An honest discussion of race

The first thing to do is not allow any ideas to be called “racist.” We need to call BS on folks like Sharpton & Jackson. We have to stand up to their bullying. We cannot let these guys shut down any discussion by claiming racism. So this is my first view. The problems of black America are mostly the result of racism, but not of current racism. It is racism fossilized in attitudes and behaviors of many of the victims. The challenge how to help break them out of this mind-set and the idea of grievance is not helpful.

As a white American, I have as much right to judge race relations as anybody else. It is NOT true that only blacks can understand. It may be true that blacks can more easily understand the black point of view, but then I can more easily understand the white point of view. A discussion REQUIRES that we BOTH assume the other can understand the issue. Again, we cannot allow the discussion to be shut down by calls of racism. If anyone, black or white, wants to discuss the issue with me, I have the right to demand they do not call names.

This is my second view. Most blacks don't really have problems, but the principle problem of black America is disorder in their community and lives. This is not ALL black Americans. Most are doing alright. But those in underclass have a problem with disorder and bad habits. That is why they get in trouble so often. It is not that the police just bother them more often. We are not talking about equal behaviors.

My third view is that you have to start with the baseline. Eric Holder tells a poignant story about his being stopped for speeding and humiliated. Big deal. Maybe race was involved. When I was a young man riding my bike to work in the early morning, the cops stopped me many times and asked what I was carrying. Was that race based? No. If I were Eric Holder, would I think it was? Probably yes.

I bet if Eric Holder and I were talking about this, he would pull that story on me like a trump card and when I disregarded it by telling my own story, he would pretend righteous indignation. He would have no right to that.

So let's have that honest discussion. Those who think I am wrong should explain why w/o resort to accusations of racism or trying the trump card of "you just don't get it." I will do the same with my comments.

Posted by Christine & John at August 21, 2014 11:07 PM
Comments
Comment #382239

Has you or any member of your family ever been declared 3/5ths of a citizen?

Has you or any member of your family ever had to live with something akin to the Dred Scott Decision?

Has you or any member of your family ever had to endure slavery for generations?

I like Reverend Sharpton and respect his opinion, especially in matters that involve race relations.

I do not need to use any terminology to describe what I believe you are displaying. Your own admissions and the edicts you set out to attempt to discuss this with you is apparent and does not need terminology to define it.

Something is wrong with race relations in our country and it begins in the hearts and minds of anyone who cannot consider that they may hold any racist tendencies. This can be applied to any of the races and should be to all.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 22, 2014 10:43 AM
Comment #382247

C&J

People need to stop thinking of themselves as a part of some racial group, and start thinking of themselves as Americans.

People need to stop living in the past and using it to make excuses.

The left needs to stop discouraging those two things.

Then and only then can we have an honest discussion about race.

Posted by: kctim at August 22, 2014 11:12 AM
Comment #382248

left/right = us/them

Posted by: Speak4all at August 22, 2014 11:59 AM
Comment #382249

From Thomas Sowell, one of my favorite writers…

“Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience.

“Please do not do any more good in my country,” he said. “We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done.”

That is essentially the message of an outstanding new book by Jason Riley about blacks in America. Its title is “Please Stop Helping Us.” Its theme is that many policies designed to help blacks are in fact harmful, sometimes devastatingly so. These counterproductive policies range from minimum wage laws to “affirmative action” quotas.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2014/07/08/a-primer-on-race-n1859659/page/full

Speak asks three questions. I would ask him, have not all three of these already been addressed and rectified?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 22, 2014 12:57 PM
Comment #382251

Speaks


Nobody alive in the U.S. today has ever been declared 3/5 of a citizen, so no American can claim this.

The same goes for Dredd Scott.

Re enduring slavery - yes. My ancestors were serfs and some members of my extended family were enslaved in the 1940s, under conditions as bad as could be, BTW.

Re Sharpton - he is a race hustler. I have no respect for him. His attitudes and yours are part of the reason we cannot address the problem.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 5:34 PM
Comment #382252

CJ, your opinion of Reverend Sharpton tells me a lot. Your other examples are not anything that can be compared to what you know I was talking about. My attitude is not the problem, as I stated before the problem begins in the heart and mind of someone who is unable to accept that they could or may have racist tendencies. You are part of that group.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 22, 2014 5:41 PM
Comment #382254


The answer to his three questions for you, him, me, any person living in Ferguson, or living in the United States for that matter, is a resounding “No”.

Speaks4all knows the answer to all of his questions. He would rather instigate.

Would black people suffer from descrimination if they lived in economies dominated by black populations?

Would black people get a sub-standard education if they went to schools that were dominated by black students?

The black population of the U.S. is 17%. Would black people be free from discrimination if their local community is limited to 17 out of every 100 people?

Do black people live in communities at a ratio of 17:100?

Black communities are called black communities for a reason. They are dominated by black people who congregate of their own free will. But then the federal government forces them to be bussed to schools to achieve a quota of black/white students.

This was not only unconstitutional, it was contradictory to human nature. We, as a country, would do ourselves a great service if we just admitted to ourselves the federal government isn’t the all knowing answer to every problem this country has, expecially race relations.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 22, 2014 5:54 PM
Comment #382256

Speaks, I have to agree with C&J on Sharpton. He is a race hustler. Why isn’t he and Jackson up in Chicago where the crime rate is ridiculous. Why aren’t they in D.C. or L.A.? IMO they take Rham’s don’t let a crisis go to waste. Something happens to a black person they show up. I wonder if it would have been a black cop and a white kid they would have showed up or would it have been back page news.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at August 22, 2014 6:06 PM
Comment #382258

Speaks

Sharpton lied and cheated. I enjoy him as a witty man. He is a negative influence on the national stage, however.

Re your bringing up history - all of us are the descendents of slaves and slave owners. My families brush with slavery and genocide is more recent than those of most African-Americans. But mine, as theirs, is in the past and not something that determines our lives today.

Re racist tendencies - I think all people have some of them. It is like original sin. I am sure I have some too, but less than Sharpton. So this “underlying racism” is perhaps universally true, but it is not a useful concept in trying to seek solutions.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 6:49 PM
Comment #382271

There cannot be an honest discussion of race issues if both sides refuse to recognize and accept their responsibilities for the problem.

Whites, today, like to point out that they personally had no hand in past grievous actions against blacks under the color of law, i.e. slavery, discrimination, etc. I didn’t do it. As though that absolves them of any responsibility for resolving the consequences of past acts of the nation. It was difficult but the Germans as a nation eventually accepted responsibility for what they did to the Jews and paid reparations to Israel. It would go a long way toward resolving this issue if the nation formally apologized to the black population and offered some form of reparations, i.e., increased funding for education, etc.

Blacks, on the other hand, have a blind eye for the cultural dysfunction of dominantly black inner city populations. For all the violence, crime and abysmal educational achievement. It is clearly not entirely the result of ongoing discrimination against blacks. Time for blacks to take ownership of their own communities.


Posted by: Rich at August 22, 2014 7:07 PM
Comment #382274

Rich

“I didn’t do it. As though that absolves them of any responsibility for resolving the consequences of past acts of the nation.”

If there were any living ex slaves I would agree with you that they are due reparations for the injustices that they had endured during their captivity as slaves, but they are all dead. The past is dead, and those who did not live in it and suffer under the atrocities of those past injustices are owed nothing. To continue to allow black Americans to be portrayed as victims and to encourage this mentality will only act to hold them back from ever breaking free of this antiquated stereotype and succeeding in life.

“It was difficult but the Germans as a nation eventually accepted responsibility for what they did to the Jews and paid reparations to Israel.”

The Jews who were wronged during the 2nd world war are still alive. Should Egypt pay restitution to the Jews for what they did to them in ancient times ?

Posted by: dbs at August 22, 2014 7:58 PM
Comment #382276

dbs,

The past is not dead. It lives in continued discrimination and cultural isolation that has as its principal cause the long history of slavery and legal discrimination. It is not ancient history.

I don’t really want to argue the merits of either side other than to point out that there are legitimate issues on both sides. Time for everyone to listen.

Posted by: Rich at August 22, 2014 8:20 PM
Comment #382277

Rich

“The past is not dead. It lives in continued discrimination and cultural isolation that has as its principal cause the long history of slavery and legal discrimination. It is not ancient history.”

If this is true then explain to me why those who choose to not embrace this victimization mind set and work hard, succeed, and those who don’t remain in poverty, and continue to blame the past and others for their circumstances?

Posted by: dbs at August 22, 2014 8:32 PM
Comment #382306

“As I said up top, the current plight of some blacks results from racism,…”

Good start, CJ.

Posted by: Rich at August 22, 2014 9:24 PM
Comment #382330

Rich

I think that is the starting point. But you do have to get to the next step. It is fossil racism. We need to understand and address that. The action we take are different from those we would take if it was current.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 9:50 PM
Comment #382334

Racism is alive and well in the United States of America. Let’s look at a few examples on the national political scene, and then the specific example of St Louis.

On August 3rd, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave an infamous speech in Philadephia, MS.

“I believe in states’ rights and I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.”

Everyone understood what Reagan meant with his reference to “states’ rights.” It was a blatant appeal to the followers of George Wallace. It was the Southern Strategy in action. It was racism in action. Philadephia MS was the site of the murder of several civil rights workers in 1964.

In the crucial South Carolina primary of 2000, the Republican nominee for the presidency hung in the balance. John McCain opposed flying the state flag over the capitol because its Stars and Bars, the symbol of racism and slavery. Bush came out in favor of it . Bush went on to win. His victory was aided by a whisper campaign against McCain, accusing McCain of having a black baby out of wedlock; in fact, the baby was adopted.

Do I really need to detail Birtherism? It is racism in action. A large percentage of the GOP still believes it to this day.

And what about St Louis?

As it turns out, I am very familiar with the city. My parents moved there 30 years ago, so I lived there for a few months, and I have visited one or more times a year ever since. The city has gone a noticeable decline. Why?

Two words:

White flight.

The whites of St Louis abandoned the city center and moved to the western suburbs, taking their money and capital with them. The result has been easy to see: an impoverished and decaying center that has become increasingly black, just as we have seen in the past decade in Ferguson. This is a city which has resisted integration as hard as any in the US. It has resisted school busing just as hard. Racism is alive and well in St Louis. The whites have the money and they live very well in places like La Due, Chesterfield, Creve Couer, Clayton, and elsewhere. The tax base moved, because that is how whites like it in St Louis.

And if anyone tries to tell you the problem is with black culture, or black families, or black unemployment, or whatever, that is 100% grade A bullshit.

Posted by: phx8 at August 22, 2014 9:54 PM
Comment #382336

Phx8

re Reagan and states rights - I don’t understand it that way. I believe as Louis Brandeis said, that the states are the laboratories of democracy. Being for decentralized power is unrelated to race. You are following the evil path of trying to trash opponents.

Re white flight - we see “black flight” where there is a black middle class. Nobody wants to have their kids in with the ghetto folks. It is a cultural problem. That is precisely the cultural problem I am talking about that we need to address.

Black African immigrants have higher incomes and education levels than white Americans. Why does racism not affect them to a great extent? Behaviors and culture. In fact, black African immigrants often do not want their kids in school with American blacks. Why? …

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 10:02 PM
Comment #382348

Being for decentralized power is one thing. Going to an obscure town like Philadelphia MS, the heart of the old confederacy and the site of a horrendous killing during the civil rights struggle- a struggle that demanded federal intervention to slap down the segregationists- and then talking about “states’ rights”, is quite another.

Posted by: phx8 at August 22, 2014 10:19 PM
Comment #382364

Did you here the one about:
An employee of the Farmers Home Administration came to work and he was crying. A fellow employee asked him what was wrong that he should be crying. The employee said, “My farmer died!”

This is a parity about the number of federal employees employed by the FSA and the number of farmers it serves. The parity points out there are about the same number of federal employees employed by the FSA as there are farmers the agency is supposed to serve.

Now, consider the number of people employed to combat racism in the U.S. What would happen to these people if racism wasn’t an issue?

Racism is as much a part of the federal government’s spending as poverty, social security, and national defense is. It’s an integral part of the economy and to do away with it would fracture the status quo. Many people would be unemployed if racism didn’t exist. Many federal government programs would no longer be needed and the power and influence of politicians responsible for spending the money to combat racism would be diminished.

The sooner we wake up to the fact that we’re being played, we’re being pitted against each other, to support government programs that employ millions of people, the sooner we will be able to solve the problems of racism.

The alarm is going off, folks. Quit hitting the snooze button.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 22, 2014 10:46 PM
Comment #382372

“The whites of St Louis abandoned the city center and moved to the western suburbs, taking their money and capital with them.”

White flight is a very real problem in all urban areas. It results in a self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: Rich at August 22, 2014 11:10 PM
Comment #382376

Rich

As I wrote above, it is not only white flight. We see that in black suburbs today. Educated blacks don’t want their kids to suffer the culture and danger of the ghetto kids.

It is not poverty. People were much poorer in the past. Yesterday I visited Elvis Presley’s birthplace. It was a shack with no indoor plumbing. That was common. Yet people did okay.
\
The culture of poverty grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. It is now entrenched. Nobody wants it around. I don’t. I would have loved to live in Washington DC. I had to move to the suburbs for the schools AND the schools where my kids went were very diverse. I don’t think whites were a majority, so we are not talking racism that caused my flight.

We have to address that ghetto culture. That IS the main problem. Everything else - the illegitimate kids, the crime, unemployment, illiteracy - follow from that.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 11:18 PM
Comment #382379

Rich & Phx8

I looked it up. White make up only 43% of the students where my kids went to school. “White” flight is no longer a viable term. It is a flight from the negative cultures. I am not ashamed of that decision. I am glad I had the option. That is why I am in favor of school choice so all parents will be able to choose as I did. Of course, I know that some parents are bad and their kids will probably be bad too. That is why I want to break that culture. We good people should not be afraid to judge.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 11:24 PM
Comment #382382

Rich,
Not every city has suffered from white flight & the withdrawal of wealth from the city center.

In Portland OR, the city center has remained vibrant and integrated. While there is a predominantly black neighborhood, as well as an Ethiopian neighborhood in the suburb of Beaverton, the black populations are relatively small. The Portland metropolitan area is completely integrated in its cities and suburbs, and Latino & Asian populations are also fully integrated into the larger white population.

However, Portland does not really offer a representative example. Rather curiously, despite Portland’s reputation for tolerance, Oregon is one of the least racially diverse states in the US. Go figure.

Posted by: hx8 at August 22, 2014 11:43 PM
Comment #382383

phx8

I think you are missing the point. Ethiopians are not part of the black American culture that people flee. Neither are blacks who are educated. I have a friend married to an Ethiopian and one to a West Indian. These women are black in color but not infected by the negative culture. It is sometimes hard for even an UN-PC American like me to hear their comments about the ghetto culture. They did not grow up “hating” it. They learned from recent experience.

My daughter grew up outside the U.S. with friends from Africa and the Middle East. When she moved to Baltimore, she was unpleasantly surprised to find that the local culture was not like that of her African friends.

I have been to places with the “white trash” culture. I don’t like that either and would avoid it infecting my lifestyle. It is behavior, not race. We have to address behavior and not let the race blind us to what we need do.

Posted by: CJ at August 22, 2014 11:55 PM
Comment #382384

phx8


“The whites of St Louis abandoned the city center and moved to the western suburbs, taking their money and capital with them.”

So black communities fail because of whites leaving ? This has got to be the lamest excuse for failure I can imagine. Seems the successful blacks also choose to leave these areas once they can afford to do so.


“And if anyone tries to tell you the problem is with black culture, or black families, or black unemployment, or whatever, that is 100% grade A bullshit.”

What is bullshit is blaming the failure on someone else. The people who succeed black or white choose to leave. they choose to get away from the crime and poverty. The fact that those that are left behind tend to be unemployed and to lazy, or just believe society owes them a living end up concentrated in a single area is no ones fault but their own. If the problem is not cultural than why do these people remain ?

Are you actually trying to say that people should be forced to remain in these crime ridden poverty ridden areas regardless of their ability to leave just so the others can have a economic support system. Maybe we should just give them more gov’t assistance so they have even less motivation to work hard and better their lives. These people will never succeed until race baiters like Jackson and Sharpton stop using them as political pawns.

Posted by: dbs at August 23, 2014 7:20 AM
Comment #382437

Discussing Race is always a difficult task.

I’ve been intrigued by Black/White race relations/issues since I was around 16 years old. I ended up majoring in history and political science. I’ve read seen, heard and sourced first and second-hand sources on nearly every important issue in the US since its first inhabitants.

Our nation’s history is both complex and simple.

I’ve always tried to put myself in the shoes of an African American when race issues of all sorts arise.

It is an imperfect art and science. In college, most of what I was taught on the aforementioned topic came from a ‘White Guilt” POV. I listened, I read, I listened I read. I observed, I listened, I observed, I listened (both inside college and out in the so-called ‘real’ world).

I’ve enjoyed reading everything from W.E.B. duBois and Frederick Douglass to Thomas Sowell and John McWhorter. The latter author, btw, talks a great deal about the main plight of blacks in today’s society. McWhorter, who is black and a linguist, outlines many of the hard-truths that face blacks — The Cult of Victimization, the Un-coolness of getting an education and so on. Read the book. It is worth it.

At any rate, phx8 wrote above:

Two words:

White flight.

The whites of St Louis abandoned the city center and moved to the western suburbs, taking their money and capital with them. The result has been easy to see: an impoverished and decaying center that has become increasingly black, just as we have seen in the past decade in Ferguson.”

I pose this question, phx8: Why?

Reading in between the lines, what I see is a group that cannot keep its community thriving as well as other communities. What you essentially said was: the well-to-do whites left (with their tax $$$) and the city went to pot.

WTH?

I believe in self determination (and yes, even in the face of immense hardship and where past legal codes and treatment kept me down).

Don’t you realize that nearly EVERY race, nationality and culture has endured untold hardship? Yet, these people keep moving ahead.

The so-called “Cult of Victimization” harms ALL Americans of ALL races and nationalities. Those who can get over it, generally prosper - or at the very least - ensure that their progeny will prosper even if they had to sacrifice.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at August 24, 2014 7:44 PM
Comment #382438

I perceive a difference in the Brown case. I saw more than usual push back against the “victim” idea. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were greeted by an odd mixture of disgust and indifference. There was also a welcome undercurrent from many blacks that the time has come to look to less political solutions and the blame game has just about run out of steam.

The black community needed better policing. The black community also needs to learn to cooperate more with the police. Police killings are rare. Black teens killing other black teens are common. Perhaps the idea that the police are the enemy inhibits solutions to the real problem of black on black violence. This is the true source of oppression.

Posted by: CJ at August 24, 2014 9:57 PM
Comment #382443

CJ, an improvement in the attitude of law enforcement’s objectives on both sides will happen eventually and as you point out is very necessary to stop the spiral of violence on both sides.

I rescind my previous statement regarding you being a member of the group that is unable to accept that they may have racist tendencies. Your original post led me to believe that was the case but I understand you better now.

Your family escaped their subjugation and has been able to start a new life. Most of the people I spoke of in my original 3 questions to you are still inhabitants of the country that did subjugate their ancestors. Acknowledging that, doesn’t mean there should be reparations (although I do like Rich’s idea of education funding) or new laws being enacted to compensate them. I do believe a simple sense of consideration can go a long way to gaining understanding of the whys of where we are today. Consideration of past problems that may play a part in what happens today is not giving someone a free pass.

In the third party column I stated that I found it ironic that Saint Louis County Circuit Court was the origination of the legal filings that eventually led to the Dred Scott Decision. I also stated that I can be patient and wait for all of the facts to come out in the Brown case. What I neglected to type but thought it would be apparent is that unlike the residents of Ferguson I haven’t had to wait the 156 some years since the Dred Scott Decision hoping that there would be some vindication for them. I agree with you I believe that the reason would be you have to vindicate yourself first, a good step in that direction is overcoming poverty’s influences. But that also seems to something a lot of people aren’t able to accomplish in our current environment.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 25, 2014 10:21 AM
Comment #382445

CJ,

The premise of your article is abjectly wrong

The first thing to do is not allow any ideas to be called “racist.”
Racism is entrenched in our culture, it exists both explicitly and implicitly, there are racist ideas. To say racism can not be part of the discussion concerning Ferguson is to preemptively deny the existence of the issue that has angered the local population and resulted in such extended demonstrations. To think that racism is only in the protesters imagination is implicitly racist in it’s own right whether the person who says that knows it or not.

Posted by: Dave at August 25, 2014 11:49 AM
Comment #382446

Some people just can’t resist, can they CJ?

Dave is saying you’re a racist because you try to have a conversation without the charge of racism dominating the conversation.

j2t2, in the other column, insists the only way to protest an issue is to break things and terrorize the local population until they capitulate. According to j2t2, if you don’t riot and protest you don’t care and, by default, support the issue.

I think the people in Ferguson are (1)opportunist, foreign to the environment, coming in to loot. (2)ignorant of the facts, evident by the immediate reaction without waiting for information, (3)immature, as a child having a temper tantrum and acting out distructively.

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 25, 2014 3:37 PM
Comment #382471

Dave

Racism is part of the conversation. Calling people racist is not helpful.

Posted by: CJ at August 25, 2014 8:05 PM
Comment #382476

The basic premise of the Dred Scott Decision was that as a slave you cannot be a citizen and you cannot become a citizen if you are a slave. This was the catch 22 of it’s day and really helped fuel the fires of the abolitionists of that time. This decision ultimately brought our Nation closer to Civil War

Dred Scott died in St Louis Missouri in 1858, still a slave.

Posted by: Speak4all at August 26, 2014 10:47 AM
Comment #382525

Speaks

In 1858 my great grandfather was a serf in the Russian Empire. His physical conditions were worse than Dred Scott’s and he could not have gotten near a court to sue his masters.

We cannot make excuses today because of things that happened long before anybody today was born.

None of my ancestors were in the country during slavery. Chrissy’s ancestors came from Norway in 1859 and soon joined the Union Army to fight slavery. You don’t need to thank them, nor blame those on the other side because they cannot hear you. They are dead. Their kids are dead; their grandchildren are dead. It was a long time ago.

The fact is that all of us are descended from slave owners and slaves. I suppose that those unable to let go of the past really are still slaves. How can we help them get over it?

Posted by: CJ at August 26, 2014 7:51 PM
Comment #382527

Dave commented on CJ’s article stating that “The premise of your article is abjectly wrong”

CJ, with all due respect, your 1st sentence is poorly written because an “Idea” is a thought or inanimate object. Thus, logically, it cannot be “racist.”

I get that’s not what your intent was; however, it took away from the import of your post.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at August 26, 2014 8:22 PM
Comment #382547

CJ, excuses? How about acknowledgement and consideration?

Would you feel the same if your ancestors were brought to this country as slaves?

I tell you what boy, I’ll agree with you that it is all their fault if’n you can tell me how many beans are in this heah jah on my desk(Jim Crow circa 1930).

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Comment #382554

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Posted by: etrye at August 27, 2014 11:39 AM
Comment #382598

Weary,
Your post shows zero comprehension of what I said.

CJ,
I didn’t call anyone a racist, I only said that denying that racism is part of the problem in Ferguson was in itself racist. I’m glad to hear you acknowledge that racism is part of the issue.

Posted by: Dave at August 28, 2014 8:29 AM
Comment #382602

Speaks

How would you feel if some of your relatives were enslaved and killed because of their ethnic identity in the 20th Century? We all have those kinds of stories. If we let the problems of our ancestors keep us down, it is our choice.

I do not feel much sympathy for someone who claims he cannot get ahead because of events that happened way before he was born.

Many of today’s black problems are the result of racism. But it is a fossil racism kept viable in attitudes and behaviors of the black community. It is not their “fault” but it is their problem, in that only they can change. We (the larger community) can and should help. But to do that we need to get away from the old idea that current racism is holding them down.

It is like a fat person blaming his parents for not teaching him good habits. He may be right, but the solution is to stop doing the wrong things and do the right ones.

No American today owned a slave or was a slave in the American context. Most white American ancestry does not come from slave owners and many are from immigrants who arrived after 1865.

Dave

See above. Racism is part of the problem. But NOT racism as described by guys like Sharpton or Jackson. In fact, their racism is one of the things keeping problems from being solved.

Posted by: CJ at August 28, 2014 10:03 AM
Comment #382648

C+J,

Fossil racism might be to blame for the majority of poor relations between Americans of African ancestry and law enforcement. However, contemporary racism continues to entrench those fossilized attitudes. Eroding those fossilized attitudes is a process that requires a two-way street. Both the black and nonblack communities need to step up to the plate and change their attitudes and outlooks.

I recently watched a video where two St. Paul police officers arrested a man who waited outside a bank in a public skyway for his children to be dismissed from preschool. It is very disturbing to think this is happening in this country. If I felt that this could happen to me, I wouldn’t trust the police either.

Posted by: Warren Porter at August 30, 2014 10:27 AM
Comment #382688
In fact, their racism is one of the things keeping problems from being solved.
Placing blame on two talking heads is misdirecting and an oversimplification. The Southern strategy, starting with Nixon, began the legitimization of racism and religious (christian) fundamentalism within rightwing political discussion. Today, many on the right do not see racism, either as existing or even as something morally wrong, which is a fundamental obstacle to resolving the issues exposed by Ferguson. Further, ignoring history and the effects the past has on todays society adds to the obstacles. Posted by: Dave at September 2, 2014 12:41 PM
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