Trust me, if I could fix this one by myself, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It would be done and the world would be a VERY different place. Frankly, it would be one I’d like to live in because I have this strange idea that every single living being on this planet has exactly the same right as I do to exist and that we are all much more similar than we are different. Far too many people seem to be afraid of this idea, so humans have the pathological need to create labels that will not just name us but will also divide us from each other.
I’m just guessing here, but something tells me that you are pro choice. At any rate, you know darn well that you are more valuable than a squirrel or rat.
You said, “ In historical context, White people are no more evil or guilty… all races have enslaved and been bigots.” I have no argument with that; I agree.
But you also said, “ After all, why be excellent when you can beat yourself up around people you think have it harder than you do?” and that’s where you will get a strong disagreement from me. You are making an assumption about me that is wrong. I don’t think people around me have it harder than I do; I know some of them do — and I also know that some of them don’t. And my being “excellent” has NOTHING to do with other people’s lives, just as my life has nothing to do with their being excellent.
You are correct in me making a derogatory assessment of you. I apologize. I was being an ass. Please forgive me.
I know history and I know the American history. So I feel confident in reiterating: WHITE people as a general group have, historically, consistently and currently, done more harm to people of color SPECIFICALLY because of their whiteness and their arrogant belief that their lack of melanin gives them superiority over all others.
I don’t know what you mean by “whiteness”. White people conquered and settled this land because they had a superior culture with superior technology. Of course racism was one of the driving forces of the conquering and settling as well.
Still, the Japanese were racists in the 1930s and 40s. Many of them still were when I was stationed there in the early 1990’s. They thought they were the master race and committed as many if not more atrocities to other races of people in the 10 years or so of Japanese Imperialism than White people have during the past 200 years here in America.
I have yet to meet a Japanese or Japanese American that was ashamed of being Japanese. And they shouldn’t be either, even though there are an incredible amount of racists in Japan. Why? Because they, themselves, are not guilty!
If you, James, don’t believe that people of color have it worse here in America, then explain why “the talk” for white parents is about sex and not getting pregnant, nothing more and for the black parents it is a series of talks, including one called “be polite, don’t make eye contact, don’t do anything to make the policeman SHOOT YOU”. I was never given that talk. My parents never had to explain that one to me.
First off, where did I say that Black folks do not have a harder row to hoe than White folks do?
If more Black parents stressed not getting pregnant out of wedlock as much as White parents have, we would all be in a much better place. FWIW, I was given “the talk” about cops when I was a kid too. My experience with cops as a biker has been far worse than my wife’s experience with cops as a Black woman. I still get torqued out of shape a little when I’m around them, even though scooter folks aren’t harassed and profiled nearly as much. My wife has a law degree, and still trusts cops. She has no idea how bad they can be. But what does she know? She’s Black.
Then explain why there are so many more black men in jail than there are whites. “ Overall, blacks are 5.1 more times likely to be incarcerated than whites, and blacks represent more than half of the prison population in 11 states.” (here and here and here)
Racism is part of it, of course, but there are many more contributing factors as well. Black people tend to be born into single parent homes. Black people tend to be poor. I don’t have all of the facts handy, but when White people are born into poverty and single parent households, their arc of life is strikingly similar. If you were to tour prisons, you would see those two factors played out again and again.
Black people tend to commit more violent crime. I’m no White supremacist, so I don’t have all of those facts at the ready, but as it is right now, Black males tend to hurt and kill others far more frequently than other demographics. But don’t you worry, this will change as middle class fades away. In a few decades, violent crime from Whites will increase too.
Explain to me why white children get time out and black children get suspended in schools — and as young as elementary levels. (here and here and here)
Considering how fully indoctrinated school teachers are with liberal ideology, I would assume most are harder on them because they don’t want them to slide off into the oblivion of poverty, violence, incarceration and drugs. Some are racists, for sure, but some see how dark the kids futures are and want desperately to induce some discipline in an attempt to save them.
The list goes on; feel free to search for such keywords as wages, housing, home ownership, college education, and any other sign of success — and then find out just how much more successful white people are, strictly because of their skin color.
But it isn’t “strictly because of their skin color”. I had a much rougher childhood than my beloved did. I’ve had a much harder adulthood as well. I came from rougher stock. My dad was the first in my family to ever get a college degree. With a master’s degree, I have the highest education (until I married my wife) of anyone in my family.
My wife is a graduate of NYCC and has a doctorate degree. Her sister is an electrical engineer with a two masters, including an MBA from Berkeley. Her brother has a bachelors degree. Her mother has two masters, one of them from Cornell. Her father has four masters degrees, one of them from NYU.
Although both our parent’s were equal in character, my parents had much less money and no college education when I was little. As children, my wife had far more opportunities than I did. She did not face the violence in school that I did either.
My wife’s family is where they are, for the most part, because of the choices they made. My extended family is where they are because of the choices they made. Dad is where he is, and I am where I am, for the most part, because we made the correct choices and had the self-discipline to continue to drive forward. Everyone is different. Everyone is an individual, but life is hard on everyone of us, and making the right choices make all the difference in the world.
Then read this: Professor Steve Locke from MA Institute of Art and Design
and explain to me why he was stopped without using any word to denote skin color. (Unfair request. You cannot do it. He was stopped SOLELY because of his skin color, nothing more — and he was detained because of his skin color. With his school ID and keys for proof of a car, he was still detained. I repeat: what white man would have had to deal it?)
The cops were actively looking for a suspect that fit his description. It wasn’t “solely” because of his race. The suspect was also wearing a similar hat and jacket too. If a White woman were the suspect, and you were wearing the same type of clothing, you would have been stopped too.
When we expect law enforcement to step beyond enforcing the law and into role of crime prevention, profiling is inevitable. One cannot prevent crime without profiling. It simply cannot be done, if you think about it. Since Black people commit more crime, they get profiled more.
Have you noticed expensive cars don’t get pulled over? But a 1990 Monte Carlo with mis-matched fenders and windows rolled down due to a lack of air conditioning sure as hell will. Poverty=desperation=criminal activity.
I am ashamed to be white. As a representative of white people, I cannot condone, let alone connive with, the treatment given to people of any other color — or any other difference of being.
But you are not a representative of White people. You are you. You represent yourself. I am me. I represent myself. I am not ashamed, nor am I particulary proud of being White. Like you, I cannot condone racism either. I know that most White people are not racists, just like I know that most Black people are not criminals. I do not see any race as inferior. Why do you?
I am a woman; I KNOW what sexism is. I am disabled, I KNOW what intolerance there is for those who are no longer able-bodied — or able-minded, as mental disease carries stigma that reeks of the Middle Ages yet. I am fat, I KNOW what intolerance there is for those who are overweight. (And yet 30% of our nation is OBESE — not just “fat” but medically obese and the percentage, like our collective waistline, continues to grow.) I am old, I KNOW that in the eyes of many, I hold much less value than someone half my age. I am white, I DO NOT KNOW what it is like to be treated as less than human just for my skin color. I almost assuredly will NEVER have the opportunity to learn that lesson.
Wow. There is too much to unpack here. I can tell you that because I’ve been in the nursing profession for 25 years, I have seen just as much, if not more sexism as you have seen, particularly in the first 5 years of my career. I have to deal with it now too. I deal with it every day. My very livelihood has been in peril numerous times by hateful sexist women.
Unlike you, I do know what it’s like to be treated as less than human because of my race. I lived in Japan. I know what it’s like to have a business man spit at my feet and call me a slur. I know what it’s like to be refused admittance into an establishment because I’m White. I know what it’s like to have a girlfriends family call me racial slurs because I wasn’t Mexican, or Japanese, or Filipino.
Now, please explain to me why. But don’t try to tell me what you think my experience is. Until you are a fat, old, disabled, white woman, you have absolutely no knowledge of it and no basis for an opinion of what it is.
Absolutely no knowledge? Please. We are all human. We all have enough various experiences to have a darn good idea what others lives are like. Just because you may have a harder life, does not in any means, mean I cannot understand it.
Your last two paragraphs indicate that you are hurting. I hope things get better for you. My heart goes out to you. I’m praying for you as well.