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View Diary: What Is Justice? (39 comments)

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  •  thanks for sharing (3+ / 0-)

    the first time I taught Social Issues, the first words out of my mouth were "I am a racist, and so is very one of you."  One girl walked out, but the rest waited for the rest, which was that we are all shaped by our racial experience, and to begin with in a society as infused with issues of race as is ours we tend to see things from the perspective of the race we are, but that does not have to be determinative.

    Thus I cannot accept the statement by Spike Lee that he can't be a racist because he is Black.  Oh yes he can.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:44:52 AM PDT

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    •  I disagree. :) (3+ / 0-)

      Spike Lee can be prejudice and bigoted. But he can't be racist, because racism (systemic) is different from prejudice (personal). He, like anyone, can have all the idiotic ideas he wants in his head about other people. But black cops are not swarming white neighborhoods. Black cops are not shooting young white men as if it were sport. The rampant rape and sexual assault of white women by black men was not a legally protected activitiy throughout the 20th century. Homes are not rented or sold in a way that advantages black people at the expense of white people.

      I don't even like the term "racism," because it implies neutrality, as if any ethnic group, at any time, might take the reigns of power and oppress other groups. That's not the reality. The reality is white supremacy - that is our form of "racism" in the U.S.

      You know this. But until we understand racism and prejudice as distinct, we'll never be able to understand this history or address the problems of the present.

      Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

      by cruz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:05:48 AM PDT

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      •  sorry, he CAN be racist, doesn't mean he is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cruz, Lilredhead

        he can just as easily have attitudes towards white people that are a mirror of a white racist.  That is still racism.  

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:08:49 AM PDT

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        •  We're talking past each other. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Had Enough Right Wing BS

          You think racism and prejudice are the same thing; I don't, nor do most involved in anti-racist work, honestly.

          Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

          by cruz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:25:42 AM PDT

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          •  I do not think they are the same (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster, cruz

            but it is still possible for someone of color in a position of power who operates on the basis of racial prejudice to therefore be racist.  If you prefer, Lee was challenged on the basis of what perhaps you might want to describe as racial prejudice and he denied that was possible since he was black.  I am disagreeing with that.

            THere have been several people I have known in Quaker who work on matters of racial prejudice and racism, who would disagree that a black cannot be racist. Several of them are themselves Black.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:41:42 AM PDT

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            •  Anyone can be prejudice. I agree. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Had Enough Right Wing BS

              And black people can be personally prejudice or bigoted against people of different ethnic backgrounds. Lots of personal experience on that end. But almost no one doing anti-racist work today would equate personal prejudice with systemic racism. They aren't the same thing.

              Again, I think we probably agree on most of this, but we seem to understand the language differently. :)

              Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

              by cruz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:51:56 AM PDT

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        •  It's also possible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Had Enough Right Wing BS

          for a disabled person to have attitudes of indifference, fear, and anxiety toward able-bodied persons. It's also possible for a gay man to be repulsed by male/female relationships and intimacy.

          That these personal attitudes are possible does not mean they have the same potential to become systemic and institutionalized as guiding principles of our political, social, cultural, and economic structures.

          Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

          by cruz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:45:55 AM PDT

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          •  but you need to recognize (3+ / 0-)

            that while it might be inconceivable that people of color will in the near future be able to dominate the national culture/political structure/whatever it can already does happen on smaller scales, sometimes within individual institutions sometimes across a somewhat broader local community.  Insofar as that is possible - and it is - a person of color can be a racist even by the definition you are using.

            And realistically, this is really a side track to my post.  

            I think it is a discussion worth having, and on a basis more visible to the larger community.

            So why don't you post a diary to kick off the discussion, notify me by kosmail and I will broadcast the link to get it eyeballs.

            I do not want to continue that discussion on this thread. I am open to being persuaded.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:52:03 AM PDT

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            •  Cool. (0+ / 0-)

              Hijacking or distracting was not my intention. Peace.

              Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

              by cruz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:59:30 AM PDT

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