I Grew Up With Racists or “When does it stop being the white man’s fault?”

Hello, everyone I am Wraith.

What I am going to share with you may seem odd and poorly worded-I do not have a lot of writing experience, but please stay with me and try to bare my storytelling/ranting. I'll spoiler the chunkier bits as they are just added to expand on some things rather than add to my main point.

I was born and raised on the North West side of Washington DC. The area at the time was a 100% black community. In my time there I witnessed drug dealings, illegal gambling, fighting, illegal drug use and even death.... all before I was 6.

We migrated to the North East side of DC in 2000, roughly 20 blocks from my old neighborhood, and have been sitting near another dangerous 'hood' ever since. There was still the drug dealing, the murders, etc.

With all of this going on, I tried my hardest to stay out of it. These activities had nothing to do with me and I was not interested in them. I read books, did my homework, and was genuinely one of the smartest kids in my classes. However, these were the things that got me in trouble with my peers.

By reading books and being smart I was frequently referred to as "white". I am a black male, born from two fully black parents, but because I didn't enjoy the crimes that happened around me, because I didn't like punching people in the face for calling my "hood" names, because I didn't enjoy using slang, I was somehow betraying the black cause. I was bullied for being smart because somehow being smart was not something black people were supposed to be. Even with pictures of black intellectuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ben Carson etc. littering every classroom wall, being intellectual was seen as something only white people can be. Even on Black History Month, no one found it horribly ironic.

Even through high school it was the same, and in some parts worse. People wanted to beat you up for being smart. Yes, this happened to most people is high school, bullies will go after you for anything. But it just seems so much worse to bully someone for being black and smart when you yourself are black. There were times where my very life was threatened because I didn't fit into the gangsta/thug stereotype. It's like some form of self-hatred took over these people. Whenever someone wanted to get at me they said how I wanted to be white for reading and for getting good grades, and how it was stupid for me to NOT do drugs, drink and be violent. It was just terrible.

Then there is of course the blame culture that persisted throughout. Teachers, fucking TEACHERS, would tell us how we could be whatever we wanted to be when we grew up, but would then follow up these encouraging words with sayings like 'but white people will always try to keep you down', 'white people will always think you're stupid, 'white people laugh at you when you fail because they don't like the idea of black people being strong'. They just pushing this out like we had to stay on the lookout for the enemy and they had to make it clear that the enemy was lighter than us.

Yes, I do believe that there are Caucasian people (people of any ethnicity really) out there that have so much hate and racism in their hearts that they never want to see a minority succeed. Yes, I do believe that some people in power are so fixated on keeping the status quo that they make rules and laws to keep everyone else under their boot, but I personally do not think that that is the greatest threat to racial equality. To me, the greatest threat to racial equality are those within the minority who perpetuate the stereotypes and tear down any else from trying to do better for themselves while also claiming victimhood. It's one thing to be upset that you are not on equal footing with one group. It's another to be upset about not being on equal footing with one group, then keeping people in your group from trying to make the best with what they have so they can have the things the people from the other group do.

When you keep telling people that no matter what they do, there will be someone above you keeping you down, they will not even try and that's what I keep seeing around me: People not trying, people keeping others from trying, people absorbing the wrong message from history and just giving up in the most self-destructive manner. Even now as fully grown adult I still see this shit. I still have to witness this Black Vs White bullshit from people who did NOT have to go against some evil white person to get what they wanted.

I am writing this out now, because earlier last week I had a breaking point. I had a talk with my mother over the Ukraine Crisis happening with Russia and it somehow lead to her exclaiming that white people are evil. "It's always white people who cause wars and start the problems of the world, because they are the devil." Those were her actual words. My brother was around to hear this and he agreed replying "Yep. The blue eyed devil."

This hurt me. Never have I witnessed such racism from my family. Out on the streets from strangers and from people who I knew were stupid that was expected, I could easily avoid or verbally break down them. But in my own home I could not.

I did my best to explain why those ideals were wrong, how the only people ever to try and hold me back personally have always been black, how even before slavery came to America it was already happening in Africa, how the crimes that we witnessed in our lives just by living in these two neighborhood were done by black people. I just wanted her to know that white people aren't evil, but that ANYONE of ANY RACE can do evil. I don't think it helped.

What makes it even worse is that I have friends of all races, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian etc, so hearing this from the person that gave me life just felt like she insulted all of them. Hell, even my girlfriend, who she has met plenty of times and loves dearly is half-white and-half-black. So by saying those things she insulted half of her family.

Want to know the most ironic part of it all? When I went to go visit my GF in New York, her aunt pretty much said the same thing my mother did. "White people are evil" she said, practically yelling it, in front of my girlfriend, her younger brother and me. Why did she say this? Well the younger brother was doing an assignment on an NAACP member and didn't understand why he went to work with the organization. It broke my heart a little when he then told us that he gets made fun of in school for having a white father, but that didn't register. The aunt told him he was black and nothing else and that was the end of it. This is just fucking sick when you think about what their father had to go through (story below). And again all these people I am speaking of do not starve for food, they own homes or apartments, have jobs, and earn a great deal of money and from what they have discussed with me about their past they never needed to fight against a white person to succeed.

My friends my question to you is when is it no longer the white man's fault? By that I mean, when can we start tackling the racism that comes from minorities against white people and themselves?

I understand that people that have been treated horribly by a group of citizens will begin to feel resentment towards that group as time goes on, but when do we get to look at the harm that that resentment can do to others? When will a movement start that brings acts of racism against whites and against people of the same race to light so that these people can remove this perpetual act of blaming others for their own prejudices?

When my brother's friend was killed it wasn't because of a white man, when my female friend was shot it wasn't because the "white devil" gave the shooter a gun, when I got beat up in school it wasn't because white people made these kids do it. These things happened because someone DECIDED to. They decided to start shooting. They decided to react with violence. Just like how I decided that there are no evil races just evil people. Just like how I'm deciding to notice the pattern people take of blaming others even when there is no true correlation. A white man in a business suit did not give them a gun, they did not give them idea nor did they give them the intent needed to harm. What I take from these people is that no matter happens or who actually committed the action all these somehow are an effect of white privilege. I have no idea where this culture came from, but I do not want to be a part of it and I will NOT accept it.

Again this is directed at those individuals who persist that the white man is to blame for every black person's misdeed. I feel as though I have to say this again due to a combination of poor writing and some people need to jump at the chance to call someone racist.

So people of the Escapist, what do you think? Am I taking this shit too seriously or is this something we should actually look into?

I think that at the root, there is some residual effects from the way that Whites treated blacks. The fact is that we wanted to keeps blacks ignorant, we wanted to keep them poor. The culture that you see today is a byproduct of those efforts, so while nowadays you don't see the concerted effort that existed in the past, you can still see the effects it had. I think that it is important to consider historical events, but I also think that too often we get caught up in the past, and forget that we have a presence and a future to shape, and if all you do is focus on the past, you'll slip farther into stagnation.

I think in black america, there is a culture of blame deflection. Because of the genuine suffering they have gone through, there seems to be a reticence to actually look at the problems that they are faced with in their communities because they have always had that white people card, and because it is always easier to tear someone else down rather than admit one's own faults. I remember seeing a documentary about Appalachia, and how there is a culture similar where if you start to try to break free you're considered to be overstepping your place in the world, but in reality its because they want you to be as miserable as them.

Excellent topic by the way, and extremely well written. I hope it sparks a good discussion, as you seem to have put a lot of thought into it, and this topic seems to be important to you.

GrimTuesday:
snip

Agreed. And thanks for reading through all of that.

Excellent topic by the way, and extremely well written. I hope it sparks a good discussion, as you seem to have put a lot of thought into it, and this topic seems to be important to you.

Thanks again for your kind words. It is important to me, and just these past few days have had me pacing back and forth at home trying to get all this straight in my head, so I'm hoping by discussing it here, I can calm down.

I don't really know much about topics like this, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your outlook). I grew up pretty lucky, with minimal difficulty and hardship. The areas I grew up weren't exactly diverse, with a vast majority of the people being white and well off or Hispanic and poor. I knew one black person that I could call a friend growing up, so I can't say I am even qualified to make any real judgement on the state of an entire culture, but I feel I should at least try to gain some understanding and interject my take on the matter.

The situation you describe to me is reminiscent of some of the stories that some of my less fortunate (and predominately Hispanic) friends describe about their lives and the backgrounds they come from. People almost trapped by the culture they are born into, constantly told they could be anything if last name wasn't Gonzalez or Trujillo, constantly finding that all those around them had fallen into a pit of poverty and violence. It was all they could to to even attempt to rise above the mediocrity around them, constantly fighting back against the idea that they couldn't go anywhere in life. One my friends (lets call him M) was told by pretty much everyone, even his own family, that people "like him" can't make it. I won't lie, M is not the smartest person around, but he has ambitions beyond what is able to acquire. He has put his life on hold, essentially delaying school to do manual labor after his father got injured. His family is living paycheck to paycheck, with no insurance of any kind, essentially waiting for his siblings to move out. He hates the fact that he is essentially forced into a role of breadwinner, he hates the whole culture surrounding his situation, and he hates the fact that his family seemingly blames everyone except themselves. He has essentially broken all ties to his old social groups, because according to him, they don't even try to rectify the situations they have found themselves in, constantly blaming external forces for mistakes they made. Me, a white buddy of mine, another Hispanic friend, and M have talked about it before at length. Luckily my other Hispanic friend is now in college.

But is any of the abject poverty and negative cultural aspects the "fault" of white people? Once again, I don't think I am the most qualified to answer, but from what I know of history, I am inclined to agree that it is to a certain degree. Many of the policies of the past that are directly responsible for creating these racial issues were put in place by a predominately white leadership out of indifference to the those of other races or sometimes even outright spite. But from there, what does assigning blame accomplish when the problems have roots so deep that most of the people who could be seen as directly responsible are mostly dead. What does casting blame on such issues accomplish other than to sow animosity among those in differing situations?

But this definitely isn't a tendency exclusive to any one group, as a distressingly large number of white people I know show utter ignorance and blame their problems on those who they can't even begin to sympathize with. Hell, people in my immediate family fall into the stereotypical position of blaming minorities for all the problems. "Mexicans steal all of our jobs", "Native Americans are living on the dole", etc. It is really easy to cast blame; it is hard to take responsibility. We choose to obfuscate the solutions to systemic problems like gang violence and poverty in favor of finding out who started it because it easier to do. Not wishing to generalize, but some white people don't want to admit they have anything to do with issues like these and some black people are not willing to admit they are perpetuating a culture of animosity right back. All we can really do in these situations it try to take it upon ourselves to find a solution, even if it isn't particularly pleasant. We should take this seriously, as I have seen so many problems go unsolved (on a personal level and on a more societal note) because people just stand around arguing over who caused it.

Thank you for bringing this topic up. It is nice to hear from those in different situations to me, especially if they help me to gain some perspective on an issue I am uninformed about. What you wrote was both interesting an insightful. It is always nice to find something like this on the internet, instead of the usual drivel.

At the intellectual level, I know all about this and do all the right things to keep from pulling the kind of shit you've had to deal with. That is to say, I'm not racist. Of course, that I'm white should mean that I'm more on the receiving end of such than you are, not the dishing-out, but that's why I said the 'intellectual level'. I haven't had to deal with anything like this. I've had dumb people throughout my life, but they didn't come from all one source. Like all things in the U.S., it spans from a melting pot of humanity.

I can't actually say that I know what you're going through. I can appreciate the hardship of it, of you having a big bullseye on your chest. In your case, I guess you could get it from either side, which must be hell. I wonder, though. IS it racism? Or are people just being dumb? What I CAN speak from experience on is the irritation of dealing with people who cannot tolerate those who are smart and trying to better themselves. I feel this has an element of the willfully stupid, of those so stuck in their ways that they cannot and will not try harder.

What it boils down to is that every person is still responsible for their own actions. A person does not have to hate so terribly to allow an unwanted action to pass, to cause misery, but they do.

Yeah, thanks for coming here honestly and respectfully wanting to talk about difficult stuff. But since it's difficult stuff, I don't know if anyone will be able to come up with a satisfactory answer for you.

I guess there are two things I want to say that may be useful:

1) There needs to be a difference between fault for a problem and responsibility for its solution. I don't really like the term "the white man", but it's undeniable that first white people who were involved in the slave trade and later who participated in discrimination are at fault for where black people ended up in the US. However, all those people are now well past dead, so they aren't going to be fixing their wrongs any time soon. If black people want to fix their underprivileged communities, they have to take responsibility for their communities. That doesn't mean blacks have to take the blame for where they are, but they have to take the reins for their communities if things are going to get any better. They don't have to do it alone, but they have to take the lead.

(Sidenote: I come from a rural mostly white area, but while everything you described is much more extreme than where I grew up, I'm not sure the general thrust of people wallowing in their own ignorance and then blaming others for their lot in life is all that different. My experience with poor rural white people though is that when they blame others for their troubles, it's not any one particular group. The blacks, the Jews, the gays, the Muslims, the libruls, the communists, the atheists, the Lizard people, the Masons, the UN, they're all at fault. I think it's just hard for people to face the facts of where they went wrong in life. It's much easier to say someone else is at fault and then not do anything about it.)

2) I think a lot of time there are two completely different conversations taking place amongst two different groups of people in the same idea space. One conversation is between mostly white people about our privilege with respect to other racial groups including blacks, and another is amongst black people about their own role in fixing their communities. And we need to be careful not to cross the streams. When I was young I once overheard a white coworker talking about how she won't rent to black people because according to her, "black people are lazy." We need to be careful to make sure condemnation of her racism (and really, though she only has a minimal amount of power, a small level of oppression) doesn't get mistaken for an excuse by black people not to take control of their destiny, while she doesn't hear black people's talk about taking responsibility for their communities as though it forgives her of her racism.

Racism is not an exclusively white problem. ANYONE can be a racist. And I thoroughly identify with being the only non-moron in the class growing up.

I had the same problem, even though I'm white and grew up in an upper class community almost entirely populated by white people. If you're a smart kid who likes to focus on your homework, reading, doing well in class, and developing your skills and talents, you WILL catch an enormous clod of shit for it. This behavior, anti-intellectualism, manages to transcend race, socioeconomic status, religion, and ethnicity. Almost regardless of where you go, if you're smart or talented there will be someone ready to give you shit for it.

So in saying that, what I'm really wanting to point out is that not all social problems can be traced back to racism. Sure, there are plenty of racists still around, but if solving social problems and poverty was as simple as telling a few looney-tunes to extract their heads from their asses it would have long since been done. I do certainly think that black people today feel the residual effects of the institutionalized racism of several decades ago: their grandparents were unlikely to be educated or skilled workers, and thus their parents were less likely to be educated or skilled since their own parents couldn't have afforded better education, and then that trickles into the current generation. But I also really think that in this day and age it's an economic issue, not directly a race issue.

One of my friends taught in a primarily black school district, and she dealt with quite a bit of what you described. If you wanted to learn, you were "acting white".

Honestly, you can certainly blame whites to some degree, both for the slavery and for the "fixes" that were put in place that haven't really been effective at all, but I do think we're beyond the point where the white community can really "fix" what ails the black community. That fix is going to have to come from within, and enough people are going to just have to say, "Enough!" It feels like there are corners where this is happening... but I don't know how long it will take to come to fruition on a large scale.

My dad (also black) grew up in Baltimore Maryland in a VERY black community. To a 'T', he reports his experiences being near identical to yours. Study? Get good grades? Don't get into pointless fights? Don't spend every dollar you have on beer and weed? 'Why you gotta act so white?'

What he found was this: it was easier to blame whitey than to better yourself. But he also found that those who blamed whitey, or the police, or any other 'faceless, external instigator' never really made anything of themselves. Because when it comes down to it: blaming someone else was just a petty justification -an abdication of responsibility- for why someone couldn't get they shit together on their own.

My dad went on to sail with the Navy, doing the job he CHOSE to do -not because it was easy; but because he studied for it, passed his ratings, and proved he wanted it. Not one officer, white or otherwise, made any effort to hold him back.

He then earned a Master's degree -not because someone felt 'sorry' for him as a black man; but because he but in the study, paid his tuition, and earned the grades. Not one professor, white or otherwise, made any effort to hold him back.

He then went on to work 30 years (and make damn good money) at the company of his choosing, not because some affirmative action compelled anyone to hire him; but because he had the experience, discipline, and dedication to make himself an asset to the company. Not a single manager, director, or board member -white or otherwise- made any attempt to hold him back.

I'm not saying that racism is a 'done deal', what I'm saying is the idea that 'I can't because I'm black' is probably the greatest self-sabotage ever inflicted in human history. While some messed up things happened in the past, to use that as an excuse to stop trying is not the oppression of 'the white man', it's a simple oppression of self.

You don't seem to be looking at it in enough depth.

You present two contrasting views of white people, your own where you admit there are the occasional hatemongers and that of your family who view all white people as evil.

Now there are of course racists and hatemongers, but what you don't even seem to have considered is that we have a system which simultaneously causes, condemns and turns a blind eye to the types of social problem you listed.

You answered your own own questions about why these acts of violence and tragedy happen, but you only answered them as far as someone decided to do it and it wasn't white people. Well why did they decide to do it and why weren't the richer predominantly white kids a few miles away in Arlington county doing the same?

Genetics? Nah, it's not the 1930's. You have to look towards sociology and the way that society conditions people to act and how people act differently in different societies. That should be a fairly basic and easily agreed upon point because masses of research has been conducted into the subject and we know society massively influences how people act.

The next question though is who is responsible for the society that children grow up in. Now the answer isn't so simple as 'white people', but it could be simplified to 'powerful people'.

The millionaires, billionaires, political scions, media moguls etc have massive power to effect change while the next-door neighbours John and Rosa are pretty much powerless to change society - let alone the actual children growing up in it. As it happens powerful people are predominantly white. Your family are suffering from a place of misplaced blame while you don't seem to realise there's anyone to blame at all.

Simply put:
It's easier to blame someone else, than take responsibility.

'Blame The White Man', for keeping a brother/sister down...
Is no different than 'Blame The Homosexuals Getting Married', for making my marriage falling apart.
etc/etc/etc.

Has someone who is MIXED race, but LOOK white, I've had to deal with this shit ALL my life.
From people not believing I'm mixed race (seriously, I'm like freaking CASPER), to folks calling me a racist (JUST because of my skin color), and even some jack asses blaming DA WHITE MAN because they/someone they know does drugs...
etc/etc/etc.

I've faced bullies, teachers, employees, employers, family members and more...
That are so pathetically weak that they would rather 'blame whitie', than look in the mirror and see it is THEIR OWN FAULT they they are in the state that their in.

Wow. I am sorry your life has been filled with so much violence.

I actually live on the "other side" of the issue. My parents actually are kind of racist (my mother once made me promise "to marry white," and my father is still is a "wheres the birth certificate"). I can see how people can feel that the white man is keeping them down. I am sad to say that I have to force myself not to automatically think less of non-caucasians. Most people are not aware of their inner racism.

Ultimately, yes, the entire situation is the fault of white men. However, all those white men, the slavers, the owners, the lynchers, the ones who kept people "seperate but equal" did cause the problem, are DEAD.

Racism being a contributing factor is very different than being the cause. No white man put a gun in the person who shot your brother (if anything, the white racists did everything within their powers to deprive the right to bare arms). Nobody made him point it at his fellow man, nobody made him pull the trigger.

The Crimea situation wasn't caused because White Men must conquer everything. No, it is because one man, not because he is white, because he is European, but because he is power hungry, sent his troops to the Crimea.

Thousands of such men live in Africa, spreading terror and death, keeping entire nations unstable just to have a shot to be on-top. Not because they are black, not because of the melanin levels in their skin, but because they are greedy.

Hypocrisy is colour blind.

Stupidity embraces all cultures.

Every mind is susceptible to cultural brainwashing.

It is not the colour of your skin or the nation you were born in that defines you, rather the culture you were raised in. The "black ghetto" cycle of anti-intellectualism and crime is not caused because they're black - it's because the culture is self-perpetuating.

The fact you were able to notice the cycle and break out of it is a tribute to your character.

There is blame to go around on all sides and I won't defend the notion that there are no historical biases that work against blacks when they are entering the workforce, etc - those biases exist.

The biggest issue I see, as you point out, is the blame mentality. You don't have to look any further than when Bill Cosby came out several years ago and laid blame at the feet of the black community and the rampant single-parent homes in the black community. When over 70% of black kids are born into single-parent homes (versus 26% for white kids) and in many inner cities it's over 80%, with largely absent fathers, it's a recipe for disaster.

What was the reaction when Cosby pointed this out and that it's time for black communities to get their shit together? Outrage that he would put the blame on those communities and not on some systemic racism that is 100% the fault of the "white man." It's a horrible situation that has developed that will not be solved through any sort of affirmative action because these kids are, unfortunately, ill prepared to enter the workforce, which leads to the continuation of the cycle.

I'm sure you understand why they are ignorant. The fallacy of perpetuating a stereotype you hate. The reasons people blame.

I'm happy to have read your story. I believe it takes a great deal of misery to make a great person. If you devote your life to it maybe you can take a chip out of the colossal wall of ignorance, maybe even a few bricks, but I've no solution to offer outside of helping those close to you. Most people couldn't be bothered to listen, and if they do, choose your words carefully.. people tend to get aggressive when you try to remedy their mistakes.

There's a simple explanation.

People suck. People from every background can suck. People of every color, creed, whatever else, can suck and be horrible. They can be racist, sexist, homophobic, willfully ignorant, any other horrible kind of person you can name, someone from any background can be that.

Whites hating blacks, blacks hating whites, it's all the same deep down. The only difference is who started it. But like you said, the same was going on even before that.

White people did not invent slavery. No human did. Slavery exists in the animal kingdom for fuck's sake.

It's not the white man's fault. It's not the black man's fault. It's no one's fault. It's human nature. People in general just suck.

Honestly the black communities problems are the fault of the "white man", though the only thing holding them back is themselves. The reason being is that it comes down to political power. It is always much easier to blame others for your problem than take responsibility for yourself. Forty to fifty years ago democrats realized they could gain power if they simply told the black community that there problems were not their but the "racist white man's" fault and promising to give assistants to the black community to make up for there disadvantages. Of course the black community pretty much jumped at that because at the time it generally was not their fault. The democrats (at least those in power) never really gave a damn since it was simply a way to power. In fact they did not want their actions to actually help the black community just that their actions appear to attempt to help the black community, because if the black community actually improved they could not continue to use the "it's the "racist white man's" fault excuse to maintain power.

When you combine "It's the racists" fault with programs that are suppose to "help" but the situation doesn't improve, you destroy a person's belief in their own capabilities. You can't really blame them either because if it is that bad with the "help" the democrats give, It looks pretty obvious that those racists really must hold you back and that you don't stand a chance on your own. If you don't believe you stand a chance you why try, since it's not going to accomplish anything anyway. Even if you do manage to better yourself, you grew up believing your problems were because racism, so you are very likely to attribute problems to racism even if your problems in reality had nothing to do with that. You didn't get hired for a particular job, it's because of racism, not because another person was better qualified. Didn't get promoted, it's because of racism, not because some was doing a better job than you.

JSF01:
Didn't get promoted, it's because of racism, not because some was doing a better job than you.

Actually it tends to be because someone was better at kissing ass than you, usually...not as much doing a better job Plus, there are jobs that simply don't work the corporate-ladder way; I mean, I work in TV, there's a lot of technical stuff involved, equipment and all, we're a good team, squeezing the best we can out of our stuff, etc., and if any one of us got promoted to management, what would happen is, our team would lose a good and hard worker which would actually set it back. We need us where we are, because we're the best people for the job, and this job takes an entirely different set of skills than a middle-management position or higher would.

Now that was a tangent. As for your point, well I suppose there might be some truth to it, that "helping" in a way that only perpetuates problems in order to appear "helpful" and win votes, that might be at fault for it, too. But the kicker is...deceiving a demographic with false promises and perpetuating their problems instead so that you can keep counting on their votes in the future is textbook racist.

I don't mean to drag this off topic but...

Not G. Ivingname:

The Crimea situation wasn't caused because White Men must conquer everything. No, it is because one man, not because he is white, because he is European, but because he is power hungry, sent his troops to the Crimea.

With posts like these you'd think there wasn't a foreign backed right-wing coup that overthrew Ukraine's "legitimate" government that led to the current Crimean situation.

This should be obvious, but the Crimean situation isn't a good-guy/bad-guy battle.

Vegosiux:

JSF01:
Didn't get promoted, it's because of racism, not because some was doing a better job than you.

Actually it tends to be because someone was better at kissing ass than you, usually...not as much doing a better job Plus, there are jobs that simply don't work the corporate-ladder way; I mean, I work in TV, there's a lot of technical stuff involved, equipment and all, we're a good team, squeezing the best we can out of our stuff, etc., and if any one of us got promoted to management, what would happen is, our team would lose a good and hard worker which would actually set it back. We need us where we are, because we're the best people for the job, and this job takes an entirely different set of skills than a middle-management position or higher would.

Even so the principle remains the same, the other guy got the job because he was a better ass kisser, not because of racism. (don't get me wrong that is an absolutely horrible reason to promote one person over another especially if the other person is better qualified, but some people are ass holes and like feeling powerful which an ass kisser makes them feel)

Vegosiux:

Now that was a tangent. As for your point, well I suppose there might be some truth to it, that "helping" in a way that only perpetuates problems in order to appear "helpful" and win votes, that might be at fault for it, too. But the kicker is...deceiving a demographic with false promises and perpetuating their problems instead so that you can keep counting on their votes in the future is textbook racist.

I do but I don't agree. It in itself doesn't necessary qualify as racism. The reason is demographics can be broken down in other ways besides race. Even if the demographic your using is based on race, technically it still may not qualify as racism, since the person doing it may not be acting because they think one race is superior over another in any way, and instead thinks of the entire general population is inferior and are nothing more than useful idiots for achieving power.

I do agree though there is plenty of racism in the current political arena. While some of the most overt examples of racism may be from the right (at least white on black racism), I think the soft racism from the left is actually worst. For one they tend to group everyone more by race, and than expect them all to think a certain way. If you do not fall into the way they believe you should think they call you every vial name they can think of and try to discredit you at every turn. Second many people that simply want to do good have subconsciously started to believe that members of the black community are incapable of improving their selves with out help. Even If consciously they don't realize they are doing that, I would still consider that racism.

I've always figured that it's up to each and every person to do what they can to improve themselves. Some of us are more able than others ~ I happen to be unhireably autistic (because apparently Aspberger's isn't a separate thing anymore. Yay psychology), and I love on disability because of that. That does not, however, prevent me from pursuing intellectual self-improvement.

On the topic of jobs, in the modern day, jobs are not given based on your ability to perform the work for which you're hired. There will always be thousands of people who can do the job, and half of them can probably do it just as well as you can. However, within those thousands of people, one in particular will be more likeable, more of a sycophant, and/or more willing to sleep with the boss than the rest of the applicants. The problem is that the majority of people doing the hiring, at least in the US, are middle-aged heterosexual white cisgender males. Obviously, most people are going to be biased in favour of other people who identify as part of the same social group that they themselves identify as. This unfortunately leads to it being easier for one to get a job if one is between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, strictly heterosexual (or at least bi and able to appear that way), white, cisgender, and/or male. It sucks, but it's true.

On the topic of racism, the way people act is, as was previously mentioned, largely a product of the society in which they grew up. A large part of the basis of our personality is formed when we are children. If one lives in a society where one receives positive reactions from one's peers for certain behaviors, then one will naturally lean toward those behaviors, and it's very hard for an adult to break that pattern. And it's very hard for any one person to effect meaningful change in the way one's community collectively thinks and acts towards its people. If someone grows up in a culture where intellectual pursuits are frowned upon, violence and crime are extolled, and anyone who chooses to exercise their brains rather than run with a gang is mistreated by his own peers, then naturally the person will lean toward the latter and shun the former. I also have great respect for you, OP, for breaking that cycle and being courageous enough to keep doing so.

Conversely, however, if a child grows up in a culture where privileged lifestyles are extolled, good grades are expected, any violence or crime or even just general misbehavior is severely dealt with, and her parents actively look down on other communities whose ideal values don't line up with their own, she will grow up leaning towards a drive to outperform her peers, get a job that pays enough to afford a large house and short $60 video games (Or worse, live above her means, starving herself to afford a house with two more bedrooms than people!), avoid doing anything illegal or aggressive, and, quite sadly, she'll probably end up looking down on, or perhaps even hating, members of less privileged communities than hers, depending on the intensity of her parents' and peers' disdain for said communities.

Needless to say, there are members of all races and ethnicities in both of these types of communities.

All this being said, I do believe that, outside of radical supremacist groups such as the KKK or Westborough Baptist Church, most people don't actively engage in racism, or even anti-LGBT prejudice, but rather respond according to sociological conditioning on the part of their own parents.

I have a bit of a mixed point of view on this issue. On the one hand, my skin is white, and I'm totally caucasian. On the other hand, I'm racially Jewish, not European, though on the topic of religion, I am not a practitioner of Judaism, but rather a proud atheist who grew up in a non-denominational Christian family. The majority of the prejudice I experience comes from my gender identity and my sexuality, and the fact that many people find it difficult to separate the two. I'm a transgender woman. I was born with a penis, though I'm actively trying to trade my proverbial 'man card' for a woman card. I'm also bisexual. Both of these things earn me some strange looks when they're brought up, and from the stories I've heard, I was scared to come out for about half a year because I thought I would lose friends and family to this revelation. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I do still have to come up with 30 grand somehow because our so called "land of opportunity" is too backward to include transgender health in its government medical coverage. I've not been the target of very much racism, so you can take my observations with a grain of salt, but I have been the target of prejudice because of the fact that my gender does not match my physical sex, and also for my lack of religion.

Regardless, I certainly try to judge each person as an individual, based on the way he or she or the occasional ze acts in my presence, and only on that person's words and actions. There's nothing wrong with judging people. Judging is what makes some people your friends and others, not so much. It's what lets us tell the difference between a talented actor like Will Smith and an abusive misogynist like R. Kelly. However, there ~is~ something wrong with judging people using the wrong criteria, and it's never okay to be hateful.

Where the fuck is the "like"/"rep" button? this thread clearly demonstrates the need for one.

Wraith, I want to congratulate you for not succumbing to the ghetto culture in which you were raised. I wish more people - not just more black people, but more people of every ethnic background - were like you.

Because everything is always the white man's fault.

Because we love blaming others for our problems, especially if our scapegoat of choice is commonly accepted as being evil and priviledged.

Admittedly the white man cannot complain about his position in society and admittedly the white man has grossly misbehaved in the past, but those issues have (largely) been resolved.

The way forward for anyone isn't to blame others.
The problems that people are facing now are -their own-.
But being at fault is a scary thing to admit. It's way easier when you have someone to blame; People don't like taking responsibility. This goes for EVERYONE, not just minorities. And it just so happens that we gave certain groups within our society someone to blame for -EVERYTHING- bad that ever happens to them, ever.

When we get denied at a job interview, what's easier?
- Admit that maybe you're not good enough? (For whatever reason)
or
- Blame it on something that shifts the responsibility to another?

We love doing the latter. A lot of us can't handle our own shortcomings and that's why we try to shift the blame.

We are talking about ghettos or "schemes" as they are called in Scotland.

The shit happens there because of inequality and social class. Because of segregation. It's hard causality and it sucks ass.

So blame that.

Sometimes the oppressor is white, sometimes not. What is it in your case? In my case (Scottish) it is - historically - class. I grew up in a Scottish ghetto for reasons of class and class inequality and history so yeah i WILL blame the ruling class for 70% of the shite i faced in my first 18 yrs of life and take the rest for myself.

Now, in your case blaming the white bourgeoisie - historically - may actually be accurate.

So be strong and don't blame yourself for things that were outwith your control.

Regards

Nightspore

Nightspore:
We are talking about ghettos or "schemes" as they are called in Scotland.

The shit happens there because of inequality and social class. Because of segregation. It's hard causality and it sucks ass.

So blame that.

Sometimes the oppressor is white, sometimes not. What is it in your case? In my case (Scottish) it is - historically - class. I grew up in a Scottish ghetto for reasons of class and class inequality and history so yeah i WILL blame the ruling class for 70% of the shite i faced in my first 18 yrs of life and take the rest for myself.

Now, in your case blaming the white bourgeoisie - historically - may actually be accurate.

So be strong and don't blame yourself for things that were outwith your control.

Regards

Nightspore

The problem however is that ghettos were created in the past and it serves nobody to continue focusing on that. Even if there is truth to it how will it help anyone by saying "People made a mistake in the 1960's!"? The situation being what it is the best solution is to fix the ghettos and to focus on the problems there and what is causing them now. It sure is not the politicians/ruling classes of the 1960's. It's not them who are telling people to fall into delinquency or transform schools into "garbage schools". (to give some examples)

SimpleThunda':
Because everything is always the white man's fault.

Because we love blaming others for our problems, especially if our scapegoat of choice is commonly accepted as being evil and priviledged.

Admittedly the white man cannot complain about his position in society and admittedly the white man has grossly misbehaved in the past, but those issues have (largely) been resolved.

The way forward for anyone isn't to blame others.
The problems that people are facing now are -their own-.
But being at fault is a scary thing to admit. It's way easier when you have someone to blame; People don't like taking responsibility. This goes for EVERYONE, not just minorities. And it just so happens that we gave certain groups within our society someone to blame for -EVERYTHING- bad that ever happens to them, ever.

When we get denied at a job interview, what's easier?
- Admit that maybe you're not good enough? (For whatever reason)
or
- Blame it on something that shifts the responsibility to another?

We love doing the latter. A lot of us can't handle our own shortcomings and that's why we try to shift the blame.

This.

Also, thank you, Wraith, for sharing your story and starting this discussion.

Yes, in every society, there will be groups that are in a worse position than others.
They can be disadvantaged because of race, religion, class, caste, language, economy, residence, ethnicity, nationality.
Those disadvantages can be as fresh as a recent political struggle, or based in historical (even pre-historical) practices of oppression and disenfranchisement. Some of those reasons may still linger, some may have been resolved a long time ago.
And yes, often there will be people to benefit from keeping these people down. It may even be those they suspect to, but that's rarely the case. Exploiting someone's misery only works if you don't make yourself a target.

Mostly though, you'll see exactly what you described happening: the low keeping everybody else down with them. This crab mentality of "I can't have it, cause the man is keeping me down, so you can't have it either, cause you're not gonna be better than me!" Failing to accept responsibility for themselves, punishing those who do, and constantly blaming outside forces. Crab mentality.

In all the places I lived, I've seen (and sometimes lived) the same story.
- My family's hometown: Gypsy minority living scattered throughout town, with some family neighbourhoods (no ghettos or such) , had been historically discriminated against all across the Balkans. Most of them poor or lower middle class. One had opened a car dealership, made good money, and built a huge house. First one in our town with an indoor pool. Everyone I knew was talking about that guy's success story. "Good for him!" Until a year later, when some other local Gypsies robbed (and nearly burnt down) the house. One of many in a nice part of town. Crab mentality.

- My hometown in Germany: I'm a refugee from the war in Bosnia. Lots of friends and family too. We are all foreigners, of a different religion, many of us on "welfare". My friend lives in a mostly immigrant area. Those who aspire to more than manual labor or a "career" in boxing or somesuch are rare. "They hate me 'coz I'm a foreigner". My cousin goes to a middle school where 80% of his class can't speak the language properly, even though most were born there. Is in a gang. "They hate me 'coz I'm muslim." I go to high school, prepare for college, my brother has an office job and a family. "You're pathetic wannabe Germans, they're gonna hate you." Crab mentality.

- My college years: "You're not gonna make it, they won't let you, because you have the wrong last name." "Your so-called friends want to see you fail, 'cause they fear you will be better than them". "Your girlfriend will leave you because her parents are prejudiced against you." All from various relations. Well, my teachers treated me no worse than any other lazy student, my friends (the mongrel bunch they are) celebrate my successes more than I do, and my gf left me because I got too fat. But thanks for your crab mentality ;)

Good for you for making it out of the bucket, Wraith!

A class full of black children are taught about what the white people did to them- some real, some imagined. "It's why the place we live isn't as nice."

A room full of white children are taught about what the black people did to them- some real, some imagined. "It's why the place we live isn't as nice."

Many children don't understand. They didn't really care about these things until they were told to. They wouldn't have ever minded, but the legacy demands they know. Those who forget History are doomed to repeat it, but in this case, History is now. History is fate. It's a guideline for how things will go. Nobody gets a fresh start, because they're afraid it will happen again. So it happens all the time.

I didn't know my neighbors were black until I was told. I didn't know I was white. All I knew was that they were the nicest people I'd ever met and they made delicious food, so I stopped my chores to do chores for them. It feels nice to work for good people.

 

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