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Author Topic: White South African student punished for calling himself African American  (Read 9204 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 23, 2004, 02:27:41 PM »

White Student Calls Self African-American

Friday, January 23, 2004

OMAHA, Neb. — Officials disciplined students who papered their nearly all-white high school with posters advocating a white student from South Africa for the school's "Distinguished African American Student Award."

Peggy Rupprecht, spokeswoman for the Westside Community Schools (search) district, said administrators at Westside High School (search) discovered more than a hundred of the posters throughout the school first thing Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day (search).

"The content of the posters, they believed, was inappropriate and insensitive to some members of our school community," Rupprecht said.

Citing privacy policies, Rupprecht said she could not specify what the penalties were or how many students were disciplined. But the mother of the boy pictured on the posters said he was suspended for two days.

The award has been given the last eight years to an outstanding black student as part of the school's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, she said.

The poster pictured junior Trevor Richards, 16, smiling and making a thumbs-up sign. A message at the top encouraged votes for him for next year's award.

Karen Richards said her son and his friends were not trying to hurt anyone.

"My son is not a racist," she told the Omaha World-Herald. "He has black friends, friends from Bangladesh and Egypt. Color has never been an issue in our home."

"It was a very innocent thing," she said.

Two of her son's friends were disciplined along with him, she said. A fourth student was punished for circulating a petition Tuesday criticizing the practice of recognizing only black student achievement with the award, she said.

Tylena Martin, a junior, said the poster had been on the door to her homeroom class where she is the only black student. She said she felt hurt by the posters and the backlash that ensued.

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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 03:02:36 PM »

He's more African than most of the African-Americans I know...
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 03:04:03 PM »

I had a friend from Egypt that referred to himself as African-American.  He wasn't trying to be funny or racist.  He was an American citizen, but born in Saharan-Africa, so he considered himself "African-American" and it perplexed people to say the least.
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2004, 03:23:52 PM »

LOL I love it!! PC at it's best!
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2004, 09:21:17 AM »

From the AP story:

"According to 2002-2003 state statistics, 56 Of Westside's 1,632 students are black."
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2004, 11:46:40 AM »

Tom, where'd you find the article?
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2004, 02:17:40 PM »

On the Associated Press website.
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2004, 07:50:23 PM »

From the AP story:

"According to 2002-2003 state statistics, 56 Of Westside's 1,632 students are black."


I think that stat puts the story in a slightly different light.

I am not PC in the slightest, but it must be tough to be black in a school district with so few black students.

It also must have made those posters seem a bit ominous.

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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2004, 07:55:39 PM »

But technically he IS "African American". Either you abide by the definition or you should change it to say "Black African American". Personally, I have no problem with that.
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2004, 10:19:54 AM »

I think that stat puts the story in a slightly different light.

I am not PC in the slightest, but it must be tough to be black in a school district with so few black students.

It also must have made those posters seem a bit ominous.

Ah, but remember, Linus, you're in Virginia. This was Omaha. I'm looking at a few stats and I see that Westside had the highest ACT score average in the city. If you want to see the poster, here it is:



If I were the principal, I would have call the perpetrators to my office and said, "Cute. Now go take the posters down."

Doing the math, a student there has a 7% change to get the award just by being black-- there's only an average of 18 black students in each grade.
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2004, 03:39:17 PM »

When will we ever achieve the color blind society Dr King spoke of?  

I see nothing wrong with him competing as an African American.  I LOVE that someone has found a way of showing how ARBITRARY "racial" identification really is.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2004, 01:41:27 PM »

Quote
Keble: If I were the principal, I would have call the perpetrators to my office and said, "Cute. Now go take the posters down."

That is what I would have done, too.

Today's school administrators scramble to see who can be the most Draconian in enforcing the mores of "diversity."
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2004, 01:46:35 PM »

Quote
Br. Max:
When will we ever achieve the color blind society Dr King spoke of?

When pigs fly.  

Quote
Br. Max: I see nothing wrong with him competing as an African American.  I LOVE that someone has found a way of showing how ARBITRARY "racial" identification really is.

Personally, I do not like the idea of racial or ethnic categories for school awards or even categories based upon where someone was born.
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2004, 02:28:56 PM »

I think that stat puts the story in a slightly different light.

I am not PC in the slightest, but it must be tough to be black in a school district with so few black students.

It also must have made those posters seem a bit ominous.

I agree. This was a joke in poor taste. Take the posters down, use the opportunity to find out what the kids who did it were thinking about the achievement award. Have a dialogue about it (not a lecture).

Explain why the school thinks it necessary to promote color based achievement awards (this would be interesting!), and why the school found the posters mean-spirited, or lacking in tact.

The punishment recognises the passive-agressive nature of the act and inadvertantly REWARDS it.

Suspension was an unintelligent, knee-jerk PC response.
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2004, 03:15:48 PM »

He is from Africa and a citzen of the USA. Yes, that would make him African American.

However his relatives, colonized and enslaved South Africa and had nothing to with Martin Luther King and his message.  MLK was trying to empower Americans of Black African decent.

I understand what Trevor was trying to do, he was trying to show how arbitrary the term "African American" is. I don't think he is up for donning the white suit and burning crosses.

Trevor Richards picked the wrong day for trying to spread his word.   I don't think suspending him will cure him, it will only create in him self doubt. I think he needs to understand *why* this hurt people and *why* this was the wrong place, time and day to pontificate about the arbitrary nature of labels.
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2004, 03:32:49 PM »

Why on earth would this hurt people?  If we would just stop judging people on arbitrary accidentals, which are beyond a persons ability to control like the color of ones skin (unless of course you are wacko-jacko, but that’s another story . . .).  Rev. King’s point was that if people feel the need to judge, it should be on the basis of Character NOT race Fictitious races.  There is only ONE race worth discussing, the HUMAN race.
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2004, 03:50:37 PM »

Trevor Richards picked the wrong day for trying to spread his word.   I don't think suspending him will cure him, it will only create in him self doubt. I think he needs to understand *why* this hurt people and *why* this was the wrong place, time and day to pontificate about the arbitrary nature of labels.

Well, who was actually hurt here? What harm was actually done to the 86 black students?

It was really the dignity of the adminstration that was hurt. They participated in something that bordered on a farce, after all.

And the history of labelling "African-Americans" is anything but arbitrary. You can date the founding of virtually any such organization simply by looking at its name, because the "acceptable" name has changed with the times to avoid the negative connotations of its immediate predecessor.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2004, 04:58:01 PM »

However his relatives, colonized and enslaved South Africa
I don't think that's a fair statement to make necessarily.  I'm from Alabama and my family has lived here since before it was a state. My family is broke and always has been.  I'd resent somebody telling me my ancestors were slave owners because it isn't true.  It isn't fair to pin the actions of some people on a whole group of other people.
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2004, 10:15:59 PM »

I have to agree with Linus in this case.  The feelings of the Black students have to be taken into consideration here.  I can personally attest to the fact that it can be disconcerting at times to be the only member of a given ethnic group in a place where you feel "outnumbered" and people have their little racist jokes to make which they or their parents think are "harmless".

Also, you have to take into consideration what is meant by the term African-American.  Sure, on the surface it could be taken to mean anyone living in the Americas who is from Africa or of African descent, but to the Black American community it means more than that.  My late mentor and professor was an African-American scholar who traveled extensively in Nigeria to study the Ibo language and culture.  Living there for several years gave him a sense of what it meant to be an African-American, a descendant of the African slaves brought to this continent so many years ago.  He really began to see himself and his culture as unique, separate, and distinct from that of the Ibo and other Nigerians.  The point being that the Black American community here has its own unique cultural and ethnic identity which is separate from an African identity, Black or white.  To me, it wouldn't matter if this kid was a Black African, if the award was for a member of the African-American community, the cultural and ethnic group which developed here among the descendants of the enslaved Africans, then the honoree should be from that community.  There is nothing wrong with that.  A friend of mine once got a privately funded scholarship from a Polish-American group for people of Polish descent.  I don't think it would be what the people offering the scholarship had in mind if a person who was of Chinese descent but had been a citizen of Poland got the money.

That being said, I think that race is an artificial sociological construct.  We are all of one race, human.  A rabbi once told me that this is why God started with one man and one woman (Adam and Eve) so no one could claim that their pedigree was better than anyone else's.  Ultimately, we all are made in the same image and likeness.  But there is such a thing as culture and ethnicity, and if this kid was trying to be cute, not only did it not work, but it was in poor taste.  If he really didn't understand what he was doing, then he just needs someone to explain it to him.
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2004, 01:30:34 AM »

African-American is an artificial label.  Either you're an American or your not.  And the continent of Africa is made up of a great deal of ethnically distinct peoples not all of which can be classified as Negro. For one segment of the people of africa to lay claim to the continent as if they alone can claim it is foolishness.  It would be parimount to saying that only Germanics can claim to be Europeans.
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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2004, 10:12:55 AM »

African-American is an artificial label.  Either you're an American or your not.  And the continent of Africa is made up of a great deal of ethnically distinct peoples not all of which can be classified as Negro. For one segment of the people of africa to lay claim to the continent as if they alone can claim it is foolishness.  It would be parimount to saying that only Germanics can claim to be Europeans.

All labels are artificial my friend.  That "Either your an American or your not" line is ridiculous.  If we follow that logic, then the Irish Americans should stop marching on St. Patrick's day, and the Italian Americans should stop making such a big deal out of Columbus day.  Everyone should just be content to be plain old American and forget their own ethnic and cultural identity.  The African American cultural identity is just as real and legitimate as any other on the Earth.

Of course everyone knows that Africa, the second largest continent on the Earth, is peopled by more than one group.  There are Bantus, Khoisan, Berbers, Hamites, Semites, Boers, Englishmen, etc., etc.......and of course the term African American is an imperfect label.  But why is that?  It has to be general because most African Americans cannot pinpoint their exact ethnic identity because it was eradicated by a system of bondage which deliberately sought to undermine it.  Since the people do not want to abandon all sense of self and claim to their identity as a people distinct from others, they have to use the general term African American.  No one is trying to claim that they have sole ownership of the continent of Africa.  

Either we say that we are all human beings and that any system of classification should be done away with, or we allow every group to define its own cultural and ethnic identity.  We cannot say that one group's identity is real and another's is artificial.  It is funny to me, like when someone says that the Israeli or Palestinian identity is artificial, because neither one had much significance before the 1940's.  People were just Arabs or Jews, but not Israelis or Palestinians.  If we take this logic further we will see that all of the nations of the Middle East are relatively recent and aritificial creations.  Does this make their ethnic identities any less real?  And before the time of Bismark, one did not think of himself as a "German" but as a Bavarian, Prussian, Schwabian, etc.....the same can be said of all European nationalities before the era of the Nation State.  

It is foolish to say that the African American culture does not exist as something distinct from the Euro-American "mainstream".  We cannot delegitimize the African American identity without delegitimizing all ethnic and cultural classification along with it.
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2004, 10:31:13 AM »

I don't think that's a fair statement to make necessarily.  I'm from Alabama and my family has lived here since before it was a state. My family is broke and always has been.  I'd resent somebody telling me my ancestors were slave owners because it isn't true.  It isn't fair to pin the actions of some people on a whole group of other people.

Aparthied.  A small WHITE minority controlled the black majority in South Africa. There was (is)  no such thing as poor white in South Africa. http://racerelations.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infoplease.com%2Fce5%2FCE002520.html

Edit: Fixed link. John
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2004, 12:01:49 PM »

Aparthied.  A small WHITE minority controlled the black majority in South Africa. There was (is)  no such thing as poor white in South Africa.

Well, to be more precise, a minority of the white minority controlled everyone else. Apartheid ended in 1992; in 1992 this kid was 4, maybe 5-- hardly to be numbered among the power elite, no matter who his parents were.

And in Omaha, there are surely many poor whites.
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2004, 01:00:45 PM »

"According to 2002-2003 state statistics, 56 Of Westside's 1,632 students are black."

"Tylena Martin, a junior, said the poster had been on the door to her homeroom class where she is the only black student. She said she felt hurt by the posters and the backlash that ensued."

That right there is the bottom line.  I know what it feels like to be in that position.  You already feel like you stick out like a sore thumb without some jerk drawing unwanted negative attention to you.  Is this kid's right to be what some (but not me) would consider "witty" and "cute" worth hurting the feelings of this girl and others?  It is hard enough to be the only member representing a given ethnic group in a classroom without someone from the majority stirring up controversy.  All heads turn to see how you will react.

Sometimes, during the obligatory teacher-directed-follow-up-discussion, you will actually get an "educator" who is a big enough moron to single you out and say, "So Antony (or whoever), what is the Black (or Arab, or Mexican, or Chinese, or whatever...) perspective on all this?".  As if you are a spokesperson for your entire group.  I am by no means "liberal" or "PC", but if my daughter came home upset or feeling like an outsider in her own school because some kid thought he was being clever, I'd certainly make sure that I had a few choice words with the administration and if possible the boy's parents.
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« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2004, 02:22:37 PM »

It is the disproportion of the response that is revealing. I was the class target all the way through elementary school and up into 9th grade, and while I certainly felt that lots of kids needed expulsion for their crimes against my person, I didn't and still do not think that insensitivity was grounds for suspending someone.

And it isn't as though the school wasn't in the business of creating its own racial tensions. 1600 kids: that's some 400 in each grade. This is not a place where being white was some sort of distinction, but rather where it made you another easily ignored face in a crowd. A mere handful of kids were going to get school awards at the end of the year, and even athletic distinction was going to be denied to most. It's the kind of atmosphere in which an award granted partly on the basis of race creates an illusion of privilege.

What apparently didn't happen was that a bunch of adminstrators stopped to think about how this was going to look on CNN (which is where it came to my attention). And if it played that way on CNN, it surely played that way in the rest of the school. What they've said is that race is an untouchable subject, and that there is something odd about being black, and that everyone should keep race at the forefront of their minds in their dealings with people, lest they do something "insensitive".
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« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2004, 02:57:27 PM »

All labels are artificial my friend.  That "Either your an American or your not" line is ridiculous.  If we follow that logic, then the Irish Americans should stop marching on St. Patrick's day, and the Italian Americans should stop making such a big deal out of Columbus day.  Everyone should just be content to be plain old American and forget their own ethnic and cultural identity.  The African American cultural identity is just as real and legitimate as any other on the Earth.

It is foolish to say that the African American culture does not exist as something distinct from the Euro-American "mainstream".  We cannot delegitimize the African American identity without delegitimizing all ethnic and cultural classification along with it.

African -American culture is mostly of recent invention.  Take for example the pseudo-holiday of quanza.  All I can say is, if the old country was so darn wonderful, why did you bother to leave it? Huh  And if America is so darn awful, why are you still here? Huh

Funny thing is, when real Africans come over - for the most part they are disgusted with so-called  African-Americans and their culture of victimization and exploitation.
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« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2004, 03:31:29 PM »

African -American culture is mostly of recent invention.  Take for example the pseudo-holiday of quanza.  All I can say is, if the old country was so darn wonderful, why did you bother to leave it? Huh  And if America is so darn awful, why are you still here? Huh

Do you have any idea how ignorant you sound?  First of all, African-American culture is only as "recent" as mainstream American culture.  The enslaved Africans brought here started to develop a parallel culture alongside that of their white masters as soon as they got here.  Just as the white Americans developed a culture which they saw as being distinguished from that of the mother country, England, so the Africans developed a culture that was  different from both.  And even if a cultural identity was relatively new, like that of the Israelis or the Palestinians, does that illegitimize it in your eyes?  And I agree that Kwanzaa is laughable, but if your going criticize it, at least learn to spell.

Next let's move to your foolish statement "If the old country was so darn wonderful, why did you bother to leave it?".  News flash genius, we never left it, someone came and got us!!!!!  You are supposed to be a teacher?  Do they have history books at your school?  I mean c'mon.  Is this really all new to you?


Funny thing is, when real Africans come over - for the most part they are disgusted with so-called  African-Americans and their culture of victimization and exploitation.


Now I know you're full of it, because I have quite a few friends from East and West Africa, and they are not disgusted by me or my culture, they are disgusted by bigots like you.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  And African American culture is not a culture of victimization or exploitation, in fact quite the opposite, it is a culture which has survivied the victimization and exploitation inflicted upon it by racists and imperialists.  What an attitude.
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2004, 05:50:18 PM »

Nikolas: I work with Africans there and Africans here and they are all uniformly disgusted by rap, the crime culture, laziness, the claims for entitlements, the poor language, the vulgarity and perversions of "urban culture" aka: African American culture.  When you ask for preferential treatment because of the color of your skin, that’s saying that you cannot achieve equally to others and that’s victimization.  When you look for and find racism under every leaf - that is victimization.

As for the myth that the slave trade was purely a white on black thing - lets not forget that it was black Africans that sold the slaves to the Europeans, making slavery a black on black crime.  And there is always the little country of Liberia founded by emancipated slaves.  

BTW- I am far from a bigot.  If I am going to HATE someone it will not be for something they have no control over such as the color of their skin.  If I am going to take the time to hate someone it will be over the content of his character.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but skin color is a non-issue with me.
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« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2004, 05:58:39 PM »

BTW- I am far from a bigot.  If I am going to HATE someone it will not be for something they have no control over such as the color of their skin.  If I am going to take the time to hate someone it will be over the content of his character.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but skin color is a non-issue with me.

Of course you won't HATE someone because of the color of their skin.  You will only HATE people who desire to establish a free and independent Palestine.    :-";"xx
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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2004, 07:02:46 PM »

Nikolas: I work with Africans there and Africans here and they are all uniformly disgusted by rap, the crime culture, laziness, the claims for entitlements, the poor language, the vulgarity and perversions of "urban culture" aka: African American culture.  When you ask for preferential treatment because of the color of your skin, that’s saying that you cannot achieve equally to others and that’s victimization.  When you look for and find racism under every leaf - that is victimization.

Max, some Africans may or may not be disgusted by the things that you describe.  Hopefully you realize that your limited experience is not the be-all-end-all.  Friends of mine who are African, and who live and work in Africa, contradict your claims of a "uniform" disgust.  In fact,many of their kids listen to what?  Hip Hop.  Secondly, I hope that you are not so ignorant as to believe that the "urban" Hip Hop culture which you are so quick to decry is not all there is to African American culture.  This is also the culture which produced scientists, inventors, doctors, artists, musicians, war heroes, etc.  A simple google search will avail you much in this regard.  There is so much more to my culture than your quick-to-judge mentality implies, and even in the "urban" milieu of which you are so critical, there are things of value which you cannot even see.  As to the preferential treatment thing, I suppose that you are referring to Affirmative Action, welfare, etc., the largest beneficiaries of which in both cases are white women.  Look it up.  BTW, your statements seem to imply that racism is a small factor in the criteria by which the world is run today, and people are hired, etc., and that is just as assinine as "looking for racism under every leaf".  You say you work with Africans, but what is your experience with African Americans?  Is your contact with us so minimal that you really believe that the lowest common denominator is all that there is to our culture?  Okay, next quote....


As for the myth that the slave trade was purely a white on black thing - lets not forget that it was black Africans that sold the slaves to the Europeans, making slavery a black on black crime.  And there is always the little country of Liberia founded by emancipated slaves.  

Where did I say that slavery was a purely white on Black thing?  Are you just using this as an opportunity to vent your spleen and get out all of the things you would like to say to a Black American face to face but don't have the guts to in real life?  I never addressed this topic.  But since you brought it up.....Yes, there were African participants in the slave trade, and of course they were wrong.  The great difference is that the Europeans who engaged in the slave trade were so blinded by their racial hatred that they came to view the people whom they were enslaving as subhuman chattel who deserved their fate, and this is drastically different from the kinds of slavery practiced by Blacks in Africa or Native North Americans, etc.  

BTW- I am far from a bigot.  If I am going to HATE someone it will not be for something they have no control over such as the color of their skin.  If I am going to take the time to hate someone it will be over the content of his character.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but skin color is a non-issue with me.

Buy a dictionary.  A bigot does not only mean those who hate people because of their skin color, a bigot can also mean someone who has a negative, pre-judgemental opinion about a person based on what they perceive to be their culture, and obviously, when it comes to my culture, the African-American culture, you don't know you're backside from a hole in the ground.  You haven't burst my bubble yet, Max, in fact, you've only served to inflate it with this latest round of parroting of the usual bigotry espoused by media pundits, etc.... You may not agree with me or even like me, friend, but you have to admit, I'm not the addle-brained, vulgar-mouthed, entitlement wanting, no-language-skill-having, self-victimizing hip hop kid you've created in your own mind.  In fact, I'm working on my Phd., and have yet to benefit from any kind of scholarship other than those in which the criteria were strictly academic merit and financial need, not ethnic origin. So think twice before you are so quick to generalize cultures which you know little about.  See that Max, and I didn't even call you "Yo" or "homeboy" once.
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« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2004, 07:32:57 PM »

Let me see if I have all of this straight! Even though I have African friends they all find me disgusting as an African-American. I like hip-hop, I recieved a minority scholarship to college for academics and music, and I don't always use the king's English. Boy I must be the most disguting person they ever met. Funny thing though they keep coming around me for some strange reason. I have no intention of apologizing for all of the negative steroetypes that can be derived from current African-American culture, but one would be remiss if they failed to mention that a number of factors outside of most African-American's control often contribute to these negative occurances, namely racism.
 
Yeah, I said it! It..... Is.....Alive. It's doing just fine thank you very much. That's not to say that none of us have been able to overcome it to a degree, but trying to deny or ignore it's existence, or it's impact on the African-American is like trying to deny or ignore a 1000 lb. elephant on your back. Too bad everyone doesn't get to be African-American for a little while, you might not be so quick to make jokes about Jacko trying to be something else. You might just feel sorry for him. It's not as easy as some of us make it look.

 Now, I'm not sure what this kid was trying to do, but someone should tell him that African-American is not just a title you claim. It's a legacy you inherit, it's a tradition you uphold and practice, it's a heritage and culture that define's you while you continue to define it. Maybe learning to respect or at least tolerate other's cultural identities would serve the young man well as he ventures into a very diverse and interesting world.

Yo peep this, maybe if he stops frontin' and starts keepin' it real he could be my homeboy on the for real tip one day. I'm African-American but somehow I'm a good person too. Funny how those two things can co-exist!
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« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2004, 11:47:23 PM »

Anyway, Lydell, welcome to OC.net!

I hope you won't be put off by this goofy thread and will continue to participate here.

May God bless you and yours.
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2004, 01:04:40 PM »

I don't know why there is so much racism in America. I am caucasian, but I am also a minority where I live (the Mexican border). Things are pretty idyllic down here, even though I am one in a hundred. Not like other places.

Lydell, what do you suppose would happen if white people became a minority? (It is probably going to happen soon!)

One thing that is often overlooked by liberals (yes, I have heard that conservatives are racist), is that liberals are just as proned to racism, albeit in more paternalistic ways. Housing codes are very racist. Planned Parenthood was originally a eugenics org and it still targets African Americans (who are eight times more like to get an abortion than whites. Imagine the black population mulitplied by 8!)
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2004, 06:14:31 PM »

The part about being a minority is easy to handle. It's the racism and class system that comes along with it that's a trip. Take those two away and the minority thing is a cakewalk. As a matter of fact, being a minority in racial terms wouldn't mean anything to whites as long as it didn't come with being a minority in opportunity, enfranchisement, and standard of living. Let's just be honest, isn't that the underlying fear that prompted the question?
I have good news for you though. I firmly believe that those who suffer learn compassion. In fact, most of the African, Native, and Latino-Americans that I know say they would never do to the majority what has been done to them and what is still being done if the majority became the minority. Yes, we actually have conversations about this sort of thing. Spooky right! Not really. Most of us have no desire to repay evil for evil and we don't want to convict an entire race for the crimes of ancestry. Most of us couldn't care less about who is the majority and minority. Most of us just want to live in peace, have fun, raise our children, and avoid hell. Oh yeah, a few of us will be speaking slang and liking hip-hop the whole time!
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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2004, 08:39:34 PM »

... Let's just be honest, isn't that the underlying fear that prompted the question?

Not really. I don't have a problem at ALL if it was labeled a Black African-American contest/award. I thought it was amusing because he DOES meet the letter of the requirements.


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« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2004, 09:52:48 AM »

Caffeinator,

I think Lydell is right on the money with his analysis of what will happen when whites become the minority in this country.  They have nothing to fear from vengeful mobs of non-Europeans.  When the apartheid regime was defeated in South Africa, there was no mass disenfranchisement of the whites or cries for mob justice.  There weren't even the big Nuremburg style trials that I thought there should be.  Instead, there was the very forgiving Truth & Reconciliation Commission which declared that if you admitted you engaged in atrocities you were granted amnesty.  I'll bet the Nazis and the Japanese wish they had had that option after the war!

Another thought, is it possible that when white people become the minority in this country, certain elements of the population will take extreme measures to make sure that the reins of power always remain firmly in the hands of the W.A.S.P. ruling class?  That to me is a much more scary thought than the classic imperialist fear of the vengeful non-European lurking right outside the armored compound.

Tom: I could be wrong, but I think that when Lydell asked "...isn't that the undelying fear that prompted the question?" he was talking about Caffeinator's question ("Lydell, what do you suppose will happen if white people become a minority?") not yours.

Peace
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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2004, 12:18:55 PM »

Like I said, I am a minority where I live, and it is pretty nice. To a certain (small) extent, women think I am somewhat novel, sort of the opposite of the Latin Lover syndrome. I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn a new language, and to celebrate a different culture. But on the other hand, I probably don't have the same opportunities here that I would have elsewhere. I do have opportunities, but they clearly come from God, and they are anamolous (if that is a word).

I think the power structure probably is taking steps to ensure is perpetuation. One of them is education. Also, as I have said, Planned Parenthood targets minorities, and blacks are 8 times more likely to get an abortion. If planned parenthood never had targeted blacks, they would be the voting majority right now. I heard somewhere that that was at one time their stated intent. To disenfranchise minorities. Eugenics.
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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2004, 01:02:42 PM »

 
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If planned parenthood never had targeted blacks, they would be the voting majority right now.

Sorry, Caffeinator, but that is an incredibly gross exaggeration. Blacks have never even been close to becoming the majority in this country, Planned Parenthood or no Planned Parenthood.

In fact, the projection for blacks to continue as a distinct and separate race here is bleak. They are undergoing a process of absorption into the larger population. According to research done at UC Berkeley in 1970, the average American black at that time was 30% European. That percentage can only have increased.

Racial identity is not a constant over time. It may be that the American "Melting Pot" continues to simmer, despite the belief of some to the contrary.
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2004, 01:19:12 PM »

Hmmm. I'll have to check my source. It could be that I have relayed faulty information, in which case I apologize. But my point remains...Planned Parenthood targets blacks, the black population is diminished, blacks are (even more) disenfranchised as a result.
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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2004, 01:26:21 PM »

Hmmm. I'll have to check my source. It could be that I have relayed faulty information, in which case I apologize. But my point remains...Planned Parenthood targets blacks, the black population is diminished, blacks are (even more) disenfranchised as a result.

I'm sure you're right about Planned Parenthood.

Rather ironic name, isn't it?
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« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2004, 01:32:13 PM »

I went to a highschool of aprox 900 total students (grew up in a town of aprox 8000 people), we had 5 Africans from Kenya (brothers & sisters from a black African father & white African mother), 5 African Americans, 7 Hispanics and 4 Asians total in the school the year I graduated.  For some reason, race was a non-issue in our town.  All the "minorities" played in sports and music.  More than 1/2 of them graduated with honors, scholorships etc that had nothing to do with race, strictly on their grades and student activities.  
In recent years, our town, as well as several surrounding towns, have had a large influx of people, mostly minorities, from NYC, due too there being several prisons built recently nearby, and relatives of longterm inmates move to be close.  My brother is now in that same highschool.  He is friends with several brothers of the minorities who were there in my time.  However, the new influx isn't mixing well with the local population.  Crime & drug use have risen.  In a town where it was once safe to leave your house unlocked for days at a time while on vacation, with only a word to the neighbor to keep an eye out, All doors & downstairs windows are shut before anyone leaves the house, if only for 5 minutes.  
While my brother's friends don't try to be white, they shy away from the clothes, demeanure, lanugage style of the new arrivals.  These new arrivals are demanding many things that have before never been an issue... especially scholorships and special educational consideration for minorities.  They demanded that Honors classes were unfair, and should be canceled.  The rule to get into an Honors class was that your average in that particular subject was 90% or above the previous year.  
Please answer me this, why do these people need special consideration?  When I graduated with a class of 148, 3 African Americans, out of the 4 in my class, the only Hispanic in my class, and 2 Asians out of 3 all received scholorships and awards strictly on their grades and school activities.  I think race should be dropped out completely as far as monitary scholor awards go.  If money is to be given out, it should go to those who need it most.  What should be considered is income, ammount of siblings the parents have to support, and location.  With our progressive society, the color of one's skin should be a non-issue.
Just a random rantGǪ have no issues with minorities in general.
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« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2004, 02:18:10 PM »

I grew up in a small town in OK, which sounds much like your town Ania. I can recall that the few minorities that were there had a benighted time in high school, unlike some of the poor whites, some of whom had a difficult time.

But the whole situation changed when I graduated. I can recall a firmly entrenched "good ole boy" system when I began working. The minorities where I worked, if they managed to get hired, were kept in entry level positions. My supervisor when I was hired was puerto rican. A middle aged white man applied for the job, and he became supervisor. The puerto rican was left high and dry. (And demoted).

I don't begrudge minorities for wanting an education. There is no social mobility with some minimum wage jobs. Then again, I think there must be a better way than affirmative action, and I think PCness often borders on the bizarre. Racism is real, though. I have no illusions about that.
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« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2004, 09:34:51 PM »

Caffeinator,

I believe that you are mostly correct about planned parenthood and the powers that be making plans to perpetuate their control of the system which they have created.  I don't necessarily trust the "liberals" any more than I trust the "conservatives" when it comes to these issues.  I think that prison plays a role there too.  Go to jail, lose your right to vote.  Be utilized by the new privatized prison system for slave labor to manufacture products for big companies.  Its big business.  Crack cocaine, prevalent in the inner-city, carries a stiffer penalty than powder cocaine snorted off a mirror in an executive's office.  What?  Why?  They're both cocaine!

If your statistics are not correct about us (Black Americans) becoming a voting majority, then you are certainly correct about us being a powerful voting bloc, one which the "liberals" often take for granted because they know that the conservatives have almost completely alienated us.  Ironically, many of us are very conservative in personal lifestyle and especially in matters involving religion.  You said that racism is a reality and that there has to be a better way to address it than affirmative action.  If you can think of one I'd like to hear it.  I think that the strongest argument for affirmative action is the good ole boy network which you described.  Companies, whether Fortune 500 or the local Kwikie Mart, are run by people and people have their prejudices.  As long as there is some old jerk in charge who says "I won't hire one of THEM to run my company!" then I think some form of regulation will be necessary to fight discrimination.  I would like to think that eventually, with further education, these prejudices will cease to be a factor in the future, but I am probably being an idealist.  

Ania - I think that socio-economic factors are the primary impetus for change in the scenario you are describing.  According to your account, the Blacks and other minorities in your school were among the top achievers.  The relatives of the prison inmates presumably come from a lower socio-economic class (unless this is a white-collar prison, which I doubt).  Do you think that the relatives of white inmates would behave any better?  Similar changes are currently taking place in my town, but here it is a Black on Black thing.  Lower class, less educated people are moving in from out of town and in a lot of ways, they are not mixing well with the local, more affluent, more educated populace, although almost everyone involved is Black.  These things happen as different populations migrate to different places.  I did  some undergrad work in another town where poor whites moved into a formerly more affluent area, and there were similar complaints.  The local middle-class whites termed the poor whites "white trash" and said they were messing up their community.

You also mentioned the clothes, demeanor, language style, etc., of the new arrivals and how your brother's friends try to shy away from it.  All I can say is, don't judge a book by its cover.  I listen to hip hop.  I dress in contemporary fashion.  And yet I am not what some would take me to be.  I personally am very turned off by the various musical and fashion trends of the white youth culture like the "goths", the grunge guys, the purple mohawk and black nail polish people, the people who promote drugs like ecstasy and all that.  The people who want to feel like outcasts from society, although their parents are usually well to do.  Now there is a culture of self-pity and entitlement!  I find it silly and corny.  But that does not mean that I would totally write off a person who looked like that at first glance.

You also mentioned that scholarships, etc., should be based entirely on academic merit.  Just for the record, does that also rule out sex as a criteria?  Like I said earlier, the largest beneficiaries of welfare and affirmative action have been white women, and you can look that up.

Linus, you mentioned that most Blacks in this country were 30% or more European as of 1970.  This is true, most American Blacks are part white and Native American.  I am wondering, do you have the statistical information for what percentage European most whites are?  I would guess that the mixture goes both ways.  I personally know more than one white family with some  bones in their closet that they try to cover up, although certain family members will reveal things in private.  I also know other whites who will proudly tell you that they have a Black or Native American ancestor or two.

I agree with those in this thread who have stated that really we are all one race.  I personally hope that I can live to see the day when "race" is no longer a factor in anything, but we may have to wait until Our Lord comes again.  There are a lot of prejudice people down here.
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« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2004, 09:56:12 PM »

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Antonious Nikolas: Linus, you mentioned that most Blacks in this country were 30% or more European as of 1970.  This is true, most American Blacks are part white and Native American.  I am wondering, do you have the statistical information for what percentage European most whites are?  I would guess that the mixture goes both ways.  I personally know more than one white family with some  bones in their closet that they try to cover up, although certain family members will reveal things in private.  I also know other whites who will proudly tell you that they have a Black or Native American ancestor or two.

I don't have those stats, but I suspect you are right.

I know there are many whites with Amerindian ancestry. I think the percentage of whites with black ancestry is much lower than that of blacks with white ancestry simply because of the stigma that used to attach to mixed unions. Traditionally the children of such unions were considered black regardless of how they looked.

Just the same, there are probably quite a few of us with African ancestors about whom we know nothing.



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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2004, 12:15:47 AM »

Traditionally the children of such unions were considered black regardless of how they looked.

You are right, and this goes to show how arbitrary racial categories can be.  It may not be in our lifetime, but I truly think that mankind is slowly but surely creeping away from the poison of racism.  If you show me a white man who would not kiss the hand of St. Moses the Black and receive his blessing, or a Black man who would not kiss the hand of St. Demetrios and receive his blessing, just because of their perceived "races", I will show you two deluded individuals who do not know Christ.
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« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2004, 12:26:03 AM »

You are right, and this goes to show how arbitrary racial categories can be.  It may not be in our lifetime, but I truly think that mankind is slowly but surely creeping away from the poison of racism.  If you show me a white man who would not kiss the hand of St. Moses the Black and receive his blessing, or a Black man who would not kiss the hand of St. Demetrios and receive his blessing, just because of their perceived "races", I will show you two deluded individuals who do not know Christ.

I agree.

I used to wonder if I was the only one who ever read Numbers 12 in the Old Testament.
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« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2004, 10:04:11 AM »

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You said that racism is a reality and that there has to be a better way to address it than affirmative action.  If you can think of one I'd like to hear it.

Hmmm. I don't know. I think there should be criteria for hiring that doesn't include race. Nevermind college admissions, (although I do think there should be more opportunities for poor whites). There should be criteria for evaluating an applicants ability and worth to the company that doesn't involve race, and if it is shown that a less able applicant has been hired, a more capable applicant should have a right to complain. And therefore, there should be an institution to mediate these problems.

But then again, I wouldn't mind an exeption made for nephatism, so I don't know! Well...I'm not planning on running for congress anytime soon, so I guess it's a moot point. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2004, 11:16:34 AM »

Ania - I think that socio-economic factors are the primary impetus for change in the scenario you are describing.  According to your account, the Blacks and other minorities in your school were among the top achievers.  The relatives of the prison inmates presumably come from a lower socio-economic class (unless this is a white-collar prison, which I doubt).  Do you think that the relatives of white inmates would behave any better?  Similar changes are currently taking place in my town, but here it is a Black on Black thing.  Lower class, less educated people are moving in from out of town and in a lot of ways, they are not mixing well with the local, more affluent, more educated populace, although almost everyone involved is Black.  These things happen as different populations migrate to different places.  I did  some undergrad work in another town where poor whites moved into a formerly more affluent area, and there were similar complaints.  The local middle-class whites termed the poor whites "white trash" and said they were messing up their community.

Actually, since I grew up in "Hicktown USA" I encountered quite a bit of white poverty & ignorance.  As far as achademics went, sadly most of the time the kids from the poorer neighborhoods & outskirts of town didn't get much help.  Just as a random aside though, it was often caused by their own parents, as once a father of a girl who a teacher friend of mine tried to convince to apply for scholorships said "She ain't need no learnin', she's gonna stay 'ere & 'elp on the farm."  The devide is most certainly concerning class, not race in my town.  Up until about 15 years ago, we had a most definate wrong side of the tracks.

You also mentioned the clothes, demeanor, language style, etc., of the new arrivals and how your brother's friends try to shy away from it.  All I can say is, don't judge a book by its cover.  I listen to hip hop.  I dress in contemporary fashion.  And yet I am not what some would take me to be.  I personally am very turned off by the various musical and fashion trends of the white youth culture like the "goths", the grunge guys, the purple mohawk and black nail polish people, the people who promote drugs like ecstasy and all that.  The people who want to feel like outcasts from society, although their parents are usually well to do.  Now there is a culture of self-pity and entitlement!  I find it silly and corny.  But that does not mean that I would totally write off a person who looked like that at first glance.

Yuck, goth & grunge...  Trust me, if I jugded books by their covers, I would not have the friends I do...  Back in highschool I was in the crowd with the peirced, tattooed, baggy pants, dyed hair yada yada crowd.  We weren't goth or grunge... skaters more or less, though very few of us actually skateboarded.  We were "the freaks" basicly in highschool, hanging out at coffee houses, decorating overpasses with poetry grafitee (sp?), and those of us who weren't straight-edge would sneak out back into an ally & smoke a bowl.  They are (despite some of their weirdness) some of the nicest people I've ever met.  
And if I went strictly by covers, I wouldn't be dating a Nepali at the moment (who's ever heard  of a Russian & Nepali mix???)

You also mentioned that scholarships, etc., should be based entirely on academic merit.  Just for the record, does that also rule out sex as a criteria?  Like I said earlier, the largest beneficiaries of welfare and affirmative action have been white women, and you can look that up.
I think that sex should be ruled out as criteria.  Both 1st & 2nd in my class were girls, and that has seemed to be the general trend back home for a long time.  If those girls managed to win 1st & 2nd, why on earth should women need help with academics?  I know there are sexists out there, the whole glass ceiling, yada yada...  I think those people should be eliminated, and not stunt the growth of a woman's own self-worth (not saying this happens frequently, but from time to time you get a fema-nazi who's real problem is an infiriority complex.).  My sister got full scholorship for her B.A., and then full scholorship again to Georgetown Uni. for her Masters strictly on schoolwork.  She is now competing for funding in an arena where sex has nothing to do with it (fellowships for research for phd thesis).  If women can compete there, why not in the highschool level???

Anyway, that's my rant for today.  Must be going.
Ciao Ciao,
Ania
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
ania
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« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2004, 11:19:59 AM »

Where's that EDIT button?HuhHuhHuh??  I can't spell or write correctly before at least noon!!!!!!
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2004, 06:12:18 PM »

Linus - Good point about Numbers 12.  I love that story.

Caffeinator - That is not a bad suggestion, but I do think that there needs to be some sort of clause in there for filing a grievance if the discrimination was racially based. But like you said, neither of us are running for office so we'll let the big wigs hammer that out.  BTW I don't object to a little nepotism (sp.?) either.  Shoot, if my dad owned a company, you'd better believe I'd expect a cushy job!  But that doesn't extend to racial preferences (I'm suddenly reminded of some skinhead guy I argued with one time who said "What is my race if not my extended family?"  My counter?  Since you only date others of your race then, does that make you incestuous?).  :cwm13:

Ania - I can dig what you are saying.  The only reason I said not to judge a book by its cover is 'cause you seemed to imply that everyone who had a little hip hop style to them was associated with the criminal element, and that's not true.  I mean, I know I'm not a criminal.  Wink It would be like saying that all of you skater kids were out huffing glue and doing whippets, up to no good.  Shame on you for graffitying those overpasses! I'm surprised at you! Shocked  Just kidding.  Keep listening to that Abba.

Peace Everybody!
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« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2004, 08:17:33 PM »

hey ania,
you asked us a while back to pray for your sister while she was taking exams (comps I presume for her master's or ph.d.).  how did that turn out?  what is she pursuing her ph.d. in??
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« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2004, 09:41:01 PM »

Just a thought...Wouldn't Americans be beautiful is all american cultures amalgamated into one?

Not only would it be a beautiful culture, but also Americans would be physically beautiful (not that were not already!) I think it would be something like Brazilian beauty or Dominican.

Melt melting pot, melt!
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« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2004, 10:30:14 PM »

Just a thought...Wouldn't Americans be beautiful is all american cultures amalgamated into one?

Not only would it be a beautiful culture, but also Americans would be physically beautiful (not that were not already!) I think it would be something like Brazilian beauty or Dominican.

Melt melting pot, melt!

Yes, I think it would be beautiful too, although I also appreciate the beauty in diverse cultures.  I did a study once on why this happened in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other countries as you describe, but not in the USA, South Africa, and some other places.  The short answer the approach of the "mother countries" to imperialism and colonialism.  The Latin based cultures (French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) were not adverse to mixing with the non-white peoples in their colonies.  They felt it was their duty to share their civilization with them (especially the French, who even gave their colonial subjects representation in Paris).  For some reason, the Northern Europeans (English, Dutch, and other "Germanic" types) considered themselves of superior stock (surpressing a chuckle) and would not mix (at least not in broad daylight, but at night it was a different story).  So in these places there remains a much clearer racial divide.  But I think that as time goes on, you will get your wish, and the neo-nazis will be pulling out what hair they haven't shaved off yet as we all "miscegenate".  I say with you, melt, melting pot, melt!
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« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2004, 12:50:22 PM »

British racism is legendery. It is perhaps one of the darker facets (historically) of a brilliant culture.

However, I have heard somewhere that Blacks have one of the lowest rates of assimilation of all the minorities. Asians and Hispanics intermarry quite frequently, but Blacks do not. (Or not as much).

Do you suppose this is because of racism against Blacks, or do you suppose the feeling is mutual?

Or perhaps the problem is historical or political? Asians and Hispanics are more recent immigrants, so there may be greater need to intermarry?
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« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2004, 01:16:50 PM »

Great question.  I think it has to do with a number of factors, some of which you have already mentioned.  Of course there is prejudice on both sides, and as far as some whites are concerned, I think that mixing with Blacks carries a certain stigma.  Also in the Black community, since we have suffered so much prejudice, there is the idea of "betraying" the race by marrying outside of it.  

Then again, there is simply the matter of personal preference and attraction.  A lot of people genuinely just seem to be attracted to other people from their own group, although they have nothing against anyone else.  Can't fault anyone for that.

Also, as Linus mentioned earlier, there is that question of who is Black anyway.  Most Blacks in this country are mixed, so the idea of staying with other Blacks is kind of arbitrary.  You could be with a person who society would classify as Black, but who is really 60% or less African.  its like that old "one drop" rule.  to me, African-American is more of a cultural than a racial classification.  There are a lot of African-Americans who look more European than African.
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« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2004, 03:03:04 AM »

Isn't it just wonderful to see everyone getting along so well!
Antonius, you were correct about my words being taken out of context and distorted. Thank you for understanding. You know how it is when someone just wants to be right. They tend to pay less attention to what is meant or implied, while opting to attack whatever position the can to support their point however misguided it may be.
Since I'm unable to frequent this board as often as I may wish there was much to read. Since I read ten or so messages please excuse me for not attributing the info to it's source.
I say leave the measures that were taken right where they are. Affirmative action and welfare are not arbitrary handouts.While some may exploit and take advantage of the systems they are both in place to help bridge the gap between the haves and havenots. As Antonius has pointed out white women have benefitted the most from both programs, so this isn't about race.
 It is about class and unfortunately for far too long in this country the two were closely linked. Let's call a spade a spade if you will. We have history and precedent on our side. If left to their own devices what makes you think the American ruling class would not just go right back to it's exclusionary tactics. The small number of Native, African, Asian, and Latino Americans that have managed to overachieve against the odds would be no match without the scholarships, grants, fellowships, contracts, and various other opportunities that the two afore mentioned systems help to create along with other programs.
 Someone asked the question why do these people need special considerations. Spoken like someone who has never spent a day being discounted, disenfranchised, and disowned for simply being born of a different racial makeup, by a country that they helped make great. At the risk of sounding unpolitically correct, a little special consideration sure feels good after 350+ years of that other stuff. We won't mention it by name lest we detonate a few powder kegs. I can't speak for everyone but niether I nor my friends are looking for handouts, but surely you wouldn't begrudge us a fair shake right?
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« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2004, 03:44:17 AM »

As for the "melting pot" thing, I have my own theory. I'm not sure we need to be blended together so as to defy distinction. While I do believe Brazillians to be a very pleasant looking group of people,at least typical looking Brazillians that is, if you told me I had to have that and no skin of a darker or lighter hue I would be sad. I like dark skin. It's my preference and it just happens to be the skin I was born in. My wife is a very fair skinned African-American and thanks to her love I don't see any reason to rush into fondu.
Try this on for size. What's wrong with "The Stew Pot". Here me out. Just because you can tell a carrot from a potato and an onion from a pea doesn't mean they can't all come together to make a wonderful and unique dish while calling that one pot of stew home. They all have very distinctive tastes, even though the predominate beef flavor has permiated all of them, provided you simmer your stew properly. Don't make me turn into *Emmeril in here!
 If some of the peas and carrots decide they want to float around together it won't hurt a thing. Just like it doesn't hurt when two potatos get next to each other. You get my point. We can all live together respecting one another in peace, while maintaining our uniqueness. Just because it's wrong to treat one another poorly because of our differences, doesn't mean we should be in a rush to eliminate any and all differences. I submit that it's the individuality of each that makes the sum special.

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« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2004, 05:40:08 AM »

"The Stew Pot". I love it! Cheesy
Just please don't stress beef during the Fast <stomach groans>.

I always read 'Melting Pot' as a cultural thing, anyway.

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« Reply #58 on: March 15, 2004, 06:02:22 PM »

Lydell I really dig the whole "stew pot" thing.  That is a great analogy.  I definately don't want to see all cultures melted down so as to be indistinguishable from one another.  I think that there is great beauty in cultural diversity.  I love culture.  I revel in it.  Especially the African-American culture and the culture of the Orthodox Christian East.  At the same time I have absolutely no problem with inter-marriage between these arbitrary "racial" categories which were largely created and codified by European conquerors during the age of imperialism.  Then again you have to understand my frame of reference on this.  If it wasn't for people of different so-called "races" inter-marrying I wouldn't be here right now!  At least not in my present form.  Come to think of it, I don't know that many African-Americans who would.  When Marcus Garvey said that no "mulattoes" could participate in his "Back to Africa" movement, I don't think he was thinking too clearly.  Most of us in this country are already mixed to one degree or another (I'm reminded of the huge number of brothers who have told me "I got a little Indian in me...").  I wonder how, exactly, Marcus was planning to determine who could get on the boat and who couldn't?  Obviously darkness or lightness of complexion is not an effective barometer.  Anyway, maybe I'm putting to much business out in the street here.  Could be time to rap this discussion up Wink!
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« Reply #59 on: March 16, 2004, 02:39:36 PM »

Antonious, I believe racial lines are arbitrary. Cultural lines are not. To beat my "Stew Pot" thing completely into the ground, the idea that peas and carrots can be together is just fine... in a stew. Peas and carrots as baby food is what I thought everyone was suggesting with the melting pot theory. In a stew they are still peas and carrots (culturally). If they end up on one spoon(intermarry), you can still tell by sight(skin color), but more importantly by taste or flavor(cultural identity) which is which. I'm suggesting simply that there is nothing wrong with the idea of cultural identity. In a melting pot or in baby food the peas and the carrots are blended and they no longer look or taste like peas or carrots. They are a pea and carrot flavored mush at that point. The uniqueness of each is gone. Now I don't know about everyone else but I'm openminded enough and old enough to accept peas and carrots together without turning them into mush. However, you can't fault peas for liking peas either can you?("...personal preference and attraction.")
As for Garvey not "...thinking too clearly", I think the brother was just frustrated. Also, the social and cultural factors of the day need to be considered. There is the cultural infighting amongst blacks of different hues, which has it's origins in slavery. Lots of lighter skinned blacks in his time, especially those light enough to "pass" would not have wanted to go anyway. Now that's not to say that no light-skinned blacks would have gone, but plenty would have had an issue. If you're saying that he wouldn't have let any blacks of mixed ancestry on the boat, regardless of who they identified with culturally, I would submit that the pressure from those with lighter-skinned or mixed children would have probably made this rule impossible to follow, if not just simply the better judgement of his supporters. Since we're talking about fictional history who really knows?
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« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2004, 09:43:36 PM »

Antonious, I believe racial lines are arbitrary. Cultural lines are not. To beat my "Stew Pot" thing completely into the ground, the idea that peas and carrots can be together is just fine... in a stew. Peas and carrots as baby food is what I thought everyone was suggesting with the melting pot theory. In a stew they are still peas and carrots (culturally). If they end up on one spoon(intermarry), you can still tell by sight(skin color), but more importantly by taste or flavor(cultural identity) which is which. I'm suggesting simply that there is nothing wrong with the idea of cultural identity. In a melting pot or in baby food the peas and the carrots are blended and they no longer look or taste like peas or carrots. They are a pea and carrot flavored mush at that point. The uniqueness of each is gone. Now I don't know about everyone else but I'm openminded enough and old enough to accept peas and carrots together without turning them into mush. However, you can't fault peas for liking peas either can you?("...personal preference and attraction.")


I agree.  Well stated.  I for one prefer stew to baby food.  Bump Chen Konichi.  You are the Iron Chef.*  This is what I have been saying all along.  I have been trying to make it clear from the beginning of this discussion that we as African-Americans constitute a unique ethnic and cultural unit which is distinct from that of the American mainstream and even from other Black African cultures.  This is why the little white boy from South Africa does not meet the criteria for the contest and should not have made up the posters.  When I was co-signing Caffeinator's statement about the melting pot, I wasn't calling for the complete eradication of distinct cultural units in the USA or anywhere else.  I love being able to go into Little Italy or China Town and check out the local music, cuisine, and culture.  All I'm saying is, if Maria from Little Italy wants to marry Lee from China town, all I would have to say to them would be congratulations.

There is another side to this, however.  I think that some people get intimidated and nervous when we as Black people start to talk about forming Little Italys or China Towns of our own.  Places where we would control the local economy and would not be content to merely be consumers in other people's stores.  Whenever someone tries to start something like this up, it is usually either burned down or sabotaged.  For example:

http://www.daveyd.com/blackwallpolitic.html


There is the cultural infighting amongst blacks of different hues...

Shhhhh!!!  Not in front of the Man!!!  That's our business, dog!  But seriously, I still have some issues with Marcus.  Of course you are right, there were a lot of lightskinned folks who would have balked at a voyage to Africa, but there were probably a whole lot of browskinned and darkskinned brothers who would have looked at Marcus just as crazily if he would have rolled up in their spot selling tickets back to the Motherland.  And even if the majority of the lightskinned people would have turned their noses up at the Black Star Line, Marcus was still over-stepping himself by making an across-the-board ban of all of us.  I wasn't suggesting that Marcus was going to ban every Black person with any mixed ancestry at all, but he did have an axe to grind with "mulattoes".  This was probably rooted in the cultural and social factors of the time, as you said.  Plus he had a big beef with my man W.E.B.

What I was trying to say about the mixed ancestry thing was this: If he was going to ban the mulattoes, it would be hypocritical of him to allow anyone else who was mixed to go just because they were a little darker, when the fact of the matter is, very few of us in this country are 100% African.  Perhaps you are right, and the common sense of his supporters would have outweighed his discriminatory tendencies, but we'll never know, because the powers that be brought the boot down on the brother before he had a chance to do too much.  Marcus was an interesting cat with a lot of contradictions in his personal and political life.  He was highly critical of the role of the Western Churches in the slave trade, and yet he remained a staunch Catholic until the day he died.  His role as a great man in the Black nationalist movement can never be discounted, however.  I think he was incredibly insightful and intelligent, and without him there could never have been a Malcolm or a Huey (or maybe even a Dr. King for that matter).  And this is coming from a brother who surely wouldn't have made it on the boat!  Wink  


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