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Why it can feel hard to talk about racial inequality, and why you should do it anyway....

So, anyway, as i mentioned in a couple of other threads, the company I work for gave us a paid day off in response to the crazy whacked out state of the world these days, between the plague and the quarantine and 9 minute film of a black man killed by a white cop and the reaction it set off. I'm not black, and I do believe wholeheartedly that black lives matter.

Since I am white, I benefit by the racist status quo. This was not something I was aware of really, but I didn't have to be aware of it as I wasn't adversely affected by it. I'm not even sure how I even heard of the idea of wokeness.  I did know that it was slang for an awareness of something that I didn't have, that it was a "black" thing. And I knew I should be woke. And I knew I was not. 

So I did what I generally do about anything that troubles me, I went looking for answers on the internet and I found there were books tackling the issue and I started to read.  I read one called "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness" by Austin Channing Brown and now I'm reading "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo. This white fragility is really difficult to read.  Not that it's not well written or is too complex to digest, but because of the way it makes me feel.

And since I love SL and I'm an introverted recluse whose only social outlet is SL, I would love to talk about it here.

Edited by kali Wylder
typos drive me crazy
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34 minutes ago, kali Wylder said:

Why it can feel hard to talk about racial inequality, and why you should do it anyway....

So, anyway, as i mentioned in a couple of other threads, the company I work for gave us a paid day off in response to the crazy whacked out state of the world these days, between the plague and the quarantine and 9 minute film of a black man killed by a white cop and the reaction it set off. I'm not black, and I do believe wholeheartedly that black lives matter.

Since I am white, I benefit by the racist status quo. This was not something I was aware of really, but I didn't have to be aware of it as I wasn't adversely affected by it. I'm not even sure how I even heard of the idea of wokeness.  I did know that it was slang for an awareness of something that I didn't have, that it was a "black" thing. And I knew I should be woke. And I knew I was not. 

So I did what I generally do about anything that troubles me, I went looking for answers on the internet and I found there were books tackling the issue and I started to read.  I read one called "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness" by Austin Channing Brown and now I'm reading "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo. This white fragility is really difficult to read.  Not that it's not well written or is too complex to digest, but because of the way it makes me feel.

And since I love SL and I'm an introverted recluse whose only social outlet is SL, I would love to talk about it here.

This sounds like a good venture.

So many Whites really aren't aware of their privileged status, but by reading these books one does get a better grasp of how they've profited in ways previously unknown to them.

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Posted (edited)

Actually Kali, I think there is no better topic than the one you have chosen, to address BLM and the chaos our countries are going through.

At it's core, it's often because Whites can't see how they've benefitted, and so they see no reason to help Blacks at this juncture.  We're like fish in water, and it's hard to see what gave us our advantage if it was just handed to us by birth.  Books can be real eye-openers.

* I have to add though, Kali, or anyone, be careful.  I think I have PTSD at times from studying in school what people of color and other disadvantaged groups have endured.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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Posted (edited)

This graphic, which I saw over the road at VVO, distinguishes between the political and the non-political quite well, I think

3eb2913936bb4180a3b91da0396bd9e8.jpg

 

Edited by Innula Zenovka
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yeah, PTSD, talk about fragility!  It's damn hard to see how systemically unfair the world is.  I bet it's a damn site harder to be one of the ones to whom the deck is stacked against. And then there is the fact that the one per cent at the top of the heap get to stay there by dividing the rest of us against each other, and wow! That's a real eye opener. 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, kali Wylder said:

yeah, PTSD, talk about fragility!  It's damn hard to see how systemically unfair the world is.  I bet it's a damn site harder to be one of the ones to whom the deck is stacked against. And then there is the fact that the one per cent at the top of the heap get to stay there by dividing the rest of us against each other, and wow! That's a real eye opener. 

yeah having ptsd sucks...

Edited by Drakonadrgora Darkfold
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The term "white fragility" is a racist term, along with "white privilege". People need to stop trying to fight racism with racism.

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54 minutes ago, Chaser Zaks said:

The term "white fragility" is a racist term, along with "white privilege". People need to stop trying to fight racism with racism.

When people talk about racism, they aren't talking about mean words, they are talking about the systemic oppression of one group by another.

White fragility is the tendency of white people who have never had to deal with racial stress getting upset with terms like white fragility or white privilege and attempting to shut down and constrain the conversation by going on the defensive.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/07/health/white-fragility-robin-diangelo-wellness/index.html

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/a32812084/white-fragility-what-is-it/

https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/diangelo-white_fragility_and_the_rules_of_engagement.pdf

https://forge.medium.com/what-it-means-to-accept-that-youre-racist-fbeef3839e47

You're wrong, and I get it, that sucks, but unsucking this whole mess is going to be one hell of a slog for white people, because we're the ones with the problem and freak out whenever it's brought up.

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Not gonna lie.

It's hard to take any conversation seriously that uses "woke" and "white privilege" non-ironically. They're so ridiculously abused and overused.

Blaming people for being white is the worst possible way to garner their support.

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I never understood that as blaming someone for being white, but rather as a reminder that they do have this privilege, because many people seem to forget that. Or rather, they're seem not to be aware of it. 

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4 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

I never understood that as blaming someone for being white, but rather as a reminder that they do have this privilege, because many people seem to forget that. Or rather, they're seem not to be aware of it. 

"They" forget. "They" have privilege. Keep talking like that and it's not long before "they" are the enemy. 

Further, constantly reminding people that are already aware is just going to get on their nerves and alienate them. 

There's a fine line between trying to find solutions and just wanting to blame others for the problems. 

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28 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

"They" forget. "They" have privilege. Keep talking like that and it's not long before "they" are the enemy. 

Further, constantly reminding people that are already aware is just going to get on their nerves and alienate them. 

There's a fine line between trying to find solutions and just wanting to blame others for the problems. 

I'm sorry, was my usage of they wrong? 

If they aware, then why not do something about it? Is it okay to not care and not do anything?

And like I said, I do not see it as blame, and I don't understand why you do, tbh. 

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12 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

I'm sorry, was my usage of they wrong? 

If they aware, then why not do something about it? Is it okay to not care and not do anything?

And like I said, I do not see it as blame, and I don't understand why you do, tbh. 

Who says they're doing nothing? You expect everyone to charge the police with weapons? Get on national TV and make a speech?

I've straight up intervened in police abuse of authority, but that was as private security on private property, where I had the authority and initiative. Not everyone has that. 

Let me try this another way. You show a video of police misconduct to somebody and say, "Hey, isn't this wrong?", most reasonable people will agree with you. It's a good chance to slip in the names of some equal rights foundations, or maybe the victim's gofundme, or whatever. "Here's some resources we can use." They'll remember that video. They might even pass it on to others and do the same. 

You start lecturing that same person about their privilege or their complicity or acuse them of being secretly racist without knowing it, all they'll remember is some jerk insulting them.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

When people talk about racism, they aren't talking about mean words, they are talking about the systemic oppression of one group by another.

seems the editors of the US Merriam-Webster dictionary agree with what you said here, Coffee

BBC article about a conversation that the editors of the US Merriam-Webster dictionary are having.  Merriam-Webster are going to include a meaning of systemic oppression of a group based on their race. That racism is not just a personal chararcter trait

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52993306

 

edit add: I think this is good the Merriam-Webster are doing this

it makes it a whole lot easier to discuss the consequences of racism with people like Paul for example when we don't use language that personalises the word racism. As he says it just annoys him when he gets accused of being a racist when he and others like him want to discuss the consequences of racism and what the solutions to systemic racism could be, from for example a libertarian pov rather than from a liberal pov

as liberals we don't have a righteous lock on the solutions to systemic racism

 

Edited by Mollymews
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24 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

Who says they're doing nothing? You expect everyone to charge the police with weapons? Get on national TV and make a speech?

I've straight up intervened in police abuse of authority, but that was as private security on private property, where I had the authority and initiative. Not everyone has that. 

Let me try this another way. You show a video of police misconduct to somebody and say, "Hey, isn't this wrong?", most reasonable people will agree with you. It's a good chance to slip in the names of some equal rights foundations, or maybe the victim's gofundme, or whatever. "Here's some resources we can use." They'll remember that video. They might even pass it on to others and do the same. 

You start lecturing that same person about their privilege or their complicity or acuse them of being secretly racist without knowing it, all they'll remember is some jerk insulting them.

I suspect that. Maybe my logic is wrong, but if enough people would do something, why is the issue still there? It should be solved by now then, no?

Well, it's good you did? I'm not saying you as a person didn't do anything.

Look. I can understand that sentiment somewhat. But on the other side that feels like tiptoeing around peoples feelings so they don't refuse to do something out of protest which doesn't strike me as a very adult behaviour. Maybe they should get over themselves. I think helping other people to gain the same freedoms is more important than my feelings about being called out on something. Having said that, I believe you can talk about priviledge and tell people when they are -conciously or not - expressing it in a polite and nice way, without accusations. But that's just my view. It's okay for you to have yours, but I do not think we'll ever agree on any of it. 



 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

When people talk about racism, they aren't talking about mean words, they are talking about the systemic oppression of one group by another.

Racism is defined as: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

You can't change the definition to say "oh, it is only when x happens" or "racism = power + privilege". Racism is racism, full stop.

7 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

White fragility is the tendency of white people who have never had to deal with racial stress getting upset with terms like white fragility or white privilege and attempting to shut down and constrain the conversation by going on the defensive.

White fragility assumes that all white people never have to deal with racism. I see racism towards white people almost every day now and I'm sick of it. I can't speak up about it otherwise I am the one who gets called racist, have to deal with cancel culture, being out of a job opportunity when someone searches up my name, get put on a blocklist, appear on a witch-hunt blog, etc.

White privilege assumes all white people have the ability to get a job, have the perfect family, have the perfect life, be rich, never have to worry about racism, and always get justice. When 9/11 happened, my dad lost his job, we were at the point to where we were maxed out on 6 credit cards, in a duplex, and having to loan money from my grandparents. My dad managed to dig us out of that hole. I have various disabilities which will prevent me from probably ever getting a job, or at least be able to hold one down. I had to deal with people making me feel guilty that I had gotten on SSDI because "privileged white male", when I can't do jack about my position or disability.

So yes, I do get upset over terms like white fragility and white privilege, because those terms are racist, they generalize a entire race. I get upset over it because people use it to censor/dismiss my views, my issues, my opinions.

7 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

You're wrong, and I get it, that sucks, but unsucking this whole mess is going to be one hell of a slog for white people, because we're the ones with the problem and freak out whenever it's brought up.

Racism is not was not my problem, because I am not a racist person, to assume that I am racist because I am white is racist. (Edited before someone tries to take that out of context, when I say that, I don't mean that "oh racism, not my problem i'm gonna ignore it", I mean that "I'm not part of the problem, white people are not inherently racist". I actively have used my position as administration on stuff to tell people to stop being racist/etc, and resolve situations.) But it is now because I have to choose to sit and take people throwing racist stuff in my face while I am trying to help with the situation, or get called a racist for defending my race.

I'm tired of it, and I'm not going to stay silent anymore.

Edited by Chaser Zaks
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Posted (edited)

I highly dislike the word "woke" and usually also the people, who describe themselves as being woke. To me the word suggests a believe system in which there are two groups: One who is "asleep", unaware of their surroundings, stupid, ignorant and one who has awoken and now sees and knows everything that is hidden from the first group. This perspective reminds me strongly of how cult followers and conspiracy theorists see themselves and others.

What also rubs me the wrong way is the frequent use of "the whites"/"white people". Its essentially just US american self-centrism in a new wrapping. 

Edited by Syo Emerald
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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

Maybe my logic is wrong, but if enough people would do something, why is the issue still there?

That's a good question, and that's a debate worth having.

38 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

But on the other side that feels like tiptoeing around peoples feelings so they don't refuse to do something out of protest which doesn't strike me as a very adult behaviour. Maybe they should get over themselves. I think helping other people to gain the same freedoms is more important than my feelings about being called out on something.

Maybe the reason it's still an issue is because we're so busy blaming each other for the problems (not caring about their feelings and telling them to get over it and saying they're not behaving like adults) that we're not taking the time to solve the problems.

38 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

Having said that, I believe you can talk about priviledge and tell people when they are -conciously or not - expressing it in a polite and nice way, without accusations

I agree.

Thing is, "whites are the problem" or "white people are/do X" like is happening in this thread, are racist accusations that are exactly what I'm talking about. So instead of sharing resources on how to help solve the issue, we're having this argument instead.

Edit: To make sure people don't misread my intent, here's the most recent resource I found; https://policingequity.org/

Edited by Paul Hexem
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1 hour ago, Mollymews said:

seems the editors of the US Merriam-Webster dictionary agree with what you said here, Coffee

BBC article about a conversation that the editors of the US Merriam-Webster dictionary are having.  Merriam-Webster are going to include a meaning of systemic oppression of a group based on their race. That racism is not just a personal chararcter trait

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52993306

 

edit add: I think this is good the Merriam-Webster are doing this

it makes it a whole lot easier to discuss the consequences of racism with people like Paul for example when we don't use language that personalises the word racism. As he says it just annoys him when he gets accused of being a racist when he and others like him want to discuss the consequences of racism and what the solutions to systemic racism could be, from for example a libertarian pov rather than from a liberal pov

as liberals we don't have a righteous lock on the solutions to systemic racism

Mostly I agree with you, although I'd rather see a new word (ideally something without the disdain or scorn) than trying to change definitions, since it's still going to come across as negative and insulting.

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Just to say....I find the use of the term "white people" as a generic term to be unhelpful. In todays troubled world, these people are spread across the world with a huge range of genetics and an even greater range of cultural similarities and differences. Even across Europe, there are huge differences between "white people". And there is huge poverty and disengagement in this group.

I fear that attempting to sanitize history will not help educate future generations. History is brimming with cruel exploitation of weaker communities going  way back in time. 

Mankind is incapable of adopting "Live and let live". Neighbours argue. Nations argue. It will never change. While skin colour plays a huge part, mankind has always, and will always find differences to exploit. 

This world is not a good place, and never has been.

 

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9 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

That's a good question, and that's a debate worth having.

Maybe the reason it's still an issue is because we're so busy blaming each other for the problems (not caring about their feelings and telling them to get over it and saying they're not behaving like adults) that we're not taking the time to solve the problems.

I agree.

Thing is, "whites are the problem" or "white people are/do X" like is happening in this thread, are racist accusations that are exactly what I'm talking about. So instead of sharing resources on how to help solve the issue, we're having this argument instead.

Sorry, who is "we" here?   From the context, I don't think you can mean that you and Sukubia are busy blaming each other (or not that I've seen in this thread, anyway), so who do you say is arguing with whom, and for what, specifically, do you say they are they blaming each other?    

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Innula Zenovka said:

Sorry, who is "we" here?   From the context, I don't think you can mean that you and Sukubia are busy blaming each other (or not that I've seen in this thread, anyway), so who do you say is arguing with whom, and for what, specifically, do you say they are they blaming each other?    

The first two- People, in general. We, especially Americans, are blaming each other and making each other out to be enemies over stupid things like political affiliation instead of working on solutions.

Note, I'm not saying all political affiliations are good or that there aren't bad ones or anything, just that we're vilifying each other as the evil, abstract "they", which makes it infinitely harder to actually come together and solve issues.

That last we was definitely directed at this thread.

Edit: I just saw this on another forum and thought it was relevant.

Quote

the moment it seems like joe public might be uniting against the powers that be they press on a few divisive issues and get us all fighting amongst ourselves again.

 

Edited by Paul Hexem

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white people white people white people white people

 

If you want support of 'white people', why not just call them 'people', like they would like to be called and how they identify themselves, rather than singling them out for their race/appearance/beliefs? I think this is a case of 'treat others how you would like to be treated'

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

 

If you want support of 'white people', why not just call them 'people', like they would like to be called and how they identify themselves, rather than singling them out for their race/appearance/beliefs? I think this is a case of 'treat others how you would like to be treated'

Because when a dominant majority identifies as the 'norm' and rejects the need for descriptors, that automatically 'others' anyone who doesn't fit into the dominant majority. In this instance we are talking about race and systemic oppression, so descriptors are needed to discuss how issues impact different demographics.

Edited by LexxiXhan
a comma
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