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Geechee Girl

Black Lives Matter

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VelociRapture
1 hour ago, iweartanktops said:

@VelociRapture, you're fine. I would say that "Black people" is totally appropriate. I appreciate your concern to be sensitive to is and our preferences. I can tell your heart is in the right place, so even if you did say something offensive, I would be happy to teach you. 

To the bold, that's precisely what I was trying to say earlier. I think it's important for white people to speak out, because in many cases they will actually be heard. 

I'm a fan of Tim Wise. I read his book, White Like Me, years ago. It's a great book, but certainly a challenging read. It forces you to look at things that can be uncomfortable. 

I can't remember if we actually read that in school or not. It definitely sounds familiar though. I'll see if the library has a copy sometime soon.

And thank you for letting me know it's an ok term. I want to be fair and polite in the language I use - so I want to be sure I'm using a term relatively accepted and approved of. Plus, I feel like it makes me less credible or worth listening to if I don't bother to get terms right to begin with.

And I want to be clear that I feel very badly for the times I've been confronted by casually racist statements and haven't spoken up in response. Being too shocked to say anything really shouldn't be an excuse anymore. I can't promise to always get it right, but I'm going to do the best I can to be a good ally. And I can promise to do my best to raise my kids to be better people as well.

@MeridaeI agree that things have improved with time. But I also realize that nothing is perfect and casual or unrecognized racism is just as harmful as blatant or institutional racism can be.

I do agree that we need to work together to find solutions - whether it's stricter screening and training for Cops or changing laws to help promote fair educational opportunities. But it's also going to be a personal battle that each and everyone of us will have to fight on a daily basis too. It's not going to be easy at all because many people have lived decades doing and thinking the same things that they may not even realize is racist. But I do encourage everyone - of all colors - to do what they can to try to better themselves and their attitudes towards others. The more people whose minds and hearts are changed the easier it will be to find solutions together.

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Jucifer

We all have our own views of the world and its people, which (I think) is formed by our upbringing and experiences in life. 

I wonder if racism is really a symptom of an inherent inability to accept other points of view. 

I am old enough to know that I am not an expert in everything. ;)  If I have a medical problem I see a doctor.  If I have a tax problem, I discuss it with my accountant.

If I want to know the experience of people of other races and sexes and ages, I ask them- and I listen.  I'm also aware that one person can't speak for an entire group of people.  It's complicated and I wonder when this stuff will finally become a thing of the past.  

 

 

 

Edited by Jucifer

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sophie10130
1 hour ago, Jucifer said:

My husband and I went out for mexican food last Sunday. On our way back we got stuck in traffic. A car ahead of us had painted on its back windshield:

"I am unarmed. I'm a black person driving."

:(

ETA: I thought this was awesome. :)

I saw a man who was making window stickers that said something like

"Don't shoot. I'm deaf. I can't hear you."

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bashfulpixie

It's so sad that as a nation we've come to the point where people are labeling their cars like that to hopefully prevent themselves from being shot by a LEO.

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laPapessaGiovanna
2 hours ago, VelociRapture said:

And I want to be clear that I feel very badly for the times I've been confronted by casually racist statements and haven't spoken up in response. Being too shocked to say anything really shouldn't be an excuse anymore. I can't promise to always get it right, but I'm going to do the best I can to be a good ally. And I can promise to do my best to raise my kids to be better people as well.

This! Me too. Thank you for saying it so well.

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Toothfairy

Can anyone please explain to me wtf does abortion have to do with black lives? I just saw Matt Wash. Racist white privilege male idiot post that if Black lives mattered it would also matter in the womb. WTF. The comments are disgusting.

 

Meanwhile black women are shamed if they have kids. Black women were sterilized up until the early 2000s. All because white people thought they were doing the black community a favor. They didn't want more black babies being born. And FYI I live in NYC. There are no abortion clinics in poor neighborhoods or black neighborhoods. There all in rich white neighborhoods.

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SilverBeach

@VelociRapture, calling us black people is fine. I saw no objection to this label in the other thread where this was talked about. For me, it is preferable to and more accurate than African-American, although I dont cringe at the term. I appreciate you asking.

Edited by SilverBeach

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Mecca

BLM has been pretty clear on what they stand for since the beginning. The movement is not just about the shootings. Yes, it was created after the Martin case, but the movement encompasses many issues including education, poverty, slavery, the judicial system, immigration, as well as LBGT issues. It may appear they are not working for something, but they have been fighting for several years to just have a place at the table to talk about change. They continue on even when the doors keep slamming in their faces....which proves their point, no? I mean, if all lives matter like many say, why not hear them out? It is not that they don't offer any solutions and just protest up and down the streets. It is because the system, yet again, keep shutting them out.

There was a town hall meeting regarding race issues and law enforcement last night that was prodcast on CNN with several of the founding members of the BLM movement along with a panel of people that worked in different areas including lawyers, educators, police officers, etc. After years of BLM trying to get meetings with different organizations and being ignored, Garry McCarthy promised that he would help facilitate meetings between BLM and Major City Chiefs Association, IACP, PERF, and NOBLE. I am not a fan of McCarthy for various reasons, but if he can help get the conversation started, that is a step in the right direction.

If people are claiming they don't know what BLM stands for, I can only chalk it up to those people not listening to their message. 

 

Edited by Mecca

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Ali

@Meridae I think it may be worth your time to take some of these tests. They don't take very long. I took some for the first time a few years ago they were quite eyeopening. Sometimes people don't realize how much they are unconsciously biased against another race.

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

 

Edited by Ali

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Meridae
4 hours ago, JillyO said:

See, that's your misconception. It's not only racism to want black people dead, or at least confined to their ghettos and treated as second-class citizens at best. No, the majority of Americans don't want that. But yes, I very much believe the majority of Americans are racist. Because we live in a racist society.

It's racism to switch sidewalks when you see a black man coming your way at night. It's racism for police to disproportionately patrol black neighborhoods, and to stop cars with black drivers for reasons for which they would never stop white drivers (such as a busted tail light). It's racism that black schoolkids get suspended for wearing natural hair, or braids, or dreads. It's racism that black people get eyed suspiciously when shopping in a nice store, rather than being treated like any other customer. It's racism that people wth "black names" get fewer call backs for job interviews. It's racism that drugs which are disproportionately used black black Americans carry much higher prison sentences than almost identical drugs which are disproportionately used by white Americans. Did you actually read the Facebook post I linked above? Because you should, since you seem to think only concious racism is racism. Just because the majority of Americans doesn't think that all black people should die or be enslaved doesn't mean the majority of Americans isn't racist. That's not how it works.

I never stated that those aren't racist attitudes. Most of the things you listed are indeed racist. Nor does it solely come down to conscious or unconscious racism/prejudices, etc. My main issue is that not only has no one given any solutions, but we're continually eyeing each other with more and more suspicion which hinders working together to come up with answers.

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SilverBeach
34 minutes ago, Meridae said:

I never stated that those aren't racist attitudes. Most of the things you listed are indeed racist. Nor does it solely come down to conscious or unconscious racism/prejudices, etc. My main issue is that not only has no one given any solutions, but we're continually eyeing each other with more and more suspicion which hinders working together to come up with answers.

I proposed some solutions upthread. How about attending an integrated church or other organization, or holding diversity dinners like we do in my town?  These are ways to actually get to know the "others", and to start seeing our similarities instead of differences.

How about more stringent screening for potentially abusive officers? Maybe even creating a national standard? How about more training in non-violently defusing a tense situation? Issuing tasers to all officers would help, I think. Officers must also work on themselves to change the culture that looks the other way at police misconduct.

Do you have anything to add? Be the change you want to see. Raising consciousness of the problem is the first step to change and that is an accomplishment of #blacklivesmatter in and of itself.

 

 

Edited by SilverBeach

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Meridae
26 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

I proposed some solutions upthread. How about attending an integrated church or other organization, or holding diversity dinners like we do in my town?  These are ways to actually get to know the "others", and to start seeing our similarities instead of differences.

How about more stringent screening for potentially abusive officers? Maybe even creating a national standard? How about more training in non-violently defusing a tense situation? Issuing tasers to all officers would help, I think. Officers must also work on themselves to change the culture that looks the other way at police misconduct.

Do you have anything to add? Be the change you want to see. Raising consciousness of the problem is the first step to change and that is an accomplishment of #blacklivesmatter in and of itself.

 

 

Those all sound like great ideas, honestly. And I reiterate what I said earlier, we need to hold politicians to a higher standard when it comes to our educational systems. How on earth can we expect to end poverty, which directly impacts racism and contributes to violence and drugs, when there are kids out there who cannot attend schools that are falling apart due to those factors? It's a bad cycle and it needs to be broken.

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lawlifelgbt

I live not far from the governor's mansion where the Castile shooting is being protested. I think it's a good idea for BLM to take their protests to places that are politically important like that.

But I disagreed with the highway block, although I am glad it was not necessarily during rush hour. I understand there's anger against police and the dominant majority, as I felt angry and scared for my safety after the Pulse shooting. However, blocking highways is extremely economically damaging . I'm not saying "inconvenience is bad!" But rather that many people who make poverty wages still have to commute, and that in those types of positions, being late or missing for any reason is likely to get you fired or your pay docked, which can lead to hunger, debt, and so on. That definitely needs to change, but in the meantime I think BLM needs to consider how not to kick those in poverty while they're down, even unintentionally. I'm not even necessarily saying "never block," but that some routes should be left open (e.g. don't block a highway AND all exit ramps), and BLM should consider making donations to shelters and community orgs, as sort of an offset and also to help their PR.

Blocking is very dangerous for protestors too. In Miami, they blocked the one highway that all the low-wage workers commute on into the city last year (as they can't afford to live there), and one guy was so desperate to get to work to avoid eviction that he ran over three people.

 

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MatthewDuggar

I just have a few random comment regarding racism in general and not really BLM.

One of the huge issues is the fact that so much subtle or unapparent racism exists in the USA.  I did a short stint in customer service with that magical company that's often referred to as the "Happiest Place on Earth".   Someone mentioned upthread about not being called back if you have a "black" name.  Well, this place has it down to a science.  If you're hired, you get a "stage name".  Sure there are many call centers and other service jobs where you use a fake name, but it's pretty obvious that they are trying to whitewash the experience.  Grandma Martha calling to book a vacation for her grandkids would rather speak with "Missy" than with "Laquisha".   There were also rumblings that if they upper crust thought you sounded too "black" you were expected to be phased out first when things got slow.  I found it amazing how a lot of this is tolerated.  

Also, unrelated to the above, our local "Town Hall" between the police department and NAACP was cancelled the other night because it was reported that two semi-automatics and hundreds of rounds of ammo were recently stolen from 2 private homes in this area since the Dallas incident.  The white police chief felt it would be too unsafe to hold the meeting.....  She referred to the fact that the attendees would potentially be massacred, (not any police force that might have been there, but I am sure that was the point).  It reeked of "protecting their own" in lieu of engaging in open meaningful conversation.  Why not move the venue and beef up security?   Who is to say that the actual owners of those useless guns would not have been the one to plan this potential massacre and not the one that stole them?   Granted, I'm not in law enforcement, so there could have been other credible details that might have made this cancellation justifiable, but I doubt it.  

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SilverBeach

Subtle or unapparent racism =institutional racism and microagressions. 

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sophie10130
4 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

Subtle or unapparent racism =institutional racism and microagressions. 

That's what I've been trying to say all over FJ lately. I stirred up a little dust, but I'm okay with that.

Racism is no longer being a member of the KKK and kicking Rosa Parks off the bus and spitting on Ruby Bridges as she goes to school. NeoNazis aren't the only racist white people in 2016. Well meaning white people are still racist!

If you have benefited from the oppression of black people in this society, you've benefited from racism. If you have a mortgage, that's a racist system. If you go to public school, that's built on racist tax codes. And it trickles down from there. 

But if white people don't let other white people (including myself) get off scot free from taking a good hard look at their internalized racism, nothing will ever change. Us white people need to see how we've benefited from the systemic oppression of black people from the very beginning of this country before anything can ever get fixed. It's definitely a hard pill to swallow and you have to stow away your pride, but it needs to be done. 

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iweartanktops

Thank you, @sophie10130, for recognizing these things. Interestingly, the original paperwork for my parents house, state that Black people were not permitted to buy it, or any others in the neighborhood. 

I wanted to share this article. The screenshot is a quote from it. this article

 

Attach8339_20160715_103621.jpg

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Rachel333

I support Black Lives Matter and have ever since I realized it was a movement, not just a hashtag. Now my brother is dating a girl who is very involved in BLM at her university. Her picture was in several prominent newspapers like NYTimes and WAPost during all the campus protests last fall. I think because of her influence my brother has become quite "woke" as well. (It kind of annoys me at times when he starts explaining things to me that I tried to tell him years ago, but mostly I'm really happy that I finally have someone in my family who I can talk about these issues with.)

I went to my first BLM rally on Sunday becaue my brother invited me to go a long, and  while it was good, to be honest there were a few speakers who kind of bothered me. One man (one of only two white people--both men--to speak) said that what happened to the murdered police officers was karmic retribution. Another woman said that while she mourned the loss of life in Dallas, she supported the fight and believed that the shooter did more for the cause than anyone else has. Another man said that there is no such thing as a good police officer because saying otherwise would be like saying there were good Nazis

The rest of speakers didn't have such extreme views and several had law enforcement officers in their own family. People are just scared and tired of being treated as less-than. A lot of people had some really good things to say  and I totally agree with them. I guess when you let anyone have a microphone you're often going to get some extremists.

I just don't like hearing "Yes it's wrong to kill people, but..." After the Orlando shootings happened I heard so much of this. Instead of just mourning the lives lost and leaving it at that, people, both Muslim and Christian, felt that they needed to add that, while killing is wrong, the "lifestyles" the dead people had been leading were also wrong. It frustrated me so much and I decided that if ever something like that happened where someone on "my side" did that to a group I disagreed with (I was imagining something like a shooter going to a Trump rally), I would add any "but"s to my expressions of sadness.

I'm not trying to lecture any BLM people I'm not coming across this way, but I've been having some mixed feelings since Sunday and I'm just trying to figure out why.

I will say that one theme among the organizers of that rally was frustration over how many people--particularly speaking of other minorities--would show support on facebook but wouldn't actually physically come to their events. Online activism isn't enough!

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Cleopatra7

Something that has me particularly demoralized is how many, dare I even say most, white people are more offended by talking about racism than racism itself. For a country that was supposedly founded without the monarchist and aristocratic baggage of the Old World, the United States seems peculiarly unable to adequate address its own domestic problems, particularly racism. We have had opportunities to create a new racial order, during Reconstruction and after the Civil Rights Movement, and both times things more or less reverted back to the previous status quo, albeit under new names. The post-civil rights phenomenon of white flight, combined with the rise of the Tea Party suggests to me that there are many elements in this country that are not willing to invest in a United States that will be majority black/brown, even if their refusal to do so ends up hurting the future of their own posterity. The attitude seems to be, "My grandchildren might be screwed, but at those darkies will be screwed to the point of death."

I think many white people have decided "not to believe in racism"  for the same reason that they choose not to believe in evolution, namely because doing so would rock their ideological foundations. This is why anyone who dares to suggest that racism isn't something that's confined to "lifestyle racists" in the KKK or the Aryan Brotherhood, is branded as a "race hustler." Even bringing up historical instances of racism is a cause for opprobrium, presumably because it destroys the illusion of America as the teleological end of history. You can't solve a problem you don't believe exists, and I fear that unless more whites wake up to the ways in which structural racism is damaging our country, I don't think that we as a collective society will have much of a future.

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purple_summer
On 7/14/2016 at 6:27 PM, lawlifelgbt said:

I live not far from the governor's mansion where the Castile shooting is being protested. I think it's a good idea for BLM to take their protests to places that are politically important like that.

But I disagreed with the highway block, although I am glad it was not necessarily during rush hour. I understand there's anger against police and the dominant majority, as I felt angry and scared for my safety after the Pulse shooting. However, blocking highways is extremely economically damaging . I'm not saying "inconvenience is bad!" But rather that many people who make poverty wages still have to commute, and that in those types of positions, being late or missing for any reason is likely to get you fired or your pay docked, which can lead to hunger, debt, and so on. That definitely needs to change, but in the meantime I think BLM needs to consider how not to kick those in poverty while they're down, even unintentionally. I'm not even necessarily saying "never block," but that some routes should be left open (e.g. don't block a highway AND all exit ramps), and BLM should consider making donations to shelters and community orgs, as sort of an offset and also to help their PR.

Blocking is very dangerous for protestors too. In Miami, they blocked the one highway that all the low-wage workers commute on into the city last year (as they can't afford to live there), and one guy was so desperate to get to work to avoid eviction that he ran over three people.

 

CnBZN1NXEAAj8I6.jpg

I understand your point about potential issues for low wage commuters but the entire point of protesting is that it inconveniences people until they're forced to listen up/pay attention/change. Not to mention a lot of these low wage workers are precisely the ones being targeted by the police and would be helped by reforms to the justice/education system.

2 hours ago, Rachel333 said:

I just don't like hearing "Yes it's wrong to kill people, but..." After the Orlando shootings happened I heard so much of this. Instead of just mourning the lives lost and leaving it at that, people, both Muslim and Christian, felt that they needed to add that, while killing is wrong, the "lifestyles" the dead people had been leading were also wrong. It frustrated me so much and I decided that if ever something like that happened where someone on "my side" did that to a group I disagreed with (I was imagining something like a shooter going to a Trump rally), I would add any "but"s to my expressions of sadness.

Respectability politics is still very much a thing unfortunately. However some people are finally realizing that being educated and dressing/speaking/acting a certain way aren't enough to protect you on it's own, the whole system needs to be overhauled. 

 

Also the FBI has been visiting the homes of prominent activists now, presumably to intimidate them ahead of the political conventions. 

Personal details behind a spoiler:

Spoiler

Click through to read the full thread. 

 

And a final unrelated note- @MatthewDuggar You worked at the happiest place on earth? I worked at the most magical. Small world (pun intended?) :) 

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Cleopatra7

A historical example of how respectability politics don't work. Anyone who has some cursory knowledge of black history will know that Booker T. Washington was a conservative figure; he instructed blacks not to agitate directly for political or civic equality, but to instead focus on moral uplift, trade education, and the acquisition of middle class habits. His own entrepreneurial spirit enabled his Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) to be the richest educational institution in the South in the early twentieth century. His fame was such that Theodore Roosevelt invited him and his family to visit the White House. However, Washington's White House visit caused outrage among Southern whites, including future Mississippi governor James Vardaman who complained, "so saturated with the odor of the nigger [in the White House] that the rats have taken refuge in the stable...I am just as much opposed to Booker T. Washington as a voter as I am to the cocoanut-headed, chocolate-colored typical little coon who blacks my shoes every morning. Neither is fit to perform the supreme function of citizenship." Not to be outdone, Benjamin Tillman, a senator from South Carolina said, "The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will learn their place again." These comments show how even a conservative, "respectable" figure like Booker T. Washington was considered to threat to white supremacy. This is because the development of a black middle class was not seen as a positive development, because "the place" of blacks was to be as close to slavery as the law would allow. Being an educated professional like Washington or even a skilled craftsman was considered "uppity." I think this mindset persists to this day, as seen by how Obama is continually painted as a radical socialist, anti-colonialist, Muslim, even though he did everything he was supposed to supposed to according to the conservative playbook (studied hard, went to elite schools, waited until marriage to have kids, still married to the same person).

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iweartanktops
3 hours ago, Rachel333 said:

 

I went to my first BLM rally on Sunday becaue my brother invited me to go a long, and  while it was good, to be honest there were a few speakers who kind of bothered me. One man (one of only two white people--both men--to speak) said that what happened to the murdered police officers was karmic retribution. Another woman said that while she mourned the loss of life in Dallas, she supported the fight and believed that the shooter did more for the cause than anyone else has. Another man said that there is no such thing as a good police officer because saying otherwise would be like saying there were good Nazis

The rest of speakers didn't have such extreme views and several had law enforcement officers in their own family. People are just scared and tired of being treated as less-than. A lot of people had some really good things to say  and I totally agree with them. I guess when you let anyone have a microphone you're often going to get some extremists.

 

This kind of speech would make me extremely uncomfortable, too. While I understand that throughout world history, violence has been required to get results, I don't like the "karmic retribution," type statements. I'm horrified at the Dallas shooting. Not only for the obvious reasons, that so many families are broken and hurting, but also because it takes the focus off of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and the many other Black people who have been murdered by police. 

It also bothers me that some of these ideas are spoken on behalf of the BLM movement. From what I've seen, it just fuels the racist hate. At the same time, most of those racists are going to hate BLM no matter what. 

2 hours ago, Cleopatra7 said:

Something that has me particularly demoralized is how many, dare I even say most, white people are more offended by talking about racism than racism itself. For a country that was supposedly founded without the monarchist and aristocratic baggage of the Old World, the United States seems peculiarly unable to adequate address its own domestic problems, particularly racism. We have had opportunities to create a new racial order, during Reconstruction and after the Civil Rights Movement, and both times things more or less reverted back to the previous status quo, albeit under new names. The post-civil rights phenomenon of white flight, combined with the rise of the Tea Party suggests to me that there are many elements in this country that are not willing to invest in a United States that will be majority black/brown, even if their refusal to do so ends up hurting the future of their own posterity. The attitude seems to be, "My grandchildren might be screwed, but at those darkies will be screwed to the point of death."

I think many white people have decided "not to believe in racism"  for the same reason that they choose not to believe in evolution, namely because doing so would rock their ideological foundations. This is why anyone who dares to suggest that racism isn't something that's confined to "lifestyle racists" in the KKK or the Aryan Brotherhood, is branded as a "race hustler." Even bringing up historical instances of racism is a cause for opprobrium, presumably because it destroys the illusion of America as the teleological end of history. You can't solve a problem you don't believe exists, and I fear that unless more whites wake up to the ways in which structural racism is damaging our country, I don't think that we as a collective society will have much of a future.

Yes, all of this. It should be repeated. I'm with you. 

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sophie10130
6 hours ago, Cleopatra7 said:

(snip)

I think many white people have decided "not to believe in racism"  for the same reason that they choose not to believe in evolution, namely because doing so would rock their ideological foundations. This is why anyone who dares to suggest that racism isn't something that's confined to "lifestyle racists" in the KKK or the Aryan Brotherhood, is branded as a "race hustler." Even bringing up historical instances of racism is a cause for opprobrium, presumably because it destroys the illusion of America as the teleological end of history. You can't solve a problem you don't believe exists, and I fear that unless more whites wake up to the ways in which structural racism is damaging our country, I don't think that we as a collective society will have much of a future.

I think it's a good parallel to draw between not believing in evolution and not believing in racism.

Evolution means that humans were not divinely created. They are just another animal on this earth that got to where we are through natural, biological processes. It makes us seem less special.

White people can't believe in racism because if we believe that we got where we are not by our own merits and by pulling ourselves up from the proverbial bootstraps but by the backs of slaves, it makes us seem less special.

So white people DON'T want to believe that their kids are better off because their schools were better funded because they were funded by taxes of white communities that were considered higher class than an equitable black community. They want to believe their special snowflake children got there because they were born smarter and are more superior.

It's nice for them to look at a poor black neighborhood next to their rich white neighborhood and say "Oh we are so much better off than them. It's because we work hard and earned it!" They don't want to know the truth, because in all reality, it was built on a sham.

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Peas n carrots

I believe racism is institutional and endemic, but I wholeheartedly oppose calling the AP who says all whites are racist. There are many racists who hold appalling views but there are plenty of non-blacks who do not. There are lots of non-blacks who do or say things in which they mean well but are offensive and we need to educate them instead of giving them a label. We need to see them as potential allies instead of potential enemies.

I think the evolution comparison is a great comparison. I know many people who find the US Constitution as infallible of a document as the Bible. Admitting our Founding Fathers were flawed human beings (I think most if not all were slave owners) would be admitting there is a giant bug in the system. It's so overwhelming and so many are so invested in this belief they pretend it doesn't exist or victim blame. So instead of opening their ears and minds they double down on their beliefs.

The constitution was an amazing document and the founders, for their time were brilliant, enlightened people but a lot has changed since the 18th century. As a country we have to collectively admit we are not #1 and start wrestling with our abominable racial history, starting with the document this country was founded on.

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