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Published 5 years ago by TheEnglishMajor with 14 Comments
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  • radixius
    +5

    John Stewart, the Green Lantern?

    I dislike this article, the premise is sound but the execution is so balls to the wall acrimonious and frustrating that it kind of makes my blood boil. It turns large groups of people into a monolith. You're not going to start any meaningful conversations by saying "all Caucasians are this, everyone else is the other." It's not conducive when you talk disparagingly and judgmentally to people, it never works. Browbeating and hectoring your audience sucks, and I hope this kind of stuff dies off soon, because it's getting to be a bit too common on left-leaning websites and blogs.

    This might be myopic, but It's never been difficult for me to just see people as people, regardless of their race. The biggest issue I have with these race relation pieces is when people put too much importance on the color of their skin and start to segregate themselves. Hell, even the term "people of color" kind of skeeves me out because it's just adding more barriers between people.

    • moottranslation
      +3

      I was raised with a European background, thanks to my dad, and I definitely have never seen people of different races as one large group with stereotypes. My dad says that in Europe everyone is pretty equal, and there's not a lot of racial tension. So, I don't care if someone's black or white. Doesn't matter to me. It does bother me when we hate each other, and write rambling pieces about the unhelpfulness on either side.

      • rosellem
        +3

        My dad says that in Europe everyone is pretty equal, and there's not a lot of racial tension.

        Europe has enormous issues with race. I'm not even sure where to begin listing the problems.

        • moottranslation (edited 5 years ago)
          +1

          Maybe my family is just chill. We're from Belgium. And we haven't lived there since '94. Idk. I just have a hard time with this whole topic because to me, it's a non-issue. That's all. Just background from my point of view.

      • radixius
        +2

        Fuck. Yes. Dude.

    • eightbitsamurai (edited 5 years ago)
      +2

      The biggest issue I have with these race relation pieces is when people put too much importance on the color of their skin

      I kinda get where you're coming from, but part of the problem is that we put too much importance on the cover of our skin because other people do so first.

      I had the same viewpoint as you for a very long time. I was a black kid in a primarily white school, and I didn't see any differences between me and everyone else.

      Eventually though, those differences start to be made whether I want them to or not. Being told "I'm not that black", getting stopped while walking in a nice neighborhood because of a "disturbance"... the point I'm getting to is that it's very hard not to put importance on my own skin color when it's the first thing I'm immediately judged by.

      "Let's stop seeing color" is a nice thought, but it doesn't work in practice. Instead, recognizing that it's okay to be a different color, and that I'm not more likely to be a criminal because of my color, would be super awesome. And you you might get that, but there are many, many people that don't, whether the article demonstrates that well or not.

      Edit: Also, Hyperdimension Hype, I just started Rebirth1 on the Vita and I'm tearing through it.

      • radixius
        +2

        "Let's stop seeing color" is a nice thought, but it doesn't work in practice. Instead, recognizing that it's okay to be a different color, and that I'm not more likely to be a criminal because of my color, would be super awesome. And you you might get that, but there are many, many people that don't, whether the article demonstrates that well or not.

        My wife's mixed race, so she got it from everybody, from within and without. Everyone can be a total dickwad, regardless the color of their skin. It seems obvious that the corollary is true, as well. It's just that telling racists they're racist isn't going to do anything, they know it's wrong to do what they're doing, but something about their brain wiring is fucked and they do it anyway.

        All I'm saying is that chastising white people, labeling them all as racists because of what some hypothetical schmuck in Alabama does isn't going to help. It's going to push more folks away from whatever these people are trying to do.

  • rosellem (edited 5 years ago)
    +3

    Because it's getting harder and harder for me to think about the protection of White people's feelings when White people don't seem to care at all about the loss of so many Black lives.

    I care, but to an outside observer it may seem like I don't because ultimately what the heck am I supposed to do.

    I think we need to raise the minimum wage, I think we need a carbon tax, I think we need to strengthen the EPA, I think we need more affirmative action, I think reparations are a good idea, I think we need universal healthcare. But nobody cares what I think, because I'm not rich. I am powerless to effect change here. I fully support racial equality, but I don't understand what the black community expects me to do.

    edit: I added a link to this post of an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer a like a lot, but even he basically can't answer this question. His quote:

    (Interviewer) What do you say to people who want to be activists? What should I, say—an educated white guy who thinks there is too much racism—do to make change?

    (Coates) Every person has to answer it for themselves. I could say, “go register voters” but you may not like doing that.

  • moottranslation
    +3

    I'm going to say this first: racism is an issue that should be discussed.

    I don't think this article was very well written, and to me, that is more off-putting. I don't want to discuss this topic (or any topic) when it's so poorly framed, and hard to follow. That's all.

  • TheEnglishMajor (edited 5 years ago)
    +2

    While I disagree with bits and pieces of this (really, mostly, just the LOTR call-out -- source material is what it is), certain parts were of a particularly glass-shattering nature:

    A white person smoking pot is a "Hippie" and a Black person doing it is a "criminal."

    and:

    This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article's headline, the white people are "shooters" and the Black and Muslim people are "killers." Even when we're talking about racism, we're using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.

  • rosellem (edited 5 years ago)
    +2

    I am going to apologize in advance here because this is selfish rant. I lost a (black) friend who made this exact same point right after Stewart's show and it offended me then and still offends me know. I say it's selfish because, as the author points out, as a white male nobody cares if I am offended and I don't think they should. My feelings aren't really important here.

    But, I don't think it is all helpful to refer to "White People" as if they are some monolithic group. In fact, I think you are doing your cause a huge disservice by doing so. I understand there is a point being made but there has to be a better way of getting it across.

    edit: I linked above to an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer I really like, but I still find some of this troubling. A quote:

    I think in about five to 10 years the amount of sheer racism that Barack and Michelle and their children had to deal with will become evident. I think the fact that roughly half of a major political party believed he was either from Kenya or Muslim or needed to show his birth certificate will be seen as crazy. And not just crazy, but evidence of racism.

    We think that now. The fact that he thinks people are going to need 10 years to realize that is odd to me. White people think this is crazy right now. It's been talked about frequently. I find it frustrating that he doesn't notice that.

  • melanoleuca
    +2

    Wow. Can I order a banner with some of the quotes from this article? I'd like to fly it in front of my house. This is the conversation we need to be having about race. Thank you for posting.

  • septimine
    +2

    I think he's right about a lot of things. But I think the reason that racism is still a big problem is that it's a minefield. It's something that can cost fiends, jobs, and political futures. No one with real power can discuss it. You'll mess up and get the scarlet letter.

  • jenjen1352
    +1

    The best compliment I ever got was from Tone Tone, my great friend when I worked in an office. He was born in England to Jamaican parents, which is relevant in that British slaves went to work on sugar plantations in the Caribbean and after WII many thousands of Jamaicans were 'imported' back into the UK to fill the gaps left in the workforce.

    Thing is, we talked about all sorts of things and when I left the company, he said that the best thing about me was that we could discuss race issues but I never took it personally. I didn't even realise that that in itself was a thing until I joined the internet and started learning more about the USA. Wish I'd known then (1990) what I know now. Still learning...

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