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Author Topic: I HOPE Racism will fade away if I do my part  (Read 3205 times)

jack24

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I HOPE Racism will fade away if I do my part
« on: March 20, 2008, 12:04:37 PM »
I come from an all white family.  My grandparents are far less racist than their parents were, my parents have some struggles with race, but they try hard not to discriminate.  My siblings and I aren't really racist at all, but we do notice race and racial tension. I believe that my children will not be racist at all.  Skin color will become more like hair color, and people won't make any race based judgements.
It seems (based on the media) that many black churches don't want to let their patrons let go of racism.  I don't think we should forget about slavery or the horrible persecution that my ancestors brought upon the slaves.  I don't think we should forget about the sacrifices of those great individuals that brought change to America.  However, we shouldn't assume that our children will be racist.

jack24

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 12:25:30 PM »
How do I feel about puppies?  Oh I get what you mean.
I love puppies and sunshine and flowers! Oh goodness gracious, just call me Dorothy! Water and Red Ruby Slippers will solve all my problems!


RTP2008

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 12:28:25 PM »
Racism affects different races differently.  Just because you and your parents choose to not care about race as much as those before you doesn't mean that other races have the same privilege.  Those affected most by racism aren't presented with the choice of toning down racism.  I'm glad that there are optimistic people like you and your future children, but it seems like (from your post) that you don't get it.  That's ok though.  The fact of the matter is, racism has been around forever.  There are those of us that won't just let it fade away waiting for every White person to take your path.
NYU 2011

jack24

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 12:34:17 PM »
Racism affects different races differently.  Just because you and your parents choose to not care about race as much as those before you doesn't mean that other races have the same privilege.  Those affected most by racism aren't presented with the choice of toning down racism.  I'm glad that there are optimistic people like you and your future children, but it seems like (from your post) that you don't get it.  That's ok though.  The fact of the matter is, racism has been around forever.  There are those of us that won't just let it fade away waiting for every White person to take your path.

I do admit that I'm a bit naive about it.  I'm not from a big city, so maybe I'll learn more when I move east for law school.  I just don't like the idea of black people thinking that all whites are racist.  If I'm successful as a lawyer, and I have a happy suburban family, I hope that people don't just assume that my kids are "rich white racists". They won't be.

familyman

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 12:36:39 PM »
RTP - During college a white friend of mine was walking back from the library, and was jumped by two black guys and called a white mother______ and other racial slurs. A month later, I walked by campus and witnessed a rally on Columbus Day. Two black guys held fists in the air and yelled "black power!. Later that year, walking back from a party minding my own business with my sister I was confronted by three black guys and called a white____ and threatened. In high school, I was in line at a fast food restaurant and a black guy walked up behind me and out of nowhere threatened to kick my ass and called me a white mother____. Unfortunately, RTP, it is not just whites who need to choose to take another path. Recent statements by the good reverand are proof that there are people on both sides of this issue who need to choose a new path. The real question is what we need to do to address past wrongs and move forward. The city I grew up in, like many cities, is divided by a river and by race - one half is middle class white and the other poor black. Looking back, I don't remember any overt racism on the part of any white friends or relatives, but what I do recall is a total lack of engagement with that 'other' side of town. It is as if as a country, we are content to just have the 'other' side of town exist, what used to be called the 'colored district', so long as we don't have to go there. The solution is probably twofold. The rest of America needs to engage with these areas, teach the lessons of success and try to change the culture into one of entrepreneurship, hope and success. Second, the people in these areas need to empower themselves and recognize that elements of their culture itself are self defeating. Looking to recent Hispanic immigrants, Koreans, Chinese etc. who have come here with nothing and done very well, we can find many examples to follow.   

RTP2008

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 12:43:33 PM »
Great point.  Though it is neither the norm nor is it a adequate response to my post (unless you took it out of context).  I only wanted to point out the fact that racism will not fade away by pretending that race doesn't exist. 

Are there racist blacks who make life difficult for whites?  Yes, I totally agree.

Are there more whites out there who make life difficult for non-whites, than vice versa? How can you argue otherwise.

Racism is a problem for all races.  Some races have to live a entire life under the shadow of racism, while others (black, white, other) are privileged enough to only have to live under it in isolated moments.
NYU 2011

jack24

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 12:55:24 PM »
Racism is a problem for all races.  Some races have to live a entire life under the shadow of racism, while others (black, white, other) are privileged enough to only have to live under it in isolated moments.

So what should I do as a parent?  I'm planning on teaching them real history, and I'm planning on telling them that the majority of the people they meet will not be racist.  I am planning on telling my children that Behavior, not race or class, should be used to choose their friends.  Am I wrong to do that?

RTP2008

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 01:02:13 PM »
I hope not.  That's what I was taught and that's what I plan on passing along. 

I have two problems with the White approach to racism.  The majority of the White race isn't racist (I sincerly hope).  But the majority does seem to fall into two categories.  The one so overridden with White guilt that they are overly self conscious on their treatment of race. Then there are those who for certain reasons (guilt, ignorance, apathy) feel that racism is a problem that doesn't exist because it doesn't exist in a certain context within their lives.

Most Whites don't feel racism the way that other races do and that could put a lot of pressure on someone like you to do what is right by other races.  Just pay the same respect to all people that you'd want paid unto you.  Can't do much better than that.  If you try and do too much more than that, then you'll only make those who want Whites to be punished for history happy and that's not right.
NYU 2011

familyman

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 01:07:31 PM »
RTP - I agree with you. I think one of the greatest challenges we face moving forward is dealing with the structural remnants of racism that still exist that many people refuse to recognize, and also changing the culture in many of these areas to one of empowerment. I just can't reconcile the fact that half of my hometown - and many on this country - is black and extremely poor by saying that blacks there just have to get up and work, or that their situation is entirely their fault. From my experience, overt racism ended with my grandparents. My grandparents were overtly racist. My parents lack a comfort level with race, but are not racist. Our generation was summerized well by Obama the other day. Sure, there are a few out there who are just plain racist. Then there are the rest of us - whites in this example - who don't even like to talk about race bacause we are labeled racist for even expressing certain points of view. I feel that I have legitimate concerns, but I also realize that they are easily misconstrued so I avoid the topic. It is also clear thar Reverand Wright's comments and his huge following are there for a reason, and much of that anger is historical and legitimate.

RTP2008

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Re: Racism will fade away if we'll let it.
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 01:11:14 PM »
Very very true.
NYU 2011