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View Diary: See, race....its a truth stranger than fiction (54 comments)

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  •  Good diary. This part, not so much: (4+ / 0-)
    So, to all of you who are outraged over the events in Ferguson. Well. I suppose thats really nice. And to all those taking 'action' in some form. Well. Good for you.
    People who are outraged are not looking for a gold star.  Those who are "taking action in some form" aren't, either, and no one is asking you to award one, if you're not in the mood.  But neither is it necessary to verbally snark at the people who are friends and allies because they can't effect change fast enough.  No one's asking for your gratitude, but I'm pretty sure that patronizing them doesn't speed things up.
    •  I didn't read it as patronizing (39+ / 0-)

      but that's me.  I read it more as being resigned to having to deal with this your whole life - it just. doesn't. stop.

      This resonates for me:

      But I've seen more than my share of outrage and investigations and trials and marches and counter marches and elections and blogs and counter blogs and the whole nine yards. I know that at the end of the day, we will still have race fiction as reality and so called black people will be on the 'this sucks' end of it.
      Nothing changes much for me - even though I'm aware of and teach the social constructions of race.  Because I can't change my face, my skin color and neither can my black and latino family members.

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 07:46:59 AM PDT

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      •  Do you believe in any (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slowbutsure, Denise Oliver Velez

        concept of 'race'?  

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 07:49:45 AM PDT

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        •  No. And the entire American Anthropological (22+ / 0-)

          Association agrees with me.

          I do believe in genetics and ancestry, from a scientific and medical standpoint, but that isn't the same as "race". And how "race" is constructed can be very different depending on where you are. So here I am "black". In Brazil I am "white" (one of the white varieties).

          Now if you ask me about "culture" I will probably answer differently - I am culturally black American, (for the large box - since there are multiple flavors) with a few other cultures added in that spice the mix.

          So when you ask me what I am - I am black - I check black on the forms - if I fill them out.  It depends.

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 08:35:30 AM PDT

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          •  Sadly, it only matters so much what you "believe" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937, Denise Oliver Velez

            race, or, in fact, what you obviously know to be true about race. I don't think I'm not your point when I say that as long as the vast majority of our country believes in race, you and the rest of us are forced to live with the consequences of that belief. Good on you for doing your damnedest to educate folks. Every seed that gets planted is a start towards changing our country's misconceptions.

          •  There is one thing that makes me think change is (4+ / 0-)

            possible and that is the blurring of racial lines within families.  That is so much more mainstream than it was even 20 years ago.  I've mentioned before that I am the white grandmother of "mixed" grandchildren.  I've seen my family take a different view of race.  Even the ones who will never lose the racism they grew up with are more aware.  It's different when you are forced to think, "that could be my son/grandson/nephew".  It's a sad thing about humans but many people don't care until they have some skin in the game.  And while I am very liberal I am aware of what an impact it has on very conservative people in my very conservative part of the world.  When I see a white, very conservative woman wheeling her "mixed" grandchildren around the Mall or wherever I feel hopeful.  Because love can change things.  And loving a child, no matter what the skin color matters.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 10:21:23 AM PDT

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            •  It's a very slow process though. Intermarriage (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kfunk937, Denise Oliver Velez

              rates are pretty low.

              •  Maybe. But they have got to be exponentially (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Denise Oliver Velez, FG

                greater than 20 years ago.  And if we are only counting "married" interracial couples I think that would be low figure.  Maybe it' just where I live, or maybe I pay attention more now because of my own grandchildren, but I've been surprised how many mixed race children there are.  In the pre-school class my grandson attends probably a third of the children are mixed.  Same for my granddaughter's elementary school.  Well...even if it is slow I think it is the best hope for better race relations.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:25:58 PM PDT

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      •  I agree. (27+ / 0-)

        This resonated with me:

        And to most of the black folks in America, who have to come up with some sort of old saying to get through the day ('more things change, more they stay the same' comes to mind),
        After a while you begin to feel like an old broken record.
        How many times and in how many different ways can you say the same thing?
        It does something to the soul, you know. And none of it good.

        Maya Angelou: “There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”

        by JoanMar on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 08:06:12 AM PDT

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      •  I didn't read it as patronizing either (8+ / 0-)

        It was said as much to me by my late bro in law and nephew and by my niece, all from St. Louis BTW. They all felt that they would live their lives in a racially divided country.

        But, the one of the three who had the most hope, Stan, my BIL voted. Always. Niece and late nephew? Never. They didn't feel it would make a difference. Stan grew up with the fight, he was born in '32. He voted and he had more hope.

        Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

        by high uintas on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 08:52:44 AM PDT

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      •  Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, Watts, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar, TomP, Angie in WA State, kfunk937

        tawana brawley, Medgar Evers, LA, Chicago... and on and on and on.  It doesn't stop.  

      •  Believe me, I get this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kishik, Angie in WA State

        In no way do I not understand the resignation, the feeling of hopelessness.  If you chain an elephant by its foot for 25 years, it doesn't matter who takes the chains off or how it happens--nothing unwinds the fact that the elephant was chained for 25 years.  But I've got to believe that this can't go on forever and ever, amen.  The alternative is to lose heart and hope, and then we're all going to be chained elephants.  Maybe none of us are going to live long enough to see this shit stop, but maybe our kids will or their kids, and that's why we can't stop and we can't give up.

        •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

          I commend you for your optimism, despite all the evidence to the contrary. But I really can't be bothered to care about this kind of thing.

          In America, if youre black, its okay to be killed. Thats life. Consider yourself fortunate if you arent. America has always been that way and always will be so long as there is an America. Black folks know this instinctively and also know that there is nothing that can be done about it.

          If youre white, just be happy you arent black and move on.

      •  Neither did I... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        there were more than a few people I work with who said with a shrug and a tired, "Again?"

        Meaning another young black man shot down and murdered for no reason by the police.

        There will be no humanity without forgiveness. There will be no forgiveness without justice. But justice will be impossible without humanity. – Yolande Mukagasana

        by kishik on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 10:09:05 AM PDT

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      •  How anyone can see anything less or more than (3+ / 0-)

        resignation to the reality of life for men of color in America in BBB's tone is beyond me.

        It's not patronizing to note that the current attention paid to the murder (yes, I'm 'prejudging' this case) of one young black man in one small town is nothing special - because it keeps on happening and happening and happening... Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and the hundreds or thousands of young black men who lost their lives in between those two killings.

        And the outcry for some semblance of Justice comes after each one.

        And nothing seems to change. Anywhere.

        So yeah, not patronizing.

        Resignation to the reality of Life in America for black men.

        For me, a white woman living in the smallish west coast town I grew up in, where there was ONE black student in my grade school, and I believe 3 black students in my high school (of around 1200 total students), this reality is heartrending at times. Mostly though, coming to understand, as much as I can from my white perspective the unjust society we all live in has been a journey of eye-opening and deeply moving import to me...

        Because I have two children with Native American heritage, and now grandchildren with Latino heritage, too.

        So the continuing fight for justice for people of color in America? It's my fight, too, now.

        And like @elonjames tweeted a day or so ago, in relation to the events of #Ferguson MO and how our nation moves forward on the issue of Race, I plan to #STAYWOKE.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 11:30:00 AM PDT

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    •  I didn't read it as patronizing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, kfunk937

      I read it as a good and necessary reminder for those of us who are (and are seen as) white and get the benefit of white privilege.

      I am always learning.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

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