, we're not there yet and there is a long way to go.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 11:00 AM

46. I agree .As an adoptive parent who knows

many other adoptive parents, I don't know anyone who "rescued" anyone. We all wanted to grow our families. The best adoptions are begun for selfish reasons only. Yeah, that's right. "Saving children" is a really lousy reason to adopt.

Sure, having an awareness of the plight of children here and around the world might make a person consider transracial or transnational adoption, but I still believe that the best outcomes begin with "I want a child to love."

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Response to Warpy (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 11:14 AM

47. Sometimes it's the little things, like

Complaining about the girls'"difficult" hair. The parents should have looked for a way to learn how to manage their hair. They could have taken them to a salon that had predominantly POC staff, asked for dos and don'ts tips, etc. (Transracial adoption and this detailed sort of thing is actually a subplot in the tv show "This Is Us".) Instead, it sounds like the parents were thinking they could ignore physical and cultural differences.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:15 PM

20. thanks for sharing this jodymarie

Very insightful piece. I grew up with what you call "soft racists", who consciously raised us not to be racist. When, as an adult, I saw them move rightward and become increasingly fearful of POC and immigrants, it was very difficult to take. They also began to religiously listen to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. I could no longer respect their values. In many ways they stopped growing intellectually after the 1950s.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:38 PM

24. This is the best line I've seen in a long time ...

[font color=red size=3]“When you’re accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression"[/font]

You don't mind if I use it?

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 11:15 AM

48. I thought so, too. nt

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 07:55 PM

27. When you're accustomed to privilege

equality feels like oppression'"

Absolutely brilliant observation. Thanks for the understated but accurate post.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 08:35 PM

28. Income inequality

takes more than giving People of Color an equal chance to succeed.

Of course, we'll have the good taste not to mention that.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 08:43 PM

29. Brilliant analysis. "When you're accustomed to privilege equality feels like oppression"

That explains a lot.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:02 PM

36. Like many others I am struck by "When youre accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression

 

Do you know the name of the person who said this? Can you private mail it to me here if you dont feel like posting in the open discussion?

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 31, 2016, 12:45 AM

52. I've seen it attributed to Mark Caddo , who's on FB:

"The problem with being privileged your whole life is that [after] you have had that privilege for so long, equality starts to look like oppression." (Mark Caddo)"

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:22 PM

37. K&R

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

40. Thx for the OP, I'll be heading over to dk to read the entire article.

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Response to dae (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 06:24 AM

43. fascinating article and very informative

This is just fascinating, to see how you a black kid would ever be able to grow up in a superior feeling Republican family. I'm surprised you have a tongue left, after you must have had to bite it so often. Nobles Oblige? I suppose they felt like they were doing you a favor, rescuing you from the dreadful life blacks faced.
I think you hit it on the head when you said that immigrants that had worked at low paying farm jobs grew up and started climbing into WWC jobs and that is where the rub comes in. But white people stopped reaching higher too and just settle into feeling sorry for themselves and blaming any 'minorities' for their failures. Whites can't tolerate upward mobility for anyone but themselves. Thank you for insight!!!

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 01:44 AM

42. Interesting read. Thanks.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 09:05 AM

44. This quote on identity politics is perfect


It isn't that we need to talk less about "identity politics" issues, it's that we need to be clearer that a shared table doesn't mean that your topic is being ignored.


A shared table. That's what we need.
.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 09:18 AM

45. Excellent article.

I think it explains the resentment felt by the white working class...I have seen it in Ohio for sure...if good jobs were plentiful...equality is just fine, but they are not. What is happening is the GOP /conservative deplorable elected are turning people against one another...there has always been soft racism. I have seen it and its ugly counterpart in every state I lived in...and I have lived in many...it is really big here in Ohio...where people are really angry about unfair trade and what they perceive as handouts to others...and the perceive Black folks as getting handouts while they get nothing...it is not true of course. However, that is the perception. Republicans have made themselves in many states as the 'white' people party...certainly in the South which is why I believe reaching out will be a waste of time. We need to move on with our coalition...I am white but would never vote Republican...and I think Trump will help in that he will be a disaster from start to finish. Hopefully, we won't nuke someone or get nuked ourselves...and then we can move on and elect Democrats.

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Response to jodymarie aimee (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 12:33 PM

49. +1, "......When youre accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels like Oppression"...."

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