[Discussion] Privilege and Racism

Pages

A place to discuss issues surrounding racism, classism and privilege.

Antichulius wrote:

So, basically what I’m asking is for some help finding resources beyond my own bubble to better understand the breath, depth, and pervasiveness of racism in the US so the next time I have one of these conversations, I have better tools and a more informed understanding.

You might want to check out Ijeoma Oluo's "So You Want to Talk about Race," Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," and Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Between the World and Me." They're blunt eye-openers, but outstanding.

There's also numerous articles out there documenting how racism is still very much a thing in this country. Coates's excellent The Atlantic article, "The Case for Reparations," touches on many things, but it also tells a story that stretches over nearly a century about one black family's quest to own their own home and the vast array government policy, legal hurdles, predatory lenders, unscrupulous developers, and just plain old racist violence that was deployed against them. And even after they finally got their house, it's in a neighborhood that is dramatically different--and much worse--than a poor white neighborhood.

Historian Kevin Kruse's article "Traffic" explains how Atlanta suffers from horrible traffic today because when the interstate system was being built in the 50's and 60's Atlanta's political leaders weren't concerned about efficiency or traffic flows. They were concerned about making sure the new highways physically separated blacks from the whites (who were fleeing to the suburbs). And as all those suburban whites had to deal with terrible traffic on their daily commutes in the decades since, they've all consistently voted against the one thing that would help them--extending Atlanta's MARTA mass-transit system--because they're afraid of who might use it to visit their neighborhoods.

Kruse's article is part of The New York Time's 1619 Project. It's a dozen or so articles that each tackle a different aspect of the legacy of slavery. They also have a also same-named podcast.

Speaking of podcasts, Larry Wilmore's Black on the Air is very much worth a listen.

Thanks, that should give me some good places to start.

dejanzie wrote:

Usually I'm not a big fan of "Country X is more racist than country Y", but yeah Italy is pretty f*cking racist. Our best soccer striker Romelu Lukaku encountered a lot of racism when growing up in Belgium. Because he was always taller and stronger than his age group peers, there were a lot of sideline racists asking whether he forged his passport etc.

But now playing at Inter (Milan), when the opponent's team's fans made monkey noises at him and Lukaku (rightfully) condemned the club and the Italian football association for not acting swifter, HIS OWN supporters at Inter shushed him to "take it as a compliment, it just means they think you're good".

Even in Belgium, normally a huge fan of below-the-sealevel-iceberg racism, this was uh... frowned upon.

European Parliaments, because they are based on (sorry!) proportional voting systems, tend to accurately reflect it's countries level of acceptance of racism, bigotry or any other type of behaviour. The Lega Nord's power base is in the North of the country. Milan is in the North of the Country. I mean, it's not all that surprising.

Same goes with Front Nationale et al. You can literally see the racist/bigoted hotspots by catchment area in every country in Europe. Well, except for one.

When the UK did have access to proportional voting (mandated by the European Parliament) the largest party it elected held, shall we say, challenging views. Perhaps that is my own Irish bias but I find those two facts above illustrative.

I've always firmly believed what James Baldwin repeated over and over: We're all responsible for what is going on right now.

That's a global statement. There are people out there marching in countries outside my own because they understand this truth.

Regardless of what the past might teach me or what my ancestors did, I am undeniably a part of this world. That means I am responsible for the racism and prejudice which are happening right now. I am responsible for the situations my fellow human beings are enduring right now. Everything I choose to do or not do has consequences for all. If I'm not living and acting in awareness of these facts, then I am abdicating my responsibility to all.

My wife (who is current president of our church) called me to vent about our current minister who out of the blue wished to set up a vigil tonight, first to remember COVID victims (ironic considering social distancing), but then wanted to tack on a vigil about the ongoing violence. I said that holding candles for a pick-em of causes like that , in this environment, may be the whitest idea I've ever heard. We may as well hand out themed boxes of corn flakes and scented candles on the side of the road. One can try too hard to be woke.

Edit: turns out the minister was just as peeved about the idea, which was floated by some Social Concerns folks. While that makes me feel better from a leadership perspective I'd sure still like to have a talk about contextual awareness with those folks.

Resharing with permission from the author, a woman of color I work with:

In the last few days, I've started to see a lot more rhetoric around the upcoming election and it's left a foul taste in my mouth. I decided to post my thoughts to Facebook this morning (which I rarely do) and I'd like to share here as well. Of course I support democracy. Of course I want people to vote. But I think, for non-POC allies especially, it's important to remember that there is a lot of sensitivity and trauma around Black people trying to exercise their right to vote in this country. If you really want to support us, I highly recommend putting in the work to research your local officials, participate in local elections and put your own freedoms to use to help us elect people who can make a real difference.

Thank you again to this group for your commitment to listen and desire to learn. I'm proud to work beside you.
-----------------------------------

Do not just tell us to vote.
It is easy to simply say, “go vote.” It is also willfully ignorant and dismissive.

We rage against a deadly machine we had no say in creating and which is daily set upon us. To insist we may yet employ it equitably or even favorably on our behalf is to ignore the malicious precision with which it attacks our very existence. It is to blind yourself to the hurdles and barricades we must overcome to prove our right to live, let alone dare to have a say in how.

“Vote” is not a plea you get to beg of us. It is not an inspirational reminder of what’s at stake. It is a command we have no choice but to throw back to our so-called allies, to those whose socio-political participation is not aggressively spurned by the pervasive, systemic oppression that so effortlessly and effectively works to dilute our voices, invalidate our experience, justify our repression, and block us from the very tools you would have us wield in the name of progress.

Let’s not forget the man who now holds office was not elected by the people. Those of us who could vote, did. Those of you in a position to manipulate the system won.

So do not tell us to turn our rage into action on your terms. Do not implore us to work change from the inside when we’re denied entry at a single glance. Do not constrain our protest within the boundaries of your distorted, lethal system. These deaths are our calls to action. These demonstrations are our polls. These voices are our ballots.

Oof.. Important, but heartbreaking.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CA3GKEG...

Antichulius wrote:

"...I’ve been having several discussions lately about racism with people who actually seem open to revisiting their views on the topic. Entering the conversation, they’re convinced racism isn’t actually a “thing” anymore, and if there is racism, it’s against the whites. I’m able to throw enough examples to explain away “reverse racism” and to prove racism still exists, and to draw some parallels to what I understand about the black-experience in America (as best I can as an onlooker), and it feels like I can get the conversation to the cusp, but then I just don’t have whatever it is to actually change their minds the rest of the way."

Decoding difficult conversations
I have half-thoughts I'd like to post, but it will take me some time to write them down carefully.
Meanwhile, this episode has helped me see how to approach conversations with people I fundamentally
a. dislike
b. still want them to understand my POV even if they won't ever agree with it

hope it helps

Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about race.

I'm sure each of Twitter's 275 black employees appreciate it and know that it's much more important for Twitter to make Juneteenth a holiday than it is for the company to do some meaningless gesture, like kicking all the racists and white supremacists off the platform.

OG_slinger wrote:

I'm sure each of Twitter's 275 black employees appreciate it and know that it's much more important for Twitter to make Juneteenth a holiday than it is for the company to do some meaningless gesture, like kicking all the racists and white supremacists off the platform.

But what would their business model be then??

It is weird to me that Juneteenth is not a national holiday.

From 1983.

A friend of mine posted a picture of the gates of Auschwitz with some right wing propaganda about how Germans know about the holocaust because they didn't tear it down and that we shouldn't tear down Confederate monuments for the same reason. Needless to say, it pissed me off. My reply was that the equivalent to Confederate monuments in Germany would be if a hate group called "the United Daughters of the SS" mass produced statues of Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich, Oskar Dirlewanger, and Heinrich Himmler and planted them in mostly Jewish neighborhoods sometime in the 1980's.

She took down the post.

I look forward to all these people so concerned with losing our physical history sharing their other posts about trying to make sure that history is not forgotten at locations that are a much stronger analogy: Stop Getting Married on Plantations

edit: oh, and one quick note on these 'monuments' and the history they celebrate that I think 'Lost Cause' types have successfully gaslighted people on: the Confederacy lost the war, but won the peace with a vicious guerrilla campaign of resistance. They're not about the history of the Civil War the Confederacy lost--they're about the history of the Redemption insurgency the ghosts of the Confederacy won. They *are* monuments to victory. The horrible victory that ended Reconstruction.

From a friend on Facebook:

With all the gender and race changing of characters in the Marvel Universe, it is interesting that they never made Black Hulk. Maybe because he would be the most powerful character in the MCU.

Paleocon wrote:

From a friend on Facebook:

With all the gender and race changing of characters in the Marvel Universe, it is interesting that they never made Black Hulk. Maybe because he would be the most powerful character in the MCU.

They did.

And of course they made him a crime lord / mobster / gang leader. *grumble*

Paleocon wrote:

A friend of mine posted a picture of the gates of Auschwitz with some right wing propaganda about how Germans know about the holocaust because they didn't tear it down and that we shouldn't tear down Confederate monuments for the same reason. Needless to say, it pissed me off. My reply was that the equivalent to Confederate monuments in Germany would be if a hate group called "the United Daughters of the SS" mass produced statues of Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich, Oskar Dirlewanger, and Heinrich Himmler and planted them in mostly Jewish neighborhoods sometime in the 1980's.

She took down the post.

Also, Auschwitz is in Poland

Also Germans don't say "The Nazis shall rise again!"

Pages