Answering Reader Questions: Would You be interested in having frank Discussions about Racism


DCF 1.0I got this lovely question the other day that I thought I would address: Would I be interested in having frank discussions about racism. There are some important questions that should be asked

Is there anyone willing to listen/participate ? How will people deal with being offended ? What format will these talks take ? What do the people who will participate feel they will get out of it ? Am I the best person to talk about it racism?

If the right people, time , circumstances and intentions are present I am more than happy to discuss racism. The real issue is the complexity of racism, socially and historically. When I think about talking about racism certain things come up. I will mention two things

1. There isn’t a common language we can use about racism, even the terms racism means different things to different people and racism overlaps into many areas, racism and gender issues, racism and work related issues. At the end of the day many techniques and instances of exploitation overlap. This makes it very difficult to talk about.

2. Out of sight out of mind – generally if it doesn’t happen to you. Racism isn’t a subject many people educate themselves about because there isn’t a need to.  It’s very personal to some people which sometimes makes conversations sometimes difficult, circuitous, and painful to listen too.

So with that said I would be more than willing to talk with or collaborate with anyone who wants to talk frankly about it. I think after discussing some things: format, what subjects to talk about specifically we could have something great. Feel free to share

My Writings on Racism in the past

I have written about racism before Taking

  1. Taking The Negative Movie Edition: Olympus has Fallen
  2. Taking the Negative Saturday Special:Woman,Skin Whitening, and Adele
  3. Taking the Negative Intl Woman’s Day Special: White Women & Movie Serial Killers
  4. Taking the Negative: Voting in the 2012 Elections
  5. Taking the Negative: The Monster’s Ball Syndrome
  6. Taking the Negative: The Movie Hero
  7. Taking the Negative: Islam and terrorism
  8. Introducing a new Series: Taking the Negative dedicated to Chinua Achebe

Black History Month Post

  1. How I said Good-Bye to Black History Month 2013 & My Great-GrandMother
  2. MrMary’s Black History Month PSA: Why Do Black People Talk That Way
  3. Black History Month Special: Valentine’s Day,Conjugal Visits in Prison, Sex and Bonobo Monkeys 2/2
  4. Black History Month Special: Valentine’s Day,Conjugal Visits in Prison, Sex and Bonobo Monkeys 1/2
  5. MrMary’s Black History Month Game: Pick the Correct Picture of Beyonce
  6. MrMary’s Black History Month PSA: Why do Black People have such Crazy Names ?
  7. Things Not to Do During Black History Month #1

 

16 thoughts on “Answering Reader Questions: Would You be interested in having frank Discussions about Racism

  1. As I think this was my question, my answer is yes I’d be interested. I know it is a difficult topic, even moreso than sexism…but both need to be talked about in caring/honest ways. The problem is, I also am unsure of how to do this.

    I don’t want it to end up like the African American Literature class I took: after the semester was over, I compared the class experience with some fellow classmates. The white kids(including myself) ended up feeling like we are horrible people, the black kids felt like they were degraded by the book/topic choices, and the Hispanic kids felt left out.

    I think that anyone who has experienced or seen racism is able to talk about it though.

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    1. That’s exactly my problem with how society deals with issues nowadays, and Mr. Mary pointed it out in a post about sexism, and it also happened with the whole #FBRape-thing recently. People are either trying to out-victim each other, or over-victimize someone else — which is then called “compassion”.

      If we want the world to stop being racist, we need to stop focussing on race. Fuck Black History Month, Fuck Million Man March, Fuck any day-week-month celebrating a single race. Cause all you stimulate with that is racism, you make one race seem more “special” than the other.

      That’s it.

      In Mr. Mary’s post about the FBI-report measuring drug-usage in black or white groups. That’s SO DISTURBING. What’s the added benefit of knowing that black people use more or less drugs than white people? NONE. The total of drug usage amongst all ethnic groups is equally helpful.

      People are so stupid, they always counter-react with the exact opposite. White people were responsible for enslaving africans? Well, then, let’s compensate that with spending an entire month looking at them, and talking about them why they’re so special.

      NO COLOR. If we want people to look at each other equally, we need to stop looking at color or sex. It’s that simple.

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      1. Is it possible for the sheeple/common people to not make judgments based on physical appearance while still accepting that there are slight biological differences that affect certain groups more? Or are they capable of allowing someone to keep pride in their culture/heritage without claiming inferiority or superiority?

        It’s something to ponder, but I’d say no.

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      2. Society is a tough word for me, it is a slippery word. We are all part of it yet not at the same time. How society deals with problems on a whole is reflective of how individuals deal with things in their own personal sphere of activity. For me if society as a whole is stupid, then so are its constituents and if that is true it is hard to expect conscientious change, in particular social change, from stupid people. You cant fix stupid, but you can with great effort educate the misinformed.

        Xenophobia, class warfare and racism have been around for millennia, and I feel it’s not something that we can eradicate like small pox. My thinking has been instead of trying to eradicate racism, let us understand why it exists, let us look at historical episodes of slavery, let us look at slavery in modern times, I feel the more we look at it from different angles the more light it can shed on how and why it gets articulated so in the societies in which we find it. Armed with the information we can learn how to protect ourselves from it, we can work to establish better legal precedents to stop racism from disrupting lives as much as it does now, not just in America but in Europe, in Latin American, Asia in all parts of the world.

        While I understand why people are against black history month I honestly kind of like it. It is to me an extending of an olive branch, especially when I read the history of how it began at Kent University in the late 60’s. The existence of black history month to me is an accomplishment. While it’s not enough to build bridges and cure the hurt felt, it is enough to start a dialogue.

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      3. Really? There are more people that don’t like black history month? That warms my heart. 🙂

        Honestly, I think black history month is incredibly ignorant. It’s like: let’s be nice to these people for a WHOLE month and then afterwards let’s treat them like shit again.

        The US is a hypocracy, they cover everything up and act like they’re so perfect. They invent thanksgiving to cover up the fact that they stole the land of Native Americans — while they mourn their loss of their land on that same day. “The biggest” anything can be found in the USA, just to show how impressive they are — because bigger is better.

        Black History Month is the same thing, in my opinion. It doesn’t change anything. It’s just another way of saying: “I’m not racist, I celebrate black history month!” It’s an excuse, nothing more.

        Morgan Freeman said some years ago: “Black history is American history”. Exactly. So black history deserves to be taught all year round, together with white history, mexican history, and whatever history.

        If we want to reach equality, we need to stop focussing on what makes others special. You are black, but you’re not special. I’m white, and I’m not special. Just like that disabled boy in the wheelchair isn’t special. We are all human. We are all the same. We just look different.

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  2. Dude, I’d love you to write a guest post on my blog about racism. Interested?

    Since you are black (and I hate myself for pointing it out, because I think feeling the need to emphasize someone’s skin color is the basis of racism) What I would like to know from you: isn’t trying very hard not to be racist, racism as well?

    Honestly, I am super naive when it comes to racism. At least, I think so. It could be my culture, though. Dutch people are very ‘sober’. We don’t worry about many things, besides finances and family.

    My country is super multi cultural, and most cultures blend in fine. Surinam and Indonesia used to be Dutch colonies, so we have adapted many cultural differences from each other. Most white people here have a hard time with Turkish and Moroccan people, because the contrast is very big (our super freedom and their conservative nature) but they’re not the biggest target lately.

    The biggest target right now is the ‘threat’ of Eastern Europeans, since the borders opened up. Men are intimidated because most Eastern Europeans are incredibly skilled workers and the women are intimidated because Eastern European women are more attractive, more female and loving in general, compared to tall, whisky-voice, ultra feminist Dutch women.

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    1. Is this true about the Eastern European women thing? I had assumed it was partially true, but blown out of proportion by extremist MRAs. But if you (who I believe isn’t sexist or trying to cope with overt generalizations about females) also say that…I don’t know now.

      I hope it doesn’t make me sound sexist, but I’m often unimpressed with how women in popular culture in America act. It may be due to my gender confusion, but to me it doesn’t seem like modern feminism is about equality…that it’s more about getting people to accept female superiority.

      What do you (or anyone else) think about this? Also, sorry! I didn’t mean to derail this comment topic!

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      1. I have not heard about the Eastern European thing it makes me raise an eye brow, which is a precursor for some sarcastic or sardonic commentary. Looking at the break down of Western and Eastern Europe historically the Iron curtain and now a fear of men and women from the east its paints an interesting picture for me, but that something else

        A lot of feminists I have met were not about equality. I felt that they had a chip on their shoulders and wanted everyone to pay for their centuries of exploitation and mistreatment. I do feel that for both feminist and MRA the loudest most extreme members make the most noise, and the legitimate points each group makes gets drowned in that effluvia.

        Tarnished make yourself at home, dont worry about derailing anything

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    2. Daan,

      I will be more than happy to write that post for ya ! Would you want to to address specifically: “isn’t trying very hard not to be racist, racism as well? ” Or talk about racism in a more general context or something specific?

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      1. Dude, you can write whatever you want. I’d like you to write a post on it, what you think is the “solution”. I, for example, think racism is an ignorance issue. In Holland we say: “What a farmer doesn’t know, he doesn’t eat.”

        If someone is not familiar with black people, he will not be accepting to them. That’s my opinion.

        How can we bring people together? How can we educate? Is there a way to erase racism in the “civilized” world?

        I’d love you to shed light on that. 🙂

        Like

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