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View Diary: Pat Buchanan, Caught Making Sense! (331 comments)

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  •  You are describing bigotry. (0+ / 0-)

    Racism is a cultural phenomenon that individuals reinforce with their bigotry.  White people in this country never suffer from racism.  You can see racism play out in studies where white man with a felony and a black man have equal rates of getting hired - even if none of those individual people doing the hiring believes they are racist.  

    •  If you are defining "racism" (0+ / 0-)

      as "The idea that white people are superior, and all the actions that result from that belief," then of course, you are correct.

      I'm using the word in a larger context, to describe any differentiation of people based on "race". In this context, nobody gets a pass, and nobody gets automatic guilt. It is solely one's individual actions and thoughts that define whether one does or does not deserve the title of "racist."

      Ultimately, it is only my own moral choices that I can be held responsible for, because that is the limit of my control.

      --Shannon

      •  Sure, but when people are screaming (0+ / 0-)

        about racism that white people suffer in this country, it is disingenuous.  It ignores all the privilege that comes with being white.  Further, the common stereotypes that are depicted about white people don't even remotely compare with the common stereotypes about black people.  We aren't working from a level playing field here.

        •  No argument about playing feilds was being made.. (0+ / 0-)

          at least not by me.

          We also have a nasty tendency to use race as a proxy for discussions of class.

          I've never been black, but I've been poor. And I'm pretty confident that I'd be better off, overall, as a rich black man than as a poor white man. But we don't talk about that part of it, because it would contradict our most important social myth, that we have created a classless society.

          This cripples us in so many ways. For example, what if we moved the college admissions affirmative action stuff from a race-based system to an income-based system? This would still benefit minorities, as they're statistically more likely to be poor, but it puts the poor white people's interests where they should be... with the poor black and brown people. Instead, the (predominately but not exclusively white) rich folks set the poor black people against the poor white and brown people, and vice-versa, and verce-visa, and every permutation you can imagine.... while they make off with all the fucking money.

          If you have been, as I was, homeless and poor in a mixed-race environment, you will immediately recognize what I'm talking about. The Whites hate the blacks and the Latinos, the blacks hate the whites and the Latinos, the Latinos hate the whites and the blacks, the whites and the blacks hate the Jews, everybody hates the Asians... and around and around it goes.

          I've also noticed that, in the circles of wealth, they are much better at aligning their interests in the way that works best for themselves. In other words, the rich black and Latino folks that I have known have been much closer to the rich white folks, at least in their disdain for the poor... regardless of color.

          In general terms, rich folks are more likely to define "us" and "them" in terms of class, while poor folks tend more to do it in racial terms. Granted, this is a generalization, but it's based on years of observations in both worlds, some of them simultaneous.

          --Shannon

          •  A zero sum game? (0+ / 0-)

            The problem is that among poor blacks, whites, and Latinos, there is an assumption that it is a zero sum game.  A job for a black person is one less job for a white person.  A job for a Latino is one less job for a black person.  No one unites to look around and wonder why there are not enough good jobs for everyone.  Race/ethnicity is used to divide and conquer.  The same goes for college admissions. You want to move affirmative action to consider class instead.  I want to know why we don't do both.  Why do we have to choose between those two?  Because once again it is considered to be a zero-sum game between poor whites, blacks, and Latinos.  It shouldn't be. More spots are filled by legacy candidates than by affirmative action candidates.

            A rich black person may be better off than a poor white person.  But anytime we are talking about equal classes (or relatively equal classes), white is better.  That is where you see racism coming through.  This is why I find it problematic that a white person would complain about some minor discrimination that they suffered at the hands of a black person, and calling it racism.

            I'm not sure I agree that what happens about the alignment of rich people together though.  The only black people I know who have money (I wouldn't call them rich though) are the first ones in their family to ever have money, so their families are still struggling.  Perhaps it is different after you are several generation removed by poverty, but that is a rarity in the black community.

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