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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905 [1]

I… am an American. I’m not German, Polish, Irish, Scandinavian, Russian, or British. I’m not Nigerian, Egyptian, Bengalese, or South African. I’m not Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, or Indonesian. I’m not Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jamaican, or Dominican. I’m not Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, or Pakistani. I’m not Columbian, Brazilian, Argentinian, or Peruvian. I’m not a Cherokee, Menomonee, Seminole, or Navajo Indian. I’m not Australian, Mexican or Hawaiian. I am an American.

My skin color is brown. Other Americans consider me an African American, but that is misleading. Neither I nor my parents or grandparents were born in Africa, nor do I speak an African dialect. I do not decorate my house with African artifacts, because I have no reference for nor am I familiar with African culture. I’m not African. My ancestry, on the other hand, is rooted in Africa and the Americas. I am a mixture of Algerian, Moroccan, Trinidadian, and American Indian (Choctaw/Chickasaw). Despite this, other Americans call me an African American. It’s what I have to put on applications and other important documents when race is considered. I prefer Black, personally, but it doesn’t really matter, because when it all boils down, I… am an American.

That is also misleading. For me to say that race – primarily in America – doesn’t matter, just simply isn’t true. What we call race actually matters a lot, and to a multitude of people. Theoretically, it’s not supposed to matter but it does, and more often than not, it makes for an uncomfortable conversation. For a period of years race was not often spoken of in public media venue. Because of this, a large majority of people in the United States felt that the problems with race were over. A large majority…

However, a large majority of the minority populace of the United States have seen things differently, but sometimes, when you’re a minority, you lack the voice to air what concerns you. But, thanks to honest reporting, the truth is beginning to be exposed for what it is.

Perception is a really big deal, though. I remember when I first heard about the ideology of a post racial America. The first question I had was, post racial for whom? And then, what would give anyone that idea? Because America has, for the first time in its history, a Black president? That doesn’t make us post racial. It does mean that some people were ready for a change in their personal ideologies and it did signify advancement in our past work on race as a nation.

But then all the hidden and suppressed racism reared its ugly head. During President Obama’s first term, it showed up through dog whistle tactics [2]. Some Americans went all out. Every type of stereotype was played upon. They questioned his citizenship [3], and they associated him with known terrorists because of his name [4]. They questioned his leadership ability. They refused to acknowledge his efforts to find and kill Osama bin Laden (giving all the praises to the military members whom he commanded. Well that’s like not giving bin Laden credit for 9/11 because he didn’t fly the planes, despite the fact that he gave the order to carry out the mission) [5]. The majority leaders in Congress made it known that they would make a concerted effort to block everything he proposed to help the nation so that he would be looked at as a failure [6] and they pretty much did just that.

Their plan didn’t work because Obama was elected to a second term. When that happened, the frustration from conservative pundits overflowed [7]. There was outright racism all over the usually moderate media news airwaves. Cyberpunk cowards, afraid to use their real names, slung racist epithets all over the Internet [8].

But this is not about President Barack Hussein Obama. His mention is only an example of where we are today. It is my personal assertion that immediately after the economic state of America, the nations biggest challenges are race related. Admittedly, I probably feel this way because I’m a person of color and because of my color, I see race in pretty much everything. I wasn’t always like this, but after being a victim of a race related hate crime that almost cost me my left eye and/or possibly my life, I began to see what my eyes had been previously trained to ignore. Circumstances of this nature will do that, I guess.

I have lived in urbanized areas all my life, where there were always people of color around, be it Black, Latin or Asian people. Although most of the White people moved out of the inner city with the onset of redlining and block busting, which caused white flight and the erosion of the tax base as businesses went with them, I still had plenty of contact with White people. They were my teachers, doctors, etc., and I was bused out to the suburbs to a predominately white high school.

Still, I don’t have a reference for living in an all White community, where there is very limited contact with people of color, so I can only imagine what that’s like. In that regard, I guess people of color and those all-White communities have a lack of reference in common. Segregation and separation will do that, I guess.

Having said that, I get bent out of shape whenever I hear a phrase like playing the race card. Racism can’t be excused away into simplicity. Unequal opportunities in this day and age can’t be explained away by the playing of a card game. This is definitely not a game. A friend of mine put it in perspective for me in words I wish would have come from my own mouth:

“To those who would claim that people of color are using a ‘race card’ I would say.... Let’s look at whose card kept them out of the American system of slavery, whose card kept them out of redlined districts, which card holders sat at the front of the bus, and which card got you VA paid home loans in the 1950's and college educations after World War 2, which card holders had their own schools and colleges that were paid with EVERYbody's taxes but only certain card holders could attend, who cards got them hired for jobs, which ones could guarantee membership in trade unions while keeping non-card holders out.....I could go on and on and on and on..... But heck, I need to go and find myself a, ‘I'm in the white people club’ RACE card!!! Holding the BLACK card hasn't gotten me shit......”
That’s a good summation of what some of us (people of color) feel when we hear that race card phrase. We know the truth of how the White community got at least a 200-year jumpstart on success. Yet when a few of us (people of color) succeed, we have to hear about how we wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for affirmative action and the help of taxpayers. In this sense, the term taxpayer always feels like it’s a dog whistle code for White people, because the dog whistled 47% of Americans who don’t work and just want “free stuff” (which sounds eerily similar to “welfare queens”) always feels like people of color. In social justice academia, we call this blaming the victim.

And as far as the talk of eradicating affirmative action goes, without White and governmental establishments being threatened with losing federal funding – because, of course, when they had the chance on their own they refused – minorities would have never been given opportunities to rise out of inevitable, planned poverty. I wonder if the people who argue against affirmative action really believe that America has become a place where hiring practices and other areas where discrimination is critical will be distributed fairly. I can’t see that happening, given the way the corporate media has portrayed people of color today. Perception is still paramount and affirmative action is still a relevant necessity for people of color [9]. As it stands, White women are still benefitting more from President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order 10925 and President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 (and 1967 revision) Executive Order 11246 [10], so even in that regard, people of color are still minorities.

I will reiterate that I don’t have a reference for living in a one-racially ethnic world. Although I have lived in decent communities and neighborhoods, I can’t say that I know what it’s like to live in an all-White, suburbanite “...All-American town [11].” How can I have been when the only other time I was considered to be all-American was on those occasions when I left the country. All other times, I have been an African American. Not beating a dead horse; I’m just saying…

But when it comes to terminology, I guess White people feel the same way when they hear the term racist. The difference between the two terms – playing the race card and racist – is that theoretically, playing the race card has little validity and is used mostly as a defense for being racist. On the other hand, racism can be proven in almost every major realm of American society. It’s unfortunate, but true.

Contrary to what this appears to be, this is not a frontal attack on White people. This is an address and an introduction to a series on race and prejudice in America. I believe that when people say that there is no racism in America, it comes from one of five misunderstandings: 1. Racial apathy. 2. Racist denial. 3. A lack of reference. 4. Racial naivety. 5. A lack of education.

I personally believe that the lack of education may be the worst of all of these examples. Those who don’t know because it’s not taught in school are the ones who may benefit the most from an education. If we do not educate ourselves and begin to think critically, we will continue to find ourselves in a divided nation that cannot move forward, one that will continue to repeat old patterns and ultimately, mistakes. I can start the educational process here.

On the collegiate level, when the professor presents something, it’s expected that the information presented will be doubted. That’s why professors send their students out to do research, so that they may discover the truth for themselves. That’s how to initiate the critical thinking process and that's how students begin to learn. As an educator, I feel it is my mission to educate, so I will do what my research has allowed me to do… educate.

References:

1.    Dictionary.com (2012). “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Columbia World of Quotations. Source location: Columbia University Press, 1996. Retrieved from: http://quotes.dictionary.com/....
2.    Ifill, Gwen (2011). Dog Whistle Politics: You Talking to Me? Gwen’s Take, PBS, May 20, 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/...
3.    Rizo, Chris (2008). Obama citizenship question goes to U.S. Supreme Court. Legal Newsline Legal Journal, October 26, 2008. Retrieved from: http://legalnewsline.com/...
4.    Joyner, James (2008). New Yorker Obama Terrorist Cover. Outside the Beltway, July 14, 2008. Retrieved from: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/...
5.    Harnden, Toby (2012). SEALs slam Obama for using them as 'ammunition' in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign. Daily Mail, April 30, 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
6.    The Associated Press, (2010). GOP leader's top goal: Make Obama 1-term president: Sen. McConnell takes hard line, aims to cut down health care law. MSNBC, November 4, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
7.    Manuel-Logan, Ruth, (2012). 10 Crazy GOP Meltdowns After Obama’s Re-Election. News One, November 15, 2012. Retrieved from: http://newsone.com/...
8.    The Associated Press, (2012). Obama election spurs race threats, crimes: From California to Maine, 'hundreds' of incidents reveal racism in America. MSNBC, November 15, 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
9.    Minority Resources, (2012). Affirmative Action Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.minorityjobs.net/...
10.    Nelson, Sophia A., (2009). The Real Affirmative Action Babies: Why white women are the real winners in affirmative action. The Root, August 3, 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.theroot.com/...
11.    Wise, Tim (2001). School Shootings and White Denial. AlterNet, March 5, 2001. Retrieved from: http://www.alternet.org/...

Originally posted to Will Smith on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nicely done, thank you. n/t (11+ / 0-)

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

    by FarWestGirl on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:58:26 PM PST

  •  Superb. /nt (10+ / 0-)




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:07:25 AM PST

  •  I prefer "Black" also (12+ / 0-)

    Because I do not see other races being refered to as Irish American or German American or Canadian American...I prefer the description Black also...

    •  Leaving aside (10+ / 0-)

      The fact that one's ancestral nationality does not constitute a race...the fact remains that Americans of European extraction refer to themselves n that manner all the time; spend a St. Patrick's day in NYC where tens of thousands of people loudly and proudly claim their Irish-American status and their Irish heritage even though the closest most of them have ever come to Ireland is wading into the surf at Jones Beach...and no one ever finds their embrace of their heritage problematic... Or those of Italian extraction who do the same on Columbus Day...but it becomes an issue when black people choose to be referred to as African-Americans? I am sure they would love to be more specific than that but that was taken from our forebears in the middle passage and chattel slavery; we claim the continent because we don't know the country on the continent... a few years ago, in another forum this subject came up and someone said this to me regarding the use of "african american":

      My feeling is that minorities united by the fight for equal rights at some point have perpetuated racism by viewing themselves as minorities first, and Americans second. I personnaly have never called myself an Italian American.
      I responded to him thusly:
      As for the appellation "African-American", your problem with it is that you are focusing on the wrong part, which is why it came into use in the first place. Your mindset demonstrates that it failed in what it was devised to eliminate. When many whites see me, they see the "african" to the exclusion of the "american". When many whites think of an "american", the image that comes to mind is not me, a 6 foot tall, 260 lb man of african descent. They see blonde hair and blue eyes and a white picket fence in front of a house where Dick and Jane and Spot live. African-American was intended to put to the fore the fact that black people are Americans... we pay taxes and we vote and we want clean water and safe streets and competent schools for our children just like you do... and in every armed conflict that this country has engaged in, ever, we have fought and bled and died for the flag and the republic for which it stands... in spite of being shat on by the very people who sleep under the blanket of freedom provided by the lives of ALL of the americans that have paid in blood protecting it... including the african-americans.
      He apologized and responded that he had never looked at it that way and that he'd have to rethink his position...

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:38:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I personally refer to my (5+ / 0-)

      white parts as my Euro-American heritage. It had really bothered me that my Native American side was Native American while my white side was just American.  I believe that if we are talking about our heritage that European American is a more honest descriptor than white.

      That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

      by stevie avebury on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:10:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very well done (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary. I will follow this with interest.

    Keeping a firm grip on my gratitude list

    by Up to here on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 04:18:06 AM PST

  •  Sent a note (6+ / 0-)

    to a couple of groups that I hope will republish this.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:13:29 AM PST

  •  White privilege... (12+ / 0-)

    White privilege is such a subtle and destructive force in America. We (white folks) don't like to admit it because it fills at least some of us with sooooo much shame. Then others want to completely deny it exists because they want to believe that they got what they go "honestly and fairly".

    Truth be told all white folks at the top of the ladder got where they did in part on the backs of those minorities who were enslaved, through law or poverty. And that is all there is to it. We have an obligation to amend the situation, to continue to make amends as long as the damage continues.

    I don't know why some of us see it and some of us don't other than we all vary in ability to regulate shame and be accountable.

    No I didn't ever own a slave. But my white skin prevented me from being held back, invalidated, and mistreated. It meant I was less likely to grow up in poverty or to be raised by parents who had borne the scars of power and control.

    Thanks Mr Smith...! We need to never stop talking about race issues.

    •  I have found (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows

      that the white people at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder don't like to recognize white privilege because if they do recognize their privilege, and they are that bad off, then they perceived as being bigger failures than they already perceive themselves to be.

      As a result, most lash out almost instantly with anger and rage at the notion that they have privilege. After all, they are still dirt poor and living pay check, working themselves to death. They refuse to acknowledge the privilege because they fear that in doing so, they are worth less as people than they are now since wealth is how self worth is determined in our popular culture.

      I have seen racism explode out mostly in communities with wealth disparity. Where the white folks are struggling to keep up an appearance of middle class, and folks of color are receiving assistance to live in what the white people perceive as being the same or better life style. If the two groups could tear down the social barriers between them, the white folks could see the grass is not nearly so green on that side of the fence I think we could start a dialogue. But, what usually happens is there is resource and job scarcity, and if the people of color are getting a leg up, the white folks are resentful and are egged on by the right wing AM radio and fox news talking heads.

      I don't know how to fix the problem. :(

      I think establishing a functional social safety net that ensures basic needs will be taken care of and debt slavery won't crush an individual for life regardless of race might help though. I think providing government work with a living wage to people who can't find private sector employment would help too.

      I hope all that made sense. :-/

  •  Nice job. An issue (10+ / 0-)

    you wrote

    As it stands, White women are still benefitting more from President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order 10925 and President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 (and 1967 revision) Executive Order 11246 [10], so even in that regard, people of color are still minorities.
    Don't think this didn't surprise the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Initially, they were surprised that the majority of claims were coming from white women, and none too happy about that because the EEOC wasn't supposed to be for that purpose.

    In your next diary I hope you discuss the access to services that comes with white privilege.

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:02:21 AM PST

  •  Wonderfully (4+ / 0-)

    and powerfully written. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next part in the series.

    "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

    by mikejay611 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:22:26 AM PST

  •  thanks... (8+ / 0-)
    I … am an American. I’m not German, Polish, Irish, Scandinavian, Russian, or British. I’m not Nigerian, Egyptian, Bengalese, or South African. I’m not Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, or Indonesian. I’m not Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jamaican, or Dominican. I’m not Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, or Pakistani. I’m not Columbian, Brazilian, Argentinian, or Peruvian. I’m not a Cherokee, Menomonee, Seminole, or Navajo Indian. I’m not Australian, Mexican or Hawaiian. I am an American.
    it wasn't until I travelled abroad that I was immediately identified as an American.

    Otherwise I am usually considered foreign in my own country.

    It wasn't until I travelled to Asian countries that I was not a minority in the sea of white - but in the blended shades of yellows and browns and coppers.

    Lack of reference - that is a big big one for me.  Even as I walk around New York City - which on the surface is huge in diversity and representing the majority of the world in races and ethnicities - most Americans have absolutely no reference to what it's like living as a minority in this country and always being considered "other".

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:32:45 AM PST

    •  Re: Thanks (5+ / 0-)

      Hola kishik - At this point in time, I am sad that I have to agree with you. At the same time, I really believe we're on the cusp of big change coming up. The demographics of this country are changing rapidly. You might find this article interesting: http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

      "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

      by lartwielder on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:24:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howabout

        but don't think within my lifetime that there will be true change.

        I do have much hope for the current generation growing up...  those lines of differences have grown much thinner for them.  Maybe in pockets of america there will never be true change - but I think that the "evil" media (tv, film industry, entertainment) to some extent will enforce certain changes.

        I don't mind slow changes... as long as the changes stick around.

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:52:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of when I lived (5+ / 0-)

      in Denmark. I was a study abroad student...a brown skinned American girl of West Indian ancestry with no cultural connection to Scandinavia. Some of the white American students didn't understand why they were always immediately addressed in English when I was not.

      Why would Danes speak to them in English and to me. a black American, in Danish?  In their experience, whether subconsciously or consciously I was a black American, who while I didn't have any connection to Scandinavia, in their minds  couldn't have any connection to Scandinavia. It never occurred to them. To the Danes it was the opposite. I could have been from "manywhere" from yes, America, to any European country to North Africa or even Denmark.  

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:40:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  while in Greece... (3+ / 0-)

        I was hanging out on a beach on Crete in the middle of winter, but with my traveling companion.  We were just chatting about something - and a guy comes up from behind us and says- I know you're from New York!!!  must have been our accents, which neither of us ever thought as that pronounced.

        He was a Greek-American, spending time with family in Greece.  He was just so happy to hear someone speaking english as he knew it - with a New York american accent.  :)

        If everyone just closed their eyes when speaking to newcomers, I think it would make a world of difference on how we actually related to one another.

        :)

        ps - as Asian-american, many americans typically still don't understand why asians get upset when they are mis-identified to their correct origin.  Just don't get it that no, I am not "well-whatever" because you don't know that Korea, Japan, Philippines, China and other asian countries are separate cultures and countries unto themselves.

        oh - and I also believe that food can be a great unifier when it comes to the introduction to other cultures, countries... and does help in spreading diversity - at least in the language of food.  :)

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:48:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We'll be post-racial (10+ / 0-)

    when a black President, or Senator, or governor, is no longer a matter of note. When it's no longer a source of oh so subtle discomfort to have a family member date or marry a person of color. When we all have the same access to justice, healthcare and economic opportunity. When a black kid getting gunned down by a sociopath elicits the same outrage and despair as a white kid.

    I'd say we're not quite there yet.

    Fuck you, I put on pants yesterday.

    by MBNYC on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:37:03 AM PST

    •  My Dutch family has went from being passive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows, MBNYC

      racist to not noting in a negative way the color of a person that is marrying into the family in my lifetime.

      Recently while talking to my ex-racist brother about his changing views I said 'Hard to be a bigot when all of your granchildren are brown.'

      We are not quite there yet, but many of us are trying.

      I see the acts of (mostly) Republicans trying to suppress voters and eliminate social and economic programs and in general working aganst the common good as desperation on their part. They are the losers.

      And Dutch is the closest descriptive phrase to tell you about my family. I wish I didn't have to use it, my family is American.

  •  Good diary! I prefer Afro-American (4+ / 0-)

    I realize it's a lost cause and has become obsolete, but that was my preferred term.

    In a way, President Obama crystallizes why we still need the term, Afro-American, as do the many friends and neighbors I have in immigrant New York.

    I think African-American is a term that is useful to denote all people of African descent or partial African descent in North America: West Indians, African immigrants and their descendants, Afro-Latins, descendants of southern Blacks.

    But -- and this is something lots of people, especially white people don't seem to want to accept -- there is an actual American ethnic group with roots in the south and in slavery.

    That's me. Joe typical Negro, as my college roommate used to describe us.

    Five of my great grandparents were slaves in Virginia, and one was a descendant of a slave in the Virgin Islands. Another was Asian (coolie laborer from India/Pakistan). There is absolutely nothing exotic about my Black ethnicity.

    Yet as part of this post-racial nonsense, the existence of an historically defined, uniquely discriminated against, unusually involved in big American historical events (civil war, slavery, every war, civil rights) and profoundly American group (in terms of culture, religion, food, history) we have in a sense ceased to exist for most people as a result of the post racial amnesia.

  •  Thanks for a wonderful, articulate, thought-provok (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Will Smith, MidwestTreeHugger

    ing article. I am looking forward to more. Recommended and tipped.

    "The water won't clear up 'til we get the hogs out of the creek." -- Jim Hightower

    by lartwielder on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:28:09 AM PST

  •  Tipped and rec'd (4+ / 0-)

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:33:04 AM PST

  •  T&R (5+ / 0-)
    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand."  ~ Atticus Finch

    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

    by BOHICA on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:49:16 AM PST

  •  Almost time to leave work (2+ / 0-)

    which is where I'm logged in at but wanted to leave a note, too, to say your thoughts resonate here (with me that is) as well. What I do know is that the issue of race in America is very complicated for a number of reasons. I actually prefer to keep it "personal" since for me that's where the only change that I can try to honestly assess must reside, or even if I can't totally honestly assess progress, it is the place where progress must take place--in me. That's difficult too since I can be either too critical of my black brothers' and sisters' insensitivity to my "progress" or elevated consciousness or too critical of my white brothers' and sisters' slowness to become as elevated as I think I am or so trapped in their retrograde thinking. That is, my perceptions of others' progress or lack thereof skew or get skewed by my own sensitivity toward others' appreciation of my progress (as I see it) on conciousness of racial issues, if that makes sense. The issue is so rooted in identity for Americans in part because of history (that which we share which contains so much pain and that which we'd like to heal over so that actual "relationship," if it possible, becomes possible). It takes effort, more than a lot of people might be willing to expend even on their most intimate relationships. You are getting into core discussion for what I agree with you is probably the most important issue for this country if it ever to truly progress socially, economically, intellectually and spiritually to its potential. And discussion of race probably can't really be separated from the economy as one of the most important issues in this country. They, the "issues," are as inextricably linked as we are, I believe, which also helps to complicate discussion, too. I did mention "race card playing,' by the way, in one of my few diaries here (http://www.dailykos.com/...). I'm pretty new here. Not self-promoting, but the post didn't really get legs and I would love to hear anyone's thoughts. Enjoy your day. Peace to all.

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:53:43 AM PST

  •  I guess I need an education, after all.... (3+ / 0-)

    I am white, in my early 60's and grew up in an all-white small town. Fortunately for me, I had parents who didn't look at the color of a person's skin when evaluating the character or worth of that person.

    Although I have always considered myself color-blind and have even fought for any of my friends who were discriminated against, you have shown me that I still have a lot to learn about how those "others" see themselves.

    Thankfully, I am still willing to learn and look forward to your future installments in this series. :-)

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