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The Lament Of An Old Black Radical

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011

This is one of those posts where I’m not expecting a lot of commentary because it’s going to be hard for a lot of people to relate to it. It’s not a ramble, and it’s not necessarily a rant, though there’s some rant in it. It’s basically a post where I just have to have my say; some people might be uncomfortable with it.

On Tuesday while on Twitter, I retweeted something that was posted stating that there are more black men in prison now than there were people in slavery back in 1850. Within an hour one of my local friends kind of discounted it, at least in my mind, by saying the physical numbers of people are different now than they were back then.

I had a quick flash of anger for many reasons. One, I felt like it was another white person discounting something because it was about black people. Two, I’d been reading about some mess with aged idiot Pat Buchanan, who’s on tour promoting his new book that basically says diversity in America is going to “wipe out white people”; I mean, what the hey? And he had just finished promoting it on a white supremacist radio program, which I didn’t even know existed outside of Rush Limbaugh (yeah, I said it!).

But there’s a three, and it’s a hard one to deal with. I’m going to call it the lament of the old black radical, which is kind of how I feel at times. I’m not as bad a radical as Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have turned out to be (for those who don’t know them, they’re both black radicalists, for lack of a better term, that believe President Obama should be beholden to them and every other black person in America just because we’re all black, yet don’t realize that the reason he’s not giving them the time of day is because they started trashing him even before he was elected president and have both lost some of their most ardent former supporters at this point, which includes me). But I’m holding onto things that I just can’t let go at this stage, late 2011, because I truly believe things haven’t really changed all that much from 1971.

What, 1971? Yup, that’s when I read my first book on black history, the shortened version of a biography of Frederick Douglass. That got me going, and for the next 10 years I read all sorts of books on black heroes and leaders and history and the like. At times I was the angry guy because people I knew kind of wanted to avoid looking at it and wanted to dismiss it. After all, early on I was living on an air force base in Maine, where I found few people who’d even talk with me about it, and then I moved to Liverpool NY, where the school had more than 3,800 kids but maybe only 50 of us were black. In college my first two years I was the only black kid in my dorm, and I think by my last year there might have been 7 or 8 of us in the dorm. There were so few black people on campus that one of the theater professors, who did happen to be black, put on the play Harriet Tubman yet asked every black student he saw to be in it, including me; wasn’t happening, but I did go see it.

Yet, Oswego State, where I went to college, had an African-American Studies program, and the head of the department was one Dr. Alfred Young. He embodied the spirit of the radical, from the long sideburns to the beard to the long fingers that had that Malcolm X point to them. I took almost every one of his classes, as that was my minor, and we’d debate things in class that no one else ever participated in, probably because I doubt any of them had read the books I’d read before coming to college. And it was fun; I had my outlet, I had my statistics, and I was ready to go at anyone who violated my “blackness”, to a degree. I say it that way because if I’d only had black friends in college I’d have been a lonely guy. lol

I had lots of friends, and lots of other people who knew who I was; it was kind of easy to be known by a certain point. I got lots of invites to parties and lots of free food and milkshakes and loved it. I had a white girlfriend I loved, and because the one really hot black girl in college didn’t date black men; go figure. lol Yet I got to be the black guy, the one many people came to and asked stupid questions, the one who’d field the stupid statements like “I don’t think of you as black” and think it was a compliment until I set them straight. I was the one who told them how Ronald Reagan didn’t care about black people and how John Wayne had said black people made bad actors because they weren’t all that smart and how Lincoln didn’t free the slaves and Jim Crow laws and many other things.

And then it was a time of many firsts. I was almost always the “first” or only in many things, and it continues even to this day, which seems a bit strange. And as I said earlier, not all that many things have changed when we look at positives, but the moods have changed. There’s no such thing as a black leader anymore. There’s no such thing as true advocates for black issues. Goodness, in a strange way black people are more of a minority than ever as Hispanics (or Latinos; take your pick) have passed us in numbers; if they ever figure out how to become a true political base many present politicians will be out of jobs. Black unemployment is the highest in the country; blacks in prison by percentage is the highest in this country. Black educational scores are the worst in this country. Most of the businesses in black communities aren’t owned by blacks. And, just to throw this in, one black Republican in Congress… just saying. Goodness, Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain don’t even want to be known as black; what the hey?

No one really cares anymore. And I lament that in some fashion. When did things pass me by to the extent that it can still be bad, or worse, and on one cares? Why haven’t I been able to let it go? How come I still feel like I have to keep my shields up when I’m in public, not only to make sure I don’t get jumped from behind in a sneak attack but being prepared for that time when someone might say something insensitive that I didn’t see coming? How do I react with a young white kid pulls up next to me at a gas station with a rap song blaring loudly with a lot of filth, misogyny and the n-word (I was going to actually type it but decided not to go there) being said over and over and then he looks at me? What could that kid be thinking? Is he thinking? And how am I supposed to feel instead of feeling insulted and overlooked and insignificant at the same time?

Goodness, I’m only in my early 50’s and I feel so out of touch sometimes. How is it that I touched a nerve when I wrote my first post on 21 Black Social Media Influencers yet when I wrote the followup 29 More Black Social Media Influencers it barely made a dent? Why is it that some younger black people, even some my age, are now telling me that it’s not up to me to try to save the black race, or to even think about trying to help it out, and that I don’t have to worry anymore about trying to set a good example because no one cares about it anymore? Why is it hospitals talk about diversity all the time yet there’s less than 3% black management, not including C-level positions where the figures even worse, in the entire country? And where do I fit in?

Sigh… as I said, this is the lament of an old black radical; I should have added “tired”. Do I ride off into the sunset? Do I continue to fight the good fight when presented? I don’t know; I don’t have any answers. And there’s no one to talk to about it either; sigh again…
 

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42 Comments »

I know things weren’t great for black people in 1950, but I think slavery was done by then. 1850 Mitch.

October 27th, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Well, it still felt like slavery in 1950. Lol

October 27th, 2011 | 12:46 PM

Althea, the first response that popped into my head was “easy for you to say.” lol

Then I thought about it and I realized that your beliefs are the beliefs of so many people; unfortunately, they’re not accurate. The whole country isn’t putting its differences behind them; have you seen what’s going on politically? Do you really believe that all this extra hate that the country’s been exhibiting politically the last 3 years has nothing to do with Obama not being white? Do you really feel that the drastic difference in unemployment numbers has anything to do with how I’m seeing things? And with pretty much every country now under terrorism watch, even from within, so you really feel that every other country is putting its differences behind them? I don’t.

We have to own up to the fact that your sensibilities would be different, not being native to the U.S. Sure, you did come from Rhodesia, where things weren’t great, but our difference on how we view Mandela tells us that we will see things differently. It’s easier, knowing something about history, for me to accept you saying that particular phrase than if you were from here and had lived in a predominantly “majority” population your entire life.

Yeah, maybe I am being a bit sensitive at times. But you haven’t totally had to live in my shoes. I can’t say I’ve had it totally bad, but I have experienced some things that most people in this country that aren’t minority wouldn’t even believe happens. Sorry, but there is no forgetting. I want to see some real progress. I have more stuff I could add to it but I won’t. I had to get my initial thoughts out into the open & I did that. At least you read it; thanks.

October 27th, 2011 | 8:32 PM
Carl:

The statement that you have retweet is absolutely crazy. Why people are trying to promote something with hatred, why they not write that there are more more black athletes or people in college than ever. About a month ago, I went ballistic on similar statement on Facebook. A woman was going crazy on immigrants in USA blaming all people that went to work in USA and relate that this is the main reason reason for credit crunch in USA. I just reminded her few facts of history and asked her where she come from, thanks God, one of my colleagues which is real native American from Klamath tribes, backed me up. Well, I hope human kind is not going to meet aliens soon, as some people may not like them if they are grey or green.

October 27th, 2011 | 9:03 PM

Carl, there are good and bad things that go on in the world. The easiest thing to do is blame someone else for your problems, right or wrong. It’s not really my intention to blame anyone, though I feel like I could. Instead, I want to fix things as I can, one person at a time sometimes, because it’s what I do. So I acknowledge inadequacies, unfairness, inequality and, well, bad stuff all around. I don’t only do it about racial issues, but those seem to garner the most vociferous response, probably from me. lol

I figure that at least my bits of radicalism are targeted, and I have a history to look back on. I obviously don’t agree with everything that happened in the past, but I lament that things others died for, the right to vote, the right to equal education, are dismissed by today’s generation. Sometimes I just feel really old.

October 27th, 2011 | 10:43 PM
Carl:

Unfortunately, Mitch it is like on football match and everybody try to blame for problems without looking deeply into things, probably because it is easy.

I don’t think that you are old and my personal opinion is that you are very modern and deep thinking person which is not afraid to express position and prove it.

October 29th, 2011 | 8:07 AM

Thanks Carl. You’re right, no easy solutions, but as long as we look towards trying to improve things as we can then it’s all good.

October 29th, 2011 | 12:35 PM

We can agree to disagree Althea, but I have to say my last piece, that being that it doesn’t ever help if people forget or don’t acknowledge what’s wrong. You can’t fix what you won’t acknowledge, and I think that’s what Jewish people teach us when trying to make sure that no one ever forgets that something called The Holocaust happened.

Other than that we’re good.

October 27th, 2011 | 10:39 PM

There are two major minorities in India. The religious one the Muslims who officially account for about 12% of our population, though the US says that it is closer to 18% and the Dalits. The latter are the lower castes of Hindus but have been benefited greatly by some affirmative action in education and employment through quotas. Rapid urbanisation has meant different things to these two with the latter exploiting opportunities to better themselves whereas the former tend to form ghettos and bury themselves in archaic Madrassa education. Among the Muslims, those who do get a dose of modern education available, make
better lives for themselves.

What is striking in both the cases is that they have people from within, like you, lamenting about their lot and pointing the direction that their people should take to come out of the ruts that they find themselves in. So, I am not surprised or shocked at your lament/rant. You are not the first one as I have read other activists like Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby.

Where there is a departure is in the so called indifference that you write about. These anomalies are out in the open, discussed and faced without embarrassment. I give you four versions to illustrate what happens here.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?278702

http://www.livemint.com/2010/12/26190827/The-rise-of-Dalit-entrepreneur.html?atype=tp

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-nomani1-2008dec01,0,4752.story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQq9pGWfj34&feature=related
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October 28th, 2011 | 2:54 AM

Rummuser, those are some powerful articles, and I thank you for sharing them. I’ll be watching the video later, since it’s about 6 minutes long. It’s funny because I remember us talking on your blog on the topic of racism versus the caste system and I’m thinking I remember us seeing this subject slightly differently.

I guess in a way I associate myself with Rajendra Gaikwad, where he has some memories from his childhood that he just can’t overcome while still becoming very successful because he still sees some inequalities. What I didn’t see was whether he felt there was anyone openly advocating for the Dalit, but that’s what I don’t see anymore. Not that I necessarily need a leader but sometimes I feel like I still need a movement that just doesn’t exist anymore.

October 28th, 2011 | 12:05 PM

In my own opinion this discrimination is completely over, and we can’t compare those years with these ones. Don’t be so angry!And as about number of people who are in prison now then it’s just a concurrence of circumstances, nothing more.
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October 28th, 2011 | 3:10 AM

Unfortunately Jeanie it’s not over; too many stories & statistics prove it’s not over.

October 28th, 2011 | 12:06 PM
Michele Green:

Hey Mitch!

I read this essay with GREAT interest, and I, like you, am inclined to be on more of the ‘black radical’ side in you. As it seems we are close in age, it seems we had similar, if different (you’ll see what I mean by this in a second) experiences here.

In a nutshell, I was born in Harlem and raised in predominantly black neighborhood (Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY) until the age of 9. Then my dad bought the family a house out in Long Island, where we moved and I graduated from a predominantly white high school (21 blacks in the class out of 480 graduates), so I felt compelled to attend Howard University in Washington, DC to learn more about and be more ‘in-touch’ with my ‘Blackness’, after living & being educated in a largely white environment. During my years at Howard U, I marched for 3 years straight to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a National Holiday, and I feel PROUD to have been a part of Black history in the making. I wore my cornrows and Afros with pride, and I learned and cared more about my culture during these years of my life than any other.

Now that you know more about my background, I feel very ‘lost’ in a sense because with the demise of MLK & Malcolm X, we have not had a Black leader that has galvanized the culture to further and make sure we keep the strides we have made as a culture. It is not even considered that without these folks, simple freedoms such as drinking out of any water fountain, eating in any restaurant, sitting anywhere we want to on a bus, going to the bathroom anywhere we want are privileges earned by MANY of us Blacks being maimed, jailed and KILLED, WITHIN MY LIFETIME!! And we, as people in general, are so complacent to think that these will be privileges FOREVER! Even as we have a Black president in office, why is it that our right to vote STILL has to be renewed every fifty years or so? Isn’t it time it was given to us PERMANENTLY?? There is a HUGE misconception that we, as a people, have somehow ‘ARRIVED’ because we have a Black man in the White House… who are we kidding???

President Obama was supposed to be ‘the answer’ to many because he is a Black man in the White House… However, if he committed his time to helping just the Black people, he would not only be ostracized by everyone else, he probably would have been assassinated by now. He is the PEOPLES President, meaning he has to do what’s best for ALL people, race, creed, culture, national origin notwithstanding. We have come a long way as a people to be sure, but as long as racism exists (and let it be known that it DOES exist, very heavily if not discreetly), then there is ALWAYS a danger of losing the gains we have made in this country if we are not careful.

Just know that I feel your passion and your pain on this subject, Mitch, so what’s a brother & sister to do nowadays, except to try to impress this urgency on our young people today, and educate the misguided remainder of the community – and society?

October 28th, 2011 | 6:18 AM

Goodness Michele, you captured me perfectly through your words here! Your major question, “what’s a brother & sister to do nowadays”, is my question. I don’t want to be the angry black man, and I don’t see myself as that or even close to that. But as you’ve seen through some comments here that’s how it’s perceived. We’re not angry, we just see that things aren’t better in many ways, possibly getting worse, even if there are gains in other places. I thank you for your comment; commiseration feels good sometimes. 🙂

October 28th, 2011 | 12:13 PM

I think you have to just keep talking about it so that the rest of us can’t settle into complacency about “well, it’s all changed since the ’60’s, that’s history. Well, it isn’t. maybe there aren’t separate water fountains anymore, but there’s still a world of hurt making minorities not only less equal but also separate.
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October 30th, 2011 | 10:08 PM

Althea’s comment is indicative…
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October 28th, 2011 | 6:41 AM

Gregory, I had to remove your entire comment, but I left just your one line so I could tell you why. I have a “no personal attack” policy on this blog, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. If it can be perceived as an attack then the post will be removed. If you want to reword your argument and not have it come across as an attack that would work, but otherwise I need to keep this a safe commenting zone for all.

October 28th, 2011 | 11:48 AM

funny, I felt that the original message was far more offensive than mine! it was a response to someone telling you they were going to “slap some sense into you” about the ‘truth that racism is over”…
Calling that comment out as racist is a “personal attack”? I think it’s calling a spade a spade.
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October 28th, 2011 | 12:56 PM

Ah, that’s what got you. I’ve known Althea for almost 8 years now and we’ve met in person. She’s a close personal friend of mine, so we’ll talk like that to each other sometimes. Yeah, from the outside that might look really bad; I hadn’t even considered it. I get you now; perspective and all. I thank you for backing me up; wish I’d known how others might have perceived it.

October 28th, 2011 | 1:00 PM

Sorry Mitch, I’m not a regular enough reader to know 🙁
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October 28th, 2011 | 1:04 PM

Althea, I apologize first for not getting to the other comment sooner; I was at a meeting all morning and just got home to see it now. I have addressed the other comment and if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll have seen a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago saying that personal attacks won’t be tolerated here. I just have to get here to take care of them when I can, which is usually quicker than today. I’m leaving your comment but deleting a portion of your last message, which kind of attacks back. I hope this doesn’t dissuade you from commenting in the future since I’ve explained it, but if it does I understand.

As to your first comment I think there’s this difference in thought when the words “put behind us” are said. To some, like me, it sounds like “forget it happened”, whereas you’re saying “it exists but don’t let it stop you”. One of the problems with the written word is that one phrase can take on multiple meanings. Still, I don’t believe one can fix it if it’s not addressed, though how one addresses issues today will be different than how they were addressed in the past. It just throws me off because, for the most part, I don’t meet those kindred spirits who get where I’m coming from. That’s the “old” part.

October 28th, 2011 | 11:53 AM

Exactly Althea; it all starts with a dream, and I like your dream a lot. 🙂

October 28th, 2011 | 12:17 PM

Mitch,
I thought I was the only one left from “back in the day.” People keep saying “It’s time to move on” and “the past is the past,” to which I say you learn about your future from your PAST.

While social media has allowed us to be “color-blind” to some degree, it also clearly demonstrates that racism still exists—even amongst our own people.

I know when I post things that are geared specifically about blacks, they are hardly ever re-tweeted and no one dares to comment on my FB page because they don’t want to be perceived one way or the other.

Many blacks feel they have to tread lightly because they might not get business if they come across as “too black.” My response is, “Guess how much business you’re already NOT GETTING because you ARE black?!”

Althea said….”slavery is done with…” REALLY? When you walk in MY shoes, then I feel you can make that statement. When I am passed over for jobs simply because of the color of my skin or am paid considerly less when I know considerably more than my white counterparts—that tells me someone is not interested in me as a resource–but as “cheap labor” and that, to me, is slavery.

Everyone should be given a fair shake, however, when it becomes clear that you have underlying motives or your pointed hat and white robe are revealed then all bets are off.
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October 28th, 2011 | 1:14 PM

Thanks for your comment Bev. You know, I’ve had people say that I shouldn’t write some of the things I do on my business blog because it might hurt my business; same about having my picture on my bio page. I’ve gone back and forth on the picture, but never on the blog itself. Goodness, not like I have people fighting each other to work with me after all. These things have to come out into the open, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one still feeling this way.

October 28th, 2011 | 4:06 PM

I remember being involved in a rather heated Twitter exchange w/ Mitch awhile ago about LeBron James. I made a statement that I thought was racially neutral, but Mitch took immense offense. When I re-read the comment, what I thought was neutral from my privileged white viewpoint, was certainly able to be viewed as patronizing and insulting to an African-American. I immediately apologized. My point, is that whites continually ask African-Americans to “get over it” and do not see the pain and hurt that they can cause–even unintentionally. I think people need to be much more sensitive to what people perceive–especially as we stare across what is still a black/white divide.
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October 28th, 2011 | 3:06 PM

Thanks for your comment Phil; I appreciate it. I tend to believe that when we interact with each other language really does become important until we know each other better. I like to think I do a good job on this and other blogs with the words I choose, and yet sometimes I’ll still find that someone has perceived it differently than I meant it. However, the lessons from Crucial Conversations says that if we care we’ll try again, find different words, to get our point across and continue having positive dialogue. I think we did that.

October 28th, 2011 | 4:10 PM

Nice share Althea. I’d heard that song before and it works well. I have to admit I don’t know the lady though.

October 28th, 2011 | 4:07 PM

Hey Mitch,

The first thought I had when I started reading this blog was,”prison is the new slavery for black men.” I may be way off base here but that was my first thought. Just saying.

Let me commend you on your boldness to say what you’ve said. I know you must have mulled it over in your mind for quite some time. You definitely have written from a place of personal history, the experiences of other and the reading you’ve done over the years. Perhaps the culmination of it all is bringing you to a place of being more than an “Old Black Radical,” but possibly a “New Generation Black Radical.”

On a personal note, this piece had caused me to consider my thoughts and future contributions in bringing more awareness to the positive role models among Black Americans.

Stay after it my friend. You are not alone.

Ced Reynolds

October 28th, 2011 | 4:09 PM

Thanks Ced. You know, I did let it roll around in my head for awhile during the day, and the only way I could get it off my mind was to finally write about it. In an odd way, it wasn’t the new comment that got me but the old guard, Buchanan, who for whatever reason people seem to miss just what he’s all about and thus he keeps getting national stage attention to spout his old school brand of racial garbage. And hearing that he willingly went on a white supremacist radio program, which I didn’t even know existed… I know some say there’s no such thing as bad publicity but I’m thinking in this case it almost has to be unless that’s a market you’re courting, which in essence he is.

Glad I got you thinking as well; that’s the intention with a post like this, as I certainly don’t expect many answers to come from it.

October 28th, 2011 | 4:16 PM

Here is an excerpt of what Pat Buchanan said…..(when I saw this come into my journalist update today, I had to post it on my FB page. Of course, none of my white friends have commented. SURPRISE! SURPRISE!)

“America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known … no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.” ~Pat Buchanan
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October 28th, 2011 | 4:23 PM

And there you have it, the “code words”, because all that money wasn’t spent on black people but poor people, and overwhelming those folks aren’t black throughout the entire country; sheesh!

October 28th, 2011 | 4:34 PM

First, I’d like to say GREAT Post and great dialogue. I can’t thank you enough for posting. Born in the mid 60’s my generation was the first to “benefit” from the many marches, protests and hard work of the black people of our past and as such we were the first generation to experience a certain degree of change. I think in a nutshell; although there were outward changes and there were some people that have benefitted to a certain degree, more change needs to happen. Primarily what needs to change is the mindset of people and that is something that no amount of marching or protests can change.

Since the election of Barack Obama instead of seeing positive change we are seeing all of the real opinions and what people really think of black people and it has indeed come out in full force. This is an indication that although there are some people that may have a liberal view of black people, there are many that do not. It unfortunately demonstrates that although things have outwardly displayed some progress, that the mindset of many people has remained the same, if not worse. Like I said, things can change but you can not change the mindset of people.

I must say that in all of my life I have experienced more racism in the last two years than I have in all my 44 years of life. To me this is an indication that things could very well be worse than they were just a few years ago. I anticipate harder times to come. I do so hope that I am proved wrong on this prediction.
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October 28th, 2011 | 8:11 PM

Thanks for your comment Anise. I can’t say I’ve experienced more racism, but it’s been a rough road as far as getting new contracts the last two years. I don’t like thinking that maybe it has something to do with race, since so many others have suffered as well, but the fact that I even have to think about it is disconcerting.

I tend to say that the election of President Obama, though historic, wasn’t close to a mandate. He only got 54% of the vote, and when you compare his pedigree with Sarah Palin’s you know that he wouldn’t have even been a candidate if he’d had her baggage coming in. For that matter if he’d had McCain’s baggage he wouldn’t have gotten looked at either.

And I can’t even say that Cain represents progress on the other side because he’s pretty much given the GOP what they want, that being a minority candidate that’s disassociating himself from his past, just like Clarence Thomas did. And that’s a shame, as another chance to show something positive goes out the window. Oh man, if only Jesse had been more of what I wanted him to be than he turned out to be; sigh…

October 28th, 2011 | 8:23 PM

I don’t really understand where your coming from, really, I don’t. I’m a white kid from Eastern Europe who in all fairness doesn’t quite understand US racial politics but I do understand the anger. Haters exist all over the world, no matter the place and that’s a fact and humankind will always have hate, one group will always hate another group for countless stupid reasons, forever! We need stop and develop some new ideas about life, and evolve already!
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October 29th, 2011 | 12:49 AM

Actually Cristian, a few years ago I might have believed that. Then I saw a documentary earlier this year that showed all the racism at soccer games towards people of color and I knew it was a falsehood. It happens in Eastern Europe as well, although you have fewer minorities so maybe you haven’t met any, and it may not be reported as much in your news but I hear about it here. Yes, we do need to evolve and try to see each other as just humans, but there’s always a group of people who ruin it for everyone.

October 29th, 2011 | 12:33 PM

I can’t believe so many people are trying to minimize what you are saying! Of course it’s not right! Of course it’s an embarrassment to the US of A to have so many healthy young men of color languishing in prison! Anyone (who really pays attention) knows that black men get stopped more by police (for routine checks) that job resumes with black names get passed over while the same people with whiter sounding names get called in for job interviews. We’ve got a whole lot of changing to do and right now unfortunately the trend is more ugly, more negative in this country, so sadly, I don’t think the hurt that we see and feel is going to go away. I do think that with time (and with our children becoming less and less racist as color lines blend) things will get better, but not near fast enough for all the little children right now with dads, brothers, and uncles in prison.
Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors recently posted…Pick of the litterMy Profile

October 30th, 2011 | 10:25 AM

Thanks for the support Mimi. You know, I’m all for helping to make things better, and I have some some positive things here and there. But it’s like Michele said, how are we on the right road when every so many years there has to be another vote to insure that minorities have a right to vote in this country? That’s just scary, but it’s part of the reality we deal with from time to time.

October 30th, 2011 | 1:55 PM

not to mention all the NEW laws that aim to make it HARDER for minorities to vote!!!
Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors recently posted…Pick of the litterMy Profile

October 30th, 2011 | 10:04 PM

Mimi, some of these politicians seem to have lost their minds, but that’s why it’s important for we, the people, to stay vigilant.

October 31st, 2011 | 1:41 PM

It seems that every time there’s a leap forward, it’s followed by a backlash. The worst period of racism in the US after slavery was abolished took place in the early 1900s — decades after the Emancipation Proclamation. The reforms of the 1960s occurred simultaneously with race riots all over the country and throughout that decade, and beyond. And now the election of President Obama has caused another flare-up. But I think you’re right, Mitch: the visible events are just a reflection of the invisible things that continue to go on every day and in every city and state. What makes it worse is the number of young people who carry the hatred forward with absolutely no understanding of the past. It reminds me of the ignorant Neo-Nazis, and it’s a bad omen.

I commend you for having the courage to write this post. But rather than toning it down, you need to take it further. Specifically, what has to be done? What are the goals, and what will it take to reach them? There are many confused people out there, and they don’t get it. They look at Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan and Denzel Washington and they say, “What’s the problem?”

As with many complex issues, it’s hard to absorb and understand things that are unfamiliar. It’s much easier to retreat to separate corners. But now the yelling from opposite sides needs to stop, and some sensible people have to sit down and start talking details. Who’s it going to be? I’d start with this question: In your wildest fantasy, what does the future look like?
Charles Gulotta recently posted…The Hard WayMy Profile

November 2nd, 2011 | 12:43 PM

>>>I commend you for having the courage to write this post. But rather than toning it down, you need to take it further.

I agree 🙂
Gregory recently posted…National Cyber Security Alliance Announces New Agreement to Promote Cyber Security Education Programs NationwideMy Profile

November 2nd, 2011 | 5:54 PM

Charles, thanks for what you’ve said here.

What do I want to see? I just want fairness, not equality, because that’s not possible anywhere in life. Fairness means that everyone, no matter who they are, has the same chance as anyone else at whatever they’re qualified to do, based on nothing except whatever the criteria requires. I want everyone to have to learn real history in school, real American history, all races and all creeds and all religions (not learn religion but about the people of that religion) and all sexual orientations and anything that makes people different. I want people to be able to talk about these things openly, their biases and where and how they learned this stuff and learn to move beyond it, to stop blaming one group for perceived inequities while making sure those other groups don’t have inequities heaped upon them.

What has to be done? Talk, talk, talk and then more talk. Proof and understanding. For instance, I have a training tape that’s kind of old now that shows two men, a white man and black man, responding to the same ad. They each sent out 10 resumes, totally the same qualifications, but their names were different. The white man got 8 responses back, the black man 3. The white man went for all 8 interviews and got called back for a second interview; the black man got called back for one. The white man got offered every single job; the black man didn’t get offered any jobs until the white man called to turn down the one job. Now, that’s on tape, all qualifications and degrees equal, but the names and then, well, take your pick, separated them as candidates. That still exists, and it’s proof. I want people to see that to see what really happens. And I don’t want them dismissing it for stuff it’s not, but to embrace it for what it is, or what it’s perceived to be.

And finally, I want everyone, regardless of race or sex, to be paid the same. Money is really what drives everything in this country and probably around the world, and if everyone got the same fair wage it would help eliminate a lot of issues. Either build up all schools or tear some down and give everyone the same fair shake at a good education. I tend to believe if people are happy then they don’t become alcoholics or drug abusers; I could be wrong on that one but if I’m right, we could really turn this world around.

That’s enough; whew! lol

November 2nd, 2011 | 9:02 PM