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View Diary: My daughters watch the inauguration and a Happy Days rerun on same day: how far we've come on race (86 comments)

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  •  Americans are good at spotting past racism. (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary and your account of your daughter's reactions and expereinces.  What I have to offer up here is not to denigrate your diary in any way, but to offer up an expansion of this part of it - "Yes, racism lives on in some."

    In my opinion, the reason that Happy Days episode would be a hit with 70's audiences, is that they got to look back 20 years to an earlier 50's America and say "Wow, look at that racism they had back then." And then can think to themselves that isn't it great how far they've come since then. But they might have found it harder to come to grips with racism that was actually happening in the 70's. (Though no doubt an argument could be made that the show's writer's were tangentially focusing on 70's racism)

    Similarly for us, we get to look back upon that 70's audience and marvel how they were shocked and gasped about the inter-racial issue. And we can tell ourselves how far we've come since then.  And it's not that I don't think that we've come far, but again it's easier for us to find fault with a 70's audience for their faults than it is to say, come to grips with the institutionalized racism prevalent in the American prison and justice system - TODAY.

    I again want to thank you for the diary, and I want to emphasize that I think it's important to look back and note history and see where we've been and where we are, and your diary did that and I appreciate you sharing it.

    Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

    by BentLiberal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:37:14 PM PST

    •  I agree, and look forward to the time when (3+ / 0-)
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      BentLiberal, raincrow, Lucy Montrose

      our stance on gay rights now, which seems to have finally become progressive in a mainstream way, will seem antiquated and small minded. There's no doubt that racism is still alive and well and, as you say, continues to be a major factor in American life. But, in this diary, and in connection to this inauguration day, and this MLK day, it feels good to celebrate how the younger generations are less and less focused on race. Celebrating some positive changes, as I said, does not feel to me like something that inspires complacency but further action.

      I live in Louisiana and am not naive about racism. But I truly do see less and less of it every day. And, in truth, I don't see it in my daughters. They look around their schoolroom and can't even comprehend the different boxes people would be put into if we had to put people in boxes. There are people of so many different types of heritage. I honestly don't think they've ever asked how, or why, you would separate and define people by those qualities rather than the qualities they display in the classroom every day.

      I don't think I'm particularly astute at spotting past racism: there is no one alive who wouldn't have noticed the contrast between the inauguration and this episode of Happy Days. I wasn't faulting the 1970s audience, either, at all. The show was an attempt at dealing with racism at the time and it showed the flaws and the progress of that era. The contrast just struck me.

      I do see present racism. But, I don't see it in my girls, and I don't see it in their classroom, as it was when I was their age.  I can only be thankful to those who fought to make that happen and do what I can to continue the progress on all levels.

      "The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not...." -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by waydownsouth on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:23:52 PM PST

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      •  I'm sure that's a testament (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, Lucy Montrose

        to you and others for not letting that type of attitude you saw as children become ingrained and that it has not been passed on or taught to the children in your girls' classroom.

        And you're right, it is an appropriate time to celebrate progress.

        Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

        by BentLiberal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:32:19 PM PST

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