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It has been said that, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martins killer, might be a racist. I understand that no less than the head of the NACP, Benjamin Jealous, has apparently so alluded in a speech lately in which he referred to “Racial Profiling”.                                      
Certainly, for me, the images  of The Rev. Al Sharpton’s, forceful & repeatedly gesticulating arm movement as shown on TV, with its accusingly pointing finger, do serve to try to burn a racist contention into my mind.                                                                                                                          

Well, I am NOT a Racist but I find that I, by virtue of past experiences am  a  “Cultural Discriminator”. A concept, that has been unknowingly residual  in my subliminal thought but which has now been brought to my consciousness, via the use of the term “ Racial Profiling”.                                                                                       I venture here, that not unlikely, many of you who will read this Diary may be “Cultural Discriminators”  as well.
See why I offer this contention below.

A “Cultural Discriminator” concept was vocalized to me by my adult son during a conversation about the recent Zimmerman/Martin unfortunate occurrence.                                                                                                   My son’s contention was that there is an over emphasis on behavior related to cultural differences which maybe being called “Racial Profiling” rather than what it easily can be for many, namely “Cultural Discrimination” which, in turn,  well may be being mislabeled as “ Racism”.
My son referenced a blog article to me to read which is accessible to DK readers at:                                                                          
Now to try to explain the “Cultural Discriminator” concept: My personal thoughts regarding my anticipated reaction to some blacks in certain situations has been pretty well detailed by a commenter to the text of a Blog article at which was also authored by the author of the above “Say Uncle” referenced Blog article. This commenter, going by his “Handle”,   ”Joe Mama Says” wrote”:  I’m “ a statistician…. ..So to keep me and my family safe I’m going to play the odds by planning my activities accordingly.”()
 Further, I know that in Charlotte, NC. , there is  a neighborhood, near where I live, where the crime rate is reported as being 1 in 172 ( Ref: )
I also feel that what “Joe Mama Says” above (
)  would be my personal reaction in the hypothetical situation that I outline below.
But first, some of my personal history that I consider pertinent here: I grew up mostly in the South Bronx in New York. My neighborhood was predominately white, but we were close on to where the racial population mix began to change & quickly went on to became predominately black.  
On radio news, in my early childhood, I had heard about crime in a predominately black school there.  That radio news report was about a female student being raped in the school stairwell. I recall that I was sufficiently concerned on hearing this so as to be afraid that school districting lines (also a topic in the radio news) would be changed such as to cause me to have to attend that school.
Also, I recall a close male next door neighbor friend of mine being beaten & robbed in a park, in our predominately white neighborhood, by four black youths.
Further, I’ve read that according to Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, while 13 percent of the population, committed over 52 percent of the nation’s homicides.
So READERS, at this point in my Diary, with my personal experiences as outlined above in mind, I ask you readers to please place your selves  in the following hypothetical situation:                                                                                                                                      Imagine that I and a female companion are walking back to my Charlotte, NC home at 10:00PM on a well lighted major Charlotte street. However, vehicular traffic is typically quite light at that time of night & the only other persons I see are  four black teenagers approaching us on the same sidewalk. Their dress is with baggy very low slung trousers, tee shirts with cut off sleeves & peaked caps worn backwards. Heavy “bling” hangs from their necks. They all seemingly have ear bud wires dangling     listening to something from  supposedly electronic apparatus which I can barely see as objects held in their hands.  
Before leaving the restaurant ,I and my companion had been discussing a robbery that had just occurred in this very neighborhood recently.
So, given my history above as well as the hypothetical setup that I postulated, what would be a reasonable choice for me and my partner to make at this point in your readers opinion? 1. Continue walking toward the four approaching Black youths; 2. Cross to the other side of the street & continue on to my home,3. turn about and quickly walk back to the restaurant or 4.  A choice of action for me & my companion of your own devising, if any? (comment below).
I must admit that I would take action based on my ability to “Culturally Discriminate”, NOT “Racially Profile”  & I and my companion would return to the restaurant to either try the walk again later or call a cab.                                                                                                                                                                                     Now, I do not believe that this hypothetical action makes me a racist & neither did the author of the “Say What” blog article referred to above.
Yes, I am aware of the phrase that, “A rose by any other name is still a rose” but do you readers have other possible interpretations to make below given what I have had to say?


From the action options listed above, would U choose to:

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| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  This has not been a comfortable Diary (0+ / 0-)

    for me to write. No tip is requested.

  •  I just had a comma overdose. (6+ / 0-)

    And I think DKos is broke today.

  •  Are you serious? (14+ / 0-)
    the recent Zimmerman/Martin unfortunate occurrence.

    unfortunate occurance?  



    Oh, and personally I'd just carry on walking and probably say hiya.

    But that's me and I live in the UK, if I didn't do that I'd be walking backwards for the rest of my life.

    Get a grip .                                                                            

    "Rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal." Sarah Palin on Fox News 1.28.12. - HaHaHAHaHaHa! me for the next 10 minutes.

    by AnnetteK on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:48:03 PM PDT

    •  It was a tragedy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, AnnetteK, dollparty

      Also, "atrocity," "murder," or hate crime," would work. But not unfortunate occurrence.  

      •  Well it certainly was not... (0+ / 0-)

        ...fortunate in my opinion.
         Neither are the hate killings of "Gays" in parts
        of Africa nor the "Witch Killings" there either.

        I do not think that a smidgeon of perspective would be unwarranted in
        some of the comments made & I have read them
        all so far because I am inquisitive & I choose 2 look for & consider others opinions.

        Also, unless documented
        by reference to responsible, carefully designed & performed studies, I recognize peoples opinions as only that, namely personal opinion & I
        reflect on it only for what in my experience I
        feel such opinion may be worth.

    •  AnnetteK: Hopefully Ur GRIP... (0+ / 0-)

      ...while U R living in the UK is a very powerful one.
      My experience, the very first time I was in London,
      was to have been approached by a band of
      "Hippie" looking characters who told me that, "You better give us money or we will beat you up"

  •  You are not racist (7+ / 0-)

    if your powers of observation lead you to notice "difference"

    You are racist if you use race as a factor in determining policy or law, or personal actions.

    You may be prejudiced. Many are prejudiced rather than racist. What marks the difference is how they use their intellect and basic humanity to overcome the prejudice our upbringing may imbue us with.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:51:53 PM PDT

  •  I took one of the first courses in Black politics (4+ / 0-)

    at Cornell in the spring of 1968.  Among other things, we read Carmichael and Hamilton's Black Power and Robert Conot's take on the Watts Riots, both considered amazingly radical at the time and both real eyeopeners to a 19-year old ethnic liberal.  What still sticks in my mind after 44 years is a question in the middle of a nine-question final that read "Are you a white racist?  Explain."

    And of course I had to admit I was.  I don't think I am any more, but considering how that question stuck, it's something I have to examine in myself often.  If you're white, so should you, often.  It's the price of privilege, after all.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:53:02 PM PDT

  •  You're linking to full-on wingnut sites. (7+ / 0-)

    I just do not get it.

  •  Me thinks you think to highly of yourself.... (19+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry but you may not be racist but a little self absorbed. Contrary to popular belief, young black men are not attacking or killing white people in mass numbers. Unfortunately a lot of the crime you site in your statistics are perpetrated within the AA community which not only am I a part of but also policed (legally as a sworn officer).

    Sadly that young man you are crossing the street from in your hypothetical situation is in more danger than you. Not only is he being stereo-typed by you but by "self appointed neighborhood block watch captains" as well.

    Also, I think he would be very glad you crossed the street leastwise to be accused of walking while black and scaring white people... Newsflash, you are more in danger of being killed by your partner then him. That is a statistic you'd be better off study and understanding.

    Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

    by dtruth on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:04:51 PM PDT

    •  dtruth: I am not a member of... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Alcoholics Anonymous ("AA"), however since I was recently informed, at a lecture that I attended, that the statistic for AA cure rate is only 3 to 6 percent, I will not argue with what
      you have written.

  •  my curiosity is piqued. (15+ / 0-)

    While you were growing up did you also take note of how many crimes were committed by white males or females in NY? Or how many white men had committed rape in your area? Have you also noted the crime statistics for whites during this same period between 1976 and 2005?

    My point is that you have for some reason selectively attended to crimes committed by one group, while ignoring the same behavior in another group and subsequently engaged in profiling based on race and clothing. The fact of the matter is that you cannot determine who will commit a crime based on sartorial choice or race and you may be ignoring threats to your safety because you have decided that some individuals dont "look threatening" based on your criteria and potentially discrimiate against others because you have falsely decided they are a threat. When you engage in this behavior it dehumanizes and shames the person you treat in this manner.

    Sarah Palin is a fictitious character created by the media to close the charisma gap between Obama and McCain in the summer of 08.

    by smartdemmg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:07:07 PM PDT

    •  What I C as really dehumanizing is... (0+ / 0-)

      ..."Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer." ( )

      Talk about taking ones humanity away, those so
      killed have really lost their humanity. They are
      DEAD & no longer able to experience it.

      What is to be done about
      Black on Black murder &
      how is knowing about that supposed to reassure my feelings in regard to my safety in our mixed society?

      •  ??? (0+ / 0-)

        You do realize most people are victims of crime by people of the same race. Its a matter of proximity. People who commit crimes tend to do so in areas with which they are familiar and with people they know. It's the reason police first investigate a spouse when their partner is killed. So to turn your question around in a logical manner, "what is to be done about white on white murder"?

        You seem be going to great lengths to try to create a specious argument for racial profiling but your argument is quite weak. It implies that black people are inherently violent and thus must be avoided. That argument is both false and rather sad.

        Sarah Palin is a fictitious character created by the media to close the charisma gap between Obama and McCain in the summer of 08.

        by smartdemmg on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:31:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Citing right-wing sites as back-up for... (12+ / 0-)

    ...the views you express here is a really bad idea.  

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:11:04 PM PDT

    •  "the views you express here is a really bad idea" (0+ / 0-)

      Some "Street Phrophets" Blog commentators felt that way also.

      Are you trying to say that a Diary writer should NOT post articles to try to get DK readers
      feedback, via comments, to data expressed in the writers Diary.

      Meteor Blades, you are a frequent poster to the DK blog. Do you really write trying only to please what U perceive as what the bulk of DK readers seem 2 U 2 want
      to read?

      •  I'm saying that citing right-wing sites to... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, Little, smartdemmg

        ...back up your point of view is an indication that perhaps you lean right. There are plenty of places for us Kossacks to seek out right-wing points of view to educate ourselves in the political struggle we have with those folks. We don't need them here in our back yard.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:33:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Re: "Well, I am NOT a Racist..." (5+ / 0-)

    You are NOT correct. You are a racist. You racially profile.
    George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.
    And now, a concept, that has been unknowingly residual  in my subliminal thought but which has now been brought to my consciousness--your racism--is troubling you.  So, you would prefer to be called a Cultural Discriminator.
    But the fact is, you're a racist.

    -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

    by pat bunny on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:19:54 PM PDT

  •  Walking into a store the other day (15+ / 0-)

    I made eye contact briefly with a young Black man who was walking out.

    He looked into my eyes for a fraction of a second - and then quickly ducked his head, and looked down and away.

    He looked scared and nervous.

    I'm all of five feet tall, and I'm a 53 year old woman.

    He was scared of ME.

    No, let me take that back. He was afraid of “Cultural Discriminators” like you, who feel the need to cross the street when they see young Black men.

    He was afraid of people like George Zimmerman, who killed a young man for the crime of "walking while Black".

    He had nothing to fear from me, but how was he supposed to know that? For all he knew, I was carrying a gun, or ready to call the police on him, simply because of his skin color.

    It really hurt to see his reaction. But I understand it.

    You, I do not understand. At all.

    You can take that “Cultural Discriminator” label and stuff it. It's just an excuse to be racist without having to admit to it.

    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

    by Diogenes2008 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:35:25 PM PDT

    •  fear (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jewel33, AnnetteK

      I think all white people are conditioned from birth to fear African Americans, especially African American males. We live in a deeply racist society. What makes someone decent is their understanding that that fear IS racist, irrational, and wrong. Getting over that fear is a lifelong process. But it is the problem of white people. Black people did nothing to cause that fear, and should not be asked to behave a certain way to help white people get over their fear.

      I believe the factor that separates a bigot (dollparty for example), from a decent white person, is their knowledge that their fear has no basis in fact, that it is morally wrong, and the willingness to work to overcome that fear.

      I have found myself fearing people black males before, but that is my fault, not their fault. I am WRONG to feel that way. I am ashamed. And I try to overcome those feelings.

    •  This happens to me ... (4+ / 0-)

      and I'm black, but very fair-skinned.  So, here's what I do (try it, the result of seeing a big ole smile come across someone's face who wasn't expecting it can make your day):

      Smile, nod, "How you doin'" or "Hi" or even the simple smile and nod with no words.  

      I live in the city, but I grew up in a small town, and I still have that habit of saying "Hi" to people as I pass them on the sidewalk.  

      See a group of youth (white/black, really doesn't matter) blocking the sidewalk or the store entrance?

      Easy-peasy:  "Excuse me, young men".  

      People get all flipped out over simple human interaction nowadays, but I'm close to your age, and most of these kids could be my own, so I give them the respect that I'd want people to give my children.  

      •  I would have (0+ / 0-)

        But it happened so quickly, and he was gone before I had the chance to react. The eye contact was brief, because he seemed shocked and scared to have made contact at all.

        But when I'm walking down the street to the store, I generally nod and smile at anyone I pass, regardless.

        Wish I had that one to do over.

        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

        by Diogenes2008 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:19:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We all have those moments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          To this day, I think about that bank teller who cashed in my books of quarters when I was nine, and how excited I was to have dollars instead of coins that I didn't think to answer her when she said, "Thank you", with a big smile.  

    •  Diogenes:"nothing to fear from me"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...only the memory of racial history of Black men having been hanged
      because of the likes of U.

  •  The fact that you didn't even list (13+ / 0-)

    option 4, which is: Continue confidently toward the group, smile and say "Hey," as we walk by," says volumes.

    I live near one of the deadliest intersections in Portland as far as gang violence and shootings.  Does that mean that every young Black male I see scares me?  NO!

    What you have done here is rationalize racism.  

    Thumbs down.  Both of them.

    Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by CJB on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:35:54 PM PDT

  •  This is difficult thing to approach. If you (0+ / 0-)

    actually live or have lived in poor urban America and had to traverse the streets for work or school, you learn a kind of survival skills that almost inevitably involve profiling.  I felt guilty about this;  my own family includes mixed race couples and children.  But groups of adolescent AA males are something to avoid.  I had a few very frightening experiences and would rather face the criticism here than be a victim.  It is profiling and I guess it made me nominally racist at the time.  Now that I live in other circumstances am I still racist?  I suppose so if profiling is the test.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:39:27 PM PDT

    •  What other circumstances do you live now? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've lived in suburbia my entire life and get "profiled" everyday. It isn't just an occurrence that happens in urban communities.

      When the operation of the machine becomes so odious that you can't take part,you've got to put your bodies upon the gears;you got to make it stop.Indicate to the people who run it that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all

      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kudos, Frank Knarf for your courage in honesty- (0+ / 0-)

      tis something to respect as well as having the potential to enable constructive exchange towards greater understandings.

      Perhaps I am too idealistic in believing that many things can change if human beings listened-really listened- to one another.  That with listening comes better understandings...or awakenings.

    •  except that (0+ / 0-)
      I felt guilty about this;  my own family includes mixed race couples and children.  But groups of adolescent AA males are something to avoid.  I had a few very frightening experiences and would rather face the criticism here than be a victim
      Why feel guilty?
    •  Frank:"am I still racist"? (0+ / 0-)

      U kno what U R as do I in regard to myself.

  •  You might be a racist if you cross the street. (6+ / 0-)

    If those teens recognize you crossing the street as an insult to them -- which IT ABSOLUTELY IS because you assume they are criminals/thugs/whatever -- then the bi-product is that you've used your status in society as a club against those kids whether you meant to or not. It's a racist act in that scenario (not quite comfortable calling you a racist since I don't know you -- but I think the act is racist).

    Look, the "right" thing to do continue down the street.

    Things change if you see a weapon of some sort. Things change if you think they are menacing you. Things change if they make comments towards your companion. Things change if they are (objectively) boisterous or drunk.

    But if you are scared of some guys just standing around, that's on YOU. Own it.

    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgundy

    by malharden on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:40:00 PM PDT

  •  dollparty, I have to ask how would it make (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you feel if you were the hypothetical other person & someone approaching you did 2-4?

    How would it make you approach or live your life?

    Same background as you have laid out & same scenerio-only it is you & all those you know & love who are the ones being subjected to "Cultural Discrimination”.

    Perhaps, after deep pondering, you will find the answer(s) you seek.

    •  worldlotus: since U ask... (0+ / 0-)

      ... i grew up as a Jewish kid during the time frame
      of my youth, as I gave history of it.
      I was very well aware, as young as I was, of Nazi treatment of Jews, of Brown Shirt American
      German Nazi Bund members as I walked thru the German (Yorkville?,Yorktown?)
      German neighborhood, &
      I toss in the on radio ravings of the Catholic Priest, Father Coughlin.

      Nuff Said???

      •  oh dollparty, I am honestly sad for any (0+ / 0-)

        experiences you were subject to.

        During an all day hospital time today, I tried to read to keep terror at bay.  A birthday present book asked for & gifted.  While reading I found my mind straying to this diary & to you.

        I've not read but a few pages yet so I cannot guarantee that all of your heart-mind answers will be found by books end.

        However, from page one you will see almost mirror images of your diary shared by a variety of humans from many walks of life.  Beit a frontline civil rights activist from the 60's or a young exec from the 'burbs etal....

        The book brings out the full complexity of the thoughts & emotions of both blacks & whites in how they think & feel about  our country's obsession.  

        Our race obsession.

        From a KKK'er to Emmett Till's mother, hundreds of voices openly share thoughts that far too many are afraid to admit to in public.  Voices in my honest opinion that too few really listen to & hear.

        I have long respected (& collected) the works of the late Studs Terkel.  Just a few pages into this book, I feel it may be his most profound.  

        And perhaps contains the key to the potential to change the dialogue; change the landscape that permeates this country like no other thing.

        If you enjoy the oral history genre or would just like to find glimmers of an understanding of the tragedy that personifies the national mind, read the book:
         "Race" by Studs Terkel.

        It may alter everything you or I or anyone thinks they believe or understands about themselves & this country.

  •  What the Hell is Wed/Thurs About, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    WRT intellectualician trolls here?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:10:42 PM PDT

  •  two things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    * the formatting in this diary is pretty unreadable.  Get rid of the nbsp's, they don't belong here.

    *  Zimmerman claimed in his 911 call that

    This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.
    The reason Zimmerman claimed at the time he made that 911 call doesn't relate to culture, and I'm not sure how Zimmerman could have interpreted anything about Martin's culture by watching him walking around from his car.
  •  U R 2 a racist, IMO. BFN n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  res ipsa loquitor:See VIDEO (0+ / 0-)

    IMO,Taking prudent action is an important part of wisdom.

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