Question about pushing forward (1 Viewer)

DaveXA

I love the Lord!
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
30,929
Reaction score
18,703
Age
49
Location
Vienna, VA via Lafayette
Offline
So I've been thinking a bit about how we build bridges and advance racial relationships and reconciliation and I need a bit of guidance. We've been talking issues, policing, protesting, culture among other things. But I have a bit more practical question. Who leads the process of reconciliation? What does it look like on a micro/personal level?

The reason I ask is because I don't want to step out of turn, or step on toes and speak for someone who doesn't want me to speak. I'm feeling a little unsure as to what my role is in the reconciliation process.

I do want to be an advocate, but I don’t know how to do it in a way that empowers people of color. I know it's a bit of an open ended question, but I'm puzzling over what the approach is. I want fair, equal treatment, and I'm willing to give what I'm able to level the playing field, but feeling unsure how to accomplish that on a personal level.

Thoughts?
 

SystemShock

uh yu ka t'ann
VIP Contributor
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
11,692
Reaction score
15,870
Location
Xibalba
Offline
I can't give you a full opinion without getting political - and I am sure you know where I'd go with that - but on a personal level, the best I can do is try to understand what systemic oppression has done to generations of an ethnic group. Because I cannot relate. Even being born in México and with all of the crap that's spewed about Mexicans in certain circles, there is no experience in my life that comes close to the experience of people of African descent in the U.S.

I'd say, one of the things that has given me some perspective, which I have mentioned before, is that I come from a very racist family; the benevolent type, but racist nonetheless. I grew up hearing about "those people" and "junts però no barrejats" (which is Catalán for together but not mixed). Being that I was born in México, it was usually directed at natives and mestizos, but there are people of African descent in México too.

Of course, my awakening (I guess I can call it that) was facilitated by the fact that in México, the majority of the population is mestizo, in positions of financial and political power, and that there is a palpable culture that extends thousands of years that is celebrated by all ethnic groups who now call themselves Mexican. And I need to understand that people of African descent in the U.S. , those whose families have been here for generations, they don't have that.

When I first came to the U.S., I didn't get why black people had what I thought were funny names, like Shawanda or LaToya, until it dawned on me that for so long, they have been told they are not equal, that they are very different from anyone else, that they act differently, including the way some name their kids.

But also, I don't think we need to feel guilty about it. We cannot change the past. The only thing we can do, is make things better now and in the future.
 

guidomerkinsrules

W H A T E V I R
VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
57,848
Reaction score
92,298
Location
by the cemeteries
Offline
It’s a very good question
I typically think the most effective action is local involvement, and knowing your background maybe start by attending some local progressive churches/services and asking these same questions there
 
OP

DaveXA

I love the Lord!
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
30,929
Reaction score
18,703
Age
49
Location
Vienna, VA via Lafayette
Offline
I made this post in another thread, but thought it would fit here as well.

I want to say that part of the thinking behind my thread/question goes back to who is driving the reconciliation process. It doesn't really matter to me whether it's me (white guy) or black individuals. I just want to be part of the solution. I can't bring healing on my own, and neither can I force it to happen. But I'm looking for a way to open the door in a way that reconciliation is possible.

If I'm driving the process, I'm worried that a black person would view me as yet another white guy controlling the narrative, which I don't want to happen. At the same time, whites often are responsible for racist policies and attitudes. And many may not even realize the racist nature of their actions. Which is part of why I think dialogue is important. I don't think just saying stop being racist is enough. And I don't just stopping being racist is enough. I think building a sense of community and shared sacrifice would pave a way forward, but i don't know how to get there on my own. And really, I can't. There has to be mutual interest in that community and wanting to leave the past behind.

I think this is hard, because building trust is hard.

And I agree with LC, I'm really looking to hear from our black posters to chime in on how, or whether reconciliation is possible. I certainly think it is, but I'm optimistic like that.
 

Tater

Super Forum Fanatic
Joined
Jan 23, 2000
Messages
5,588
Reaction score
1,538
Location
Picayune, Ms.
Offline
May sound corny, but I have always tried to treat people the way I would like to be treated.
My dad was an honorable man and that was how he lived his life and he instilled that to me.

Just my .02
 
OP

DaveXA

I love the Lord!
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Sep 6, 2001
Messages
30,929
Reaction score
18,703
Age
49
Location
Vienna, VA via Lafayette
Offline
May sound corny, but I have always tried to treat people the way I would like to be treated.
My dad was an honorable man and that was how he lived his life and he instilled that to me.

Just my .02
That's all well and good, but, how I think I want to be treated may not line up with how someone else want to be treated. I'd like people to treat me with respect, so I treat others with respect. I would rather people be direct and to the point with me, but others may not want the same.

The whole do unto others mantra is nice sounding. But in practice, it's not always so easy or obvious. We're all wired a bit differently, and I think it’s important to be cognizant of that when dealing with others.

Edit: You'd also be surprised at how many people are self loathing, or self absorbed and really don't give a sheet how you treat them.
 
Last edited:

First Time Poster

Pro-Bowler
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
796
Reaction score
3,576
Offline

Now, you may say, "FTP, how the fork do I answer that?! How can I answer 'Why was it necessary to have a n***** in the first place?' " Right? I never owned slaves. My father didn't. His father didn't. I don’t hate black people.

Ah! But, you benefit, which by very definition, by laws of nature, mean I am disadvantaged, by an institution, a construct, a society, A COUNRTY, that was built on having a n***** and having him subjugated, oppressing him, diminishing him and making his very being a demonization.

No, you didn't ask for this benefit, you don’t actively seek it nor do you choose to weaponize it. But, YOU RECEIVE IT, nonetheless, and more importantly, not only do I not receive it, I am held back by it, so it us incumbent to educate yourselves and understand, for yourselves, why such a construct, such a society was created in the first place, so then, you can dismantle it and as Baldwin says, "the future of the country will depend on that."

How can you do that? Thankfully, Baldwin helps with that too.


The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them, and I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love, for these innocent people have no other hope. They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.

Many of them indeed know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case the danger in the minds and hearts of most white Americans is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one's sense of one's own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man's world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.

You don't be afraid. I said it was intended that you should perish, in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go beyond and behind the white man's definition, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention and by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word "integration" means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it. Great men have done great things here and will again and we can make America what America must become.


The bolded, the emphasis, are mine. White America is trapped in a history they don’t understand and you all are imprisoned by it and I along with you. Because my very being stands in contrast to that romanticization. My American experience, my heritage throws cold water on that mythical history and because Americans, White Americans, are so invested in that history, my refute of it, or yet, my clarification of it, MY TRUTH, causes a severe loss of identity. And what do men do when they feel like they are losing themselves? They become scared, become frightened. They fight against reality to maintain the status quo.

But, Dave, my brother, that is when you must fight the hardest! As Yoda said, "you must unlearn what you have learned." You have to be willing! Willing to see another experience. Another perspective. Another heritage. And be willing to honor it, and hold it in esteem, even if it casts those things you hold dear in a bad light. Ida B. Wells said, "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." When Morpheus offered Neyo that red pill, he wasn't offering him a utopia. Another reality. He was offering THE reality. THE truth. Because he knew, in that truth, no matter how bitter, how unpleasant, how saddening it may be, in that truth only can a man be set free. Truly free. Because to remain blissfully unaware, even in paradise, is to be a slave.

Be willing to wake up from that dream and embrace the truth. Yes, there will be some things that sadden you, will be bitter and most unpleasant. Things that will make your sun shiver and question your legacy, your place, your identity. But, in that education, I guarantee you will find a love. A love that Baldwin says forces you to see yourselves, clearly and truthfully, and that love moves you to, not run from reality, but to embrace it and behoove you to change it.

Because when you educate yourself on the Negroes journey in this country, his American story, how can you not want to change this society for him? When you see the love that he has for you and this country, how can you not want equality for him? You see, Drew Brees' two white grandfathers fought for this country and that drives his love of country, his love if the flag, his veneration for the anthem. But, my two black grandfathers fought for this country too. Men of color have fought in every conflict in yhis country's history. Can you imagine the depth of love it takes, the sense of patriotism one must have, how strong their belief in ideals and principles must be to take up arms for a country, put on their uniform, fight under their banner, travel to different countries, fight and kill men to preserve and promote a democracy, a freedom, that you currently don't get, and if you survive that conflict, return home, not a hero, as Drew's grandfathers were, but a n*****, still not afforded the rights that you fought and bled for?

We spend so much time agonizing over these flawed figures in our history and debate about their places in our present when if we simply educate ourselves we would recognize their is a wealth of characters to choose from to honor, who stand without ambiguity, that represent our values of our present. Sure, we laugh when Dave Chappelle tells the joke about Thomas Jefferson writing "All men are created equal", getting hungry, and yells at his slave, "go fix me a sandwich b****!", but do we discern the deeper meaning of that? Jefferson, while penning those words, owned 130 slaves, some if them his blood, his family. And, yet, where is the monument, the statue, the reverence for the Negro slave who hears those words, not read them, not because he doesn't want to read, but, because he has been prevented to or told he will be killed if knows how to, but hears "all men are created equal" and believes in that value so strongly, so passionately, so fervently, that he takes up arms, to fight for a country, to preserve a way of life, THAT HE HIMSELF WILL NOT BE AFFORDED. But, on a hope, a promise, that maybe one day, one day, his children, or their children, might. Because even though he is chattel, a n*****, in his heart he knows he is a man, and if he preserves that ideal, then one day when, IF, White America grants him such status, not him, but his descendants may be able to live free.

We debate the Confederate flags meaning but know nothing of Black Wall Street or Rosewood. We agonize over George Washington and Robert E. Lee but know nothing about Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. White abolishsonists and white freedom fighters who literally put their lives in jeopardy to fight for freedoms of all men. As I drive through Jefferson Davis parish, turn onto Jeff Davis drive to get to my grandmothers house, a house her and my grandpa built on the pennies and dimes she earned cleaning up and cooking for white folks. See that's why Nikole Hannah-Jones can say, "Black people have seen the worst of America, yet, somehow, we still believe in its best." See, that's why I take that knee baby! Not because I hate this country, hell no, because I love it. Not because I descend from traitors but because my stock is made from the ultimate patriots. As Baldwin said, "you come from sturdy peasant stock, men who picked cotton, dammed rivers, built railroads, and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, "The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off." "

It is time Dave. No more excuses. We live in an age where we all carry supercomputers in our pockets that, literally, at the touch of our fingers holds humanities entire existence, digitally waiting to be accessed and researched at our convenience. And, yet, we have the audacity to throw up our hands and say, "I didn’t know." Do we? Or do we choose not to? To know. It is time for White America to educate themselves and free themselves. I promise you that once, collectively, you all free youselves from the burdens of the past, through knowledge, your humanity will compel you to move forward. And be free. And it will be in that freedom that I truly gain mine, and, together, we "make America what America must become", land of the free (for all), home of the brave (us).
 

guidomerkinsrules

W H A T E V I R
VIP Contributor
Joined
Apr 30, 2007
Messages
57,848
Reaction score
92,298
Location
by the cemeteries
Offline

Now, you may say, "FTP, how the fork do I answer that?! How can I answer 'Why was it necessary to have a n***** in the first place?' " Right? I never owned slaves. My father didn't. His father didn't. I don’t hate black people.

Ah! But, you benefit, which by very definition, by laws of nature, mean I am disadvantaged, by an institution, a construct, a society, A COUNRTY, that was built on having a n***** and having him subjugated, oppressing him, diminishing him and making his very being a demonization.

No, you didn't ask for this benefit, you don’t actively seek it nor do you choose to weaponize it. But, YOU RECEIVE IT, nonetheless, and more importantly, not only do I not receive it, I am held back by it, so it us incumbent to educate yourselves and understand, for yourselves, why such a construct, such a society was created in the first place, so then, you can dismantle it and as Baldwin says, "the future of the country will depend on that."

How can you do that? Thankfully, Baldwin helps with that too.


The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them, and I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love, for these innocent people have no other hope. They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.

Many of them indeed know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case the danger in the minds and hearts of most white Americans is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one's sense of one's own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man's world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.

You don't be afraid. I said it was intended that you should perish, in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go beyond and behind the white man's definition, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention and by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word "integration" means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it. Great men have done great things here and will again and we can make America what America must become.


The bolded, the emphasis, are mine. White America is trapped in a history they don’t understand and you all are imprisoned by it and I along with you. Because my very being stands in contrast to that romanticization. My American experience, my heritage throws cold water on that mythical history and because Americans, White Americans, are so invested in that history, my refute of it, or yet, my clarification of it, MY TRUTH, causes a severe loss of identity. And what do men do when they feel like they are losing themselves? They become scared, become frightened. They fight against reality to maintain the status quo.

But, Dave, my brother, that is when you must fight the hardest! As Yoda said, "you must unlearn what you have learned." You have to be willing! Willing to see another experience. Another perspective. Another heritage. And be willing to honor it, and hold it in esteem, even if it casts those things you hold dear in a bad light. Ida B. Wells said, "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." When Morpheus offered Neyo that red pill, he wasn't offering him a utopia. Another reality. He was offering THE reality. THE truth. Because he knew, in that truth, no matter how bitter, how unpleasant, how saddening it may be, in that truth only can a man be set free. Truly free. Because to remain blissfully unaware, even in paradise, is to be a slave.

Be willing to wake up from that dream and embrace the truth. Yes, there will be some things that sadden you, will be bitter and most unpleasant. Things that will make your sun shiver and question your legacy, your place, your identity. But, in that education, I guarantee you will find a love. A love that Baldwin says forces you to see yourselves, clearly and truthfully, and that love moves you to, not run from reality, but to embrace it and behoove you to change it.

Because when you educate yourself on the Negroes journey in this country, his American story, how can you not want to change this society for him? When you see the love that he has for you and this country, how can you not want equality for him? You see, Drew Brees' two white grandfathers fought for this country and that drives his love of country, his love if the flag, his veneration for the anthem. But, my two black grandfathers fought for this country too. Men of color have fought in every conflict in yhis country's history. Can you imagine the depth of love it takes, the sense of patriotism one must have, how strong their belief in ideals and principles must be to take up arms for a country, put on their uniform, fight under their banner, travel to different countries, fight and kill men to preserve and promote a democracy, a freedom, that you currently don't get, and if you survive that conflict, return home, not a hero, as Drew's grandfathers were, but a n*****, still not afforded the rights that you fought and bled for?

We spend so much time agonizing over these flawed figures in our history and debate about their places in our present when if we simply educate ourselves we would recognize their is a wealth of characters to choose from to honor, who stand without ambiguity, that represent our values of our present. Sure, we laugh when Dave Chappelle tells the joke about Thomas Jefferson writing "All men are created equal", getting hungry, and yells at his slave, "go fix me a sandwich b****!", but do we discern the deeper meaning of that? Jefferson, while penning those words, owned 130 slaves, some if them his blood, his family. And, yet, where is the monument, the statue, the reverence for the Negro slave who hears those words, not read them, not because he doesn't want to read, but, because he has been prevented to or told he will be killed if knows how to, but hears "all men are created equal" and believes in that value so strongly, so passionately, so fervently, that he takes up arms, to fight for a country, to preserve a way of life, THAT HE HIMSELF WILL NOT BE AFFORDED. But, on a hope, a promise, that maybe one day, one day, his children, or their children, might. Because even though he is chattel, a n*****, in his heart he knows he is a man, and if he preserves that ideal, then one day when, IF, White America grants him such status, not him, but his descendants may be able to live free.

We debate the Confederate flags meaning but know nothing of Black Wall Street or Rosewood. We agonize over George Washington and Robert E. Lee but know nothing about Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. White abolishsonists and white freedom fighters who literally put their lives in jeopardy to fight for freedoms of all men. As I drive through Jefferson Davis parish, turn onto Jeff Davis drive to get to my grandmothers house, a house her and my grandpa built on the pennies and dimes she earned cleaning up and cooking for white folks. See that's why Nikole Hannah-Jones can say, "Black people have seen the worst of America, yet, somehow, we still believe in its best." See, that's why I take that knee baby! Not because I hate this country, hell no, because I love it. Not because I descend from traitors but because my stock is made from the ultimate patriots. As Baldwin said, "you come from sturdy peasant stock, men who picked cotton, dammed rivers, built railroads, and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, "The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off." "

It is time Dave. No more excuses. We live in an age where we all carry supercomputers in our pockets that, literally, at the touch of our fingers holds humanities entire existence, digitally waiting to be accessed and researched at our convenience. And, yet, we have the audacity to throw up our hands and say, "I didn’t know." Do we? Or do we choose not to? To know. It is time for White America to educate themselves and free themselves. I promise you that once, collectively, you all free youselves from the burdens of the past, through knowledge, your humanity will compel you to move forward. And be free. And it will be in that freedom that I truly gain mine, and, together, we "make America what America must become", land of the free (for all), home of the brave (us).
thank you
 

Brennan77

Bass Manager
VIP Subscribing Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Messages
47,100
Reaction score
20,355
Location
The Channel
Offline
Love each and every person as the child of God that they are. Treat yourself as the child of God that you are. Under one Father you are brothers and sisters.
 
Last edited:

Loose Cannon

Tangibles
VIP Contributor
Joined
May 26, 2002
Messages
29,240
Reaction score
8,387
Location
Austin, TX
Offline

Now, you may say, "FTP, how the fork do I answer that?! How can I answer 'Why was it necessary to have a n***** in the first place?' " Right? I never owned slaves. My father didn't. His father didn't. I don’t hate black people.

Ah! But, you benefit, which by very definition, by laws of nature, mean I am disadvantaged, by an institution, a construct, a society, A COUNRTY, that was built on having a n***** and having him subjugated, oppressing him, diminishing him and making his very being a demonization.

No, you didn't ask for this benefit, you don’t actively seek it nor do you choose to weaponize it. But, YOU RECEIVE IT, nonetheless, and more importantly, not only do I not receive it, I am held back by it, so it us incumbent to educate yourselves and understand, for yourselves, why such a construct, such a society was created in the first place, so then, you can dismantle it and as Baldwin says, "the future of the country will depend on that."

How can you do that? Thankfully, Baldwin helps with that too.


The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them, and I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love, for these innocent people have no other hope. They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.

Many of them indeed know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case the danger in the minds and hearts of most white Americans is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one's sense of one's own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man's world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.

You don't be afraid. I said it was intended that you should perish, in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go beyond and behind the white man's definition, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention and by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those innocents who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp of reality. But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word "integration" means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it. Great men have done great things here and will again and we can make America what America must become.


The bolded, the emphasis, are mine. White America is trapped in a history they don’t understand and you all are imprisoned by it and I along with you. Because my very being stands in contrast to that romanticization. My American experience, my heritage throws cold water on that mythical history and because Americans, White Americans, are so invested in that history, my refute of it, or yet, my clarification of it, MY TRUTH, causes a severe loss of identity. And what do men do when they feel like they are losing themselves? They become scared, become frightened. They fight against reality to maintain the status quo.

But, Dave, my brother, that is when you must fight the hardest! As Yoda said, "you must unlearn what you have learned." You have to be willing! Willing to see another experience. Another perspective. Another heritage. And be willing to honor it, and hold it in esteem, even if it casts those things you hold dear in a bad light. Ida B. Wells said, "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." When Morpheus offered Neyo that red pill, he wasn't offering him a utopia. Another reality. He was offering THE reality. THE truth. Because he knew, in that truth, no matter how bitter, how unpleasant, how saddening it may be, in that truth only can a man be set free. Truly free. Because to remain blissfully unaware, even in paradise, is to be a slave.

Be willing to wake up from that dream and embrace the truth. Yes, there will be some things that sadden you, will be bitter and most unpleasant. Things that will make your sun shiver and question your legacy, your place, your identity. But, in that education, I guarantee you will find a love. A love that Baldwin says forces you to see yourselves, clearly and truthfully, and that love moves you to, not run from reality, but to embrace it and behoove you to change it.

Because when you educate yourself on the Negroes journey in this country, his American story, how can you not want to change this society for him? When you see the love that he has for you and this country, how can you not want equality for him? You see, Drew Brees' two white grandfathers fought for this country and that drives his love of country, his love if the flag, his veneration for the anthem. But, my two black grandfathers fought for this country too. Men of color have fought in every conflict in yhis country's history. Can you imagine the depth of love it takes, the sense of patriotism one must have, how strong their belief in ideals and principles must be to take up arms for a country, put on their uniform, fight under their banner, travel to different countries, fight and kill men to preserve and promote a democracy, a freedom, that you currently don't get, and if you survive that conflict, return home, not a hero, as Drew's grandfathers were, but a n*****, still not afforded the rights that you fought and bled for?

We spend so much time agonizing over these flawed figures in our history and debate about their places in our present when if we simply educate ourselves we would recognize their is a wealth of characters to choose from to honor, who stand without ambiguity, that represent our values of our present. Sure, we laugh when Dave Chappelle tells the joke about Thomas Jefferson writing "All men are created equal", getting hungry, and yells at his slave, "go fix me a sandwich b****!", but do we discern the deeper meaning of that? Jefferson, while penning those words, owned 130 slaves, some if them his blood, his family. And, yet, where is the monument, the statue, the reverence for the Negro slave who hears those words, not read them, not because he doesn't want to read, but, because he has been prevented to or told he will be killed if knows how to, but hears "all men are created equal" and believes in that value so strongly, so passionately, so fervently, that he takes up arms, to fight for a country, to preserve a way of life, THAT HE HIMSELF WILL NOT BE AFFORDED. But, on a hope, a promise, that maybe one day, one day, his children, or their children, might. Because even though he is chattel, a n*****, in his heart he knows he is a man, and if he preserves that ideal, then one day when, IF, White America grants him such status, not him, but his descendants may be able to live free.

We debate the Confederate flags meaning but know nothing of Black Wall Street or Rosewood. We agonize over George Washington and Robert E. Lee but know nothing about Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. White abolishsonists and white freedom fighters who literally put their lives in jeopardy to fight for freedoms of all men. As I drive through Jefferson Davis parish, turn onto Jeff Davis drive to get to my grandmothers house, a house her and my grandpa built on the pennies and dimes she earned cleaning up and cooking for white folks. See that's why Nikole Hannah-Jones can say, "Black people have seen the worst of America, yet, somehow, we still believe in its best." See, that's why I take that knee baby! Not because I hate this country, hell no, because I love it. Not because I descend from traitors but because my stock is made from the ultimate patriots. As Baldwin said, "you come from sturdy peasant stock, men who picked cotton, dammed rivers, built railroads, and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, "The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off." "

It is time Dave. No more excuses. We live in an age where we all carry supercomputers in our pockets that, literally, at the touch of our fingers holds humanities entire existence, digitally waiting to be accessed and researched at our convenience. And, yet, we have the audacity to throw up our hands and say, "I didn’t know." Do we? Or do we choose not to? To know. It is time for White America to educate themselves and free themselves. I promise you that once, collectively, you all free youselves from the burdens of the past, through knowledge, your humanity will compel you to move forward. And be free. And it will be in that freedom that I truly gain mine, and, together, we "make America what America must become", land of the free (for all), home of the brave (us).
Great post.

You talked a bunch about the sort of visceral instinct to maintain the status quo. I think on an emotional level, almost every white person, or at least white male, experiences that to some degree or another. Even those of us who I think would generally be considered an "ally" to the black community still have to fight the sort of instinctual urge to get ruffled feathers about change. I had a really strong initial emotional reaction to the requests by the Texas players to remove the "Eyes of Texas". It took me a couple of days until I sort of thought through it and realized "wait, I actually am not really bothered by that at all - it's a song that I always thought was creepy and I understand why they want it gone". But the initial reaction was strong.

I'm interested in your thoughts there. I think it's pretty clear why that reaction is there. Those little changes are symbolic and predictive of the white man losing his grip on the stacked-deck status quo. I guess I'd like to hear your just sort of general thoughts on it. You're more well-read and educated on this than basically all of us, so any wisdom there I'd love to hear.

How do you feel about the subconscious resistance to changing the status quo? What can you tell us about that? And then do your feelings on that instinct to preserve status quo change when it goes from more of a subconscious thing to a conscious, identity thing? (I think you know what I mean by that - it's a "you know it when you see it" thing)

Finally, I'd rep you twice for pivoting on a dime between James Baldwin and Yoda.
 

James Spader

Veteran Starter
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
2,213
Reaction score
2,119
Offline
That's all well and good, but, how I think I want to be treated may not line up with how someone else want to be treated. I'd like people to treat me with respect, so I treat others with respect. I would rather people be direct and to the point with me, but others may not want the same.

The whole do unto others mantra is nice sounding. But in practice, it's not always so easy or obvious. We're all wired a bit differently, and I think it’s important to be cognizant of that when dealing with others.

Edit: You'd also be surprised at how many people are self loathing, or self absorbed and really don't give a sheet how you treat them.
That is reality my friend. There will always be of all kinds of walks of earth. All I can do is focus on myself and who I interact with. I always try to treat others with respect regardless of opinion, we all could do better in this regard but sometimes one ego gets in the way. My plan doesn’t really change on how I treat people.

As far as police brutality, we put in people to make changes to how police are Investigated. We keep the pressure on.
 

LAhotsauce

ALL-MADDEN TEAM
Joined
Sep 7, 2014
Messages
3,047
Reaction score
4,748
Offline
My top answer is Americans have to get used to the idea of reparations. As long as one group is and has been harmed economically in a capitalistic society--and they are never made whole from constant harms--then all of the issues we see on the surface will just continue. I would also throw changing laws into the mix, but obviously laws can be interpreted differently depending on whos enforcing it or who the harmed party is. So laws can mean nothing at the end of the day.

Actual, tangible, meaningful reconciliation has to occur before anything else. Especially when you still have these neglected "hoods" (aka racially redlined communities) all over the place.
 

Oye

carry all the groceries in in one trip
VIP Subscribing Member
VIP Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
23,742
Reaction score
40,537
Location
the hyperreal
Offline
I have a lot I'd like to add here, but don't really know where to start. And certainly don't want to take the place of others who should be speaking instead.

But I guess I'll just respond to this for now, because I think one answer was one I was exposed to today.

Great post.

You talked a bunch about the sort of visceral instinct to maintain the status quo. I think on an emotional level, almost every white person, or at least white male, experiences that to some degree or another. Even those of us who I think would generally be considered an "ally" to the black community still have to fight the sort of instinctual urge to get ruffled feathers about change. I had a really strong initial emotional reaction to the requests by the Texas players to remove the "Eyes of Texas". It took me a couple of days until I sort of thought through it and realized "wait, I actually am not really bothered by that at all - it's a song that I always thought was creepy and I understand why they want it gone". But the initial reaction was strong.

I'm interested in your thoughts there.
So, in another post - on the Demonstrations thread - I mentioned a Zoom panelist discussion I 'attended' with black academics and researchers.

I've studied and written and presented on this notion of 'white privilege' and 'white fragility' but years ago, when I started, I approached it from "de-centering whiteness" because I found that particular phrase and the ethos behind it to be more action-oriented. It struck a more effective balance - for me - between the theoretical and the practical. Which has always been my concern - even before I pursued academia, listening to my mom rant about "McNeese professors" who "lectured her" about teaching. She resented their know-it-all-ness, because she had to work in a 100% Black, 100% free- and reduced-lunch school with asbestos and these professors would know better than her?

So, 'de-centering whiteness' appealed to me more.

ANd over the years, I feel like I've encountered a lot of ideas and perspectives, but I heard a new one today.

One of the panelists said he was aggravated. He appreciated white people coming to the movement and wanting to be allies, but he said we had to get out of our own heads, get out of ourselves.

And he put it this way: (paraphrasing) "White people want to be a victim, and an oppressor, and a savior all at the same time."

I thought that was profound. I mean, I'm white, and don't want to presume to speak on behalf of FTP who would probably answer it differently.

But this Black man felt that the 'movement' was going to be limited by these well-intentioned white folk who made everything about them. He explained how he understands it's not entirely their fault, because it's part of our social fabric. It's built into the histories and stories we tell white kids and black kids.

Still, white people need to somehow get over this self-centrism that insists they find their own sense of victimization, by default almost, because it impairs their empathetic ability to see others as victims.

that made a lot of sense to me

obviously I am going to be biased. De-Centering Whiteness is the core of everything I do, so it's going to resonate more with me than other answers to your question.

But maybe it gives you something to think about?
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)



Headlines

Top Bottom