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How big of a problem is racism in the USA?

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The virulence of Racism in the USA  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Is inter-racial racism a significant social problem in the USA?

    • Very significant.
      7
    • Somewhat significant.
      0
    • Slightly significant.
      6
    • Absolutely insignificant.
      1


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How did you determine that it can be generalized to say "blacks" and not just, "I've seen blacks do this"? This sounds too intuitive and "truthy". Any numbers to demonstrate this point?

 

[...]so my point is that the generalities presented so far are non-objective. Well, post #22 is fair, but it isn't a generality anyway. It's fine as an anecdote.

I thought I answered this in my prior post. I can add that I'm talking about younger blacks from the ghetto, and older blacks in general, even hardworking decent people, who nonetheless dislike white people in general. This is based on my experience in Ohio, and I know of no "numbers" which could identify this kind of information.

Just to be clear, I have every expectation that my experiences would be different in other regions of the US -- big cities, southern states, progressive states, states with less welfare, etc. etc.

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I guess since black people are racists it's okay that white people are racists too. I mean, why else would you even bring this up in this discussion?

 

Sorta like when we talk about defending our country against criminals and people "respond" by pointing out that we had slavery in the USA, and we took land from the Indians, bla bla bla... "Just saying", they say... "Just pointing out a fact", they say...

 

So yeah, when I ask if there's significant racism against minorities in the USA, and the answer I get is, "well you know racism among blacks is really bad", or, "define racism!", or (my personal favorite), "I'm afraid for my family that black people are going to come and lynch us!", you know, I think I have my answer...

 

:-)

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I guess since black people are racists it's okay that white people are racists too. I mean, why else would you even bring this up in this discussion?

 

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Up until this point 12 people (lots?) have indicated a selection from the choices offered. I selected "Slightly significant".

 

This is based on interactions primarily observed in grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and work. Network television was eliminated as a source of information for and by me back in December of 1995. My alarm clock is tuned to a local AM news station but mostly for weather reports. This leaves word of mouth and internet as my primary sources of what is happening in the world.

 

The word of mouth stories convey to me that the network media has a vested interest in "racism" playing a more significant role than it probably does. While following the Ferguson events as they unfolded, few showed little desire to discern what they had observed from what they had heard (social metaphysics?).

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[...]

The word of mouth stories convey to me that the network media has a vested interest in "racism" playing a more significant role than it probably does. While following the Ferguson events as they unfolded, few showed little desire to discern what they had observed from what they had heard (social metaphysics?).

 

Got it. So based on the fact that "network media" has a vested interest in there being more racism than there is, it's logical conclude that there isn't, in reality, very much racism present in our society.

 

I guess blacks and other minorities, by that logic, should be thankful that "network media" exists and it does what it does. Otherwise they might very will be effected by racism a lot more. By that logic.

 

Interesting logic you have there...

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I'm curious how many of the people who say that racism is perpetuated primarily among blacks actually have any significant amount of experience in black culture. 

 

 

 

Besides, given the President's skin color, the extraordinary claim here, in demand of urgent backing with stats, would be that most Americans are so racist that they just don't want to give black people jobs.

 

Lol, what? How does having a black president suddenly make the existence of racism an extraordinary claim?

 

Consider the demographics in the United States. It would be quite easy for a black president to get elected while still having a disproportionately white representation in offices of power, and just as easy for there to be significant institutional racism. Just because a majority vote elected a black president doesn't mean racism doesn't exist or that it's an extraordinary claim to make. Honestly, it speaks to the efficacy of our electoral system that in spite of the existence of racism we still elect a black president. 

 

 

 

Blacks though, now for decades, are still bitching and moaning about not getting a break, getting beat down by the white man, etc. 

 

Holy shit. I'm really curious where you get such an ass backwards view of the world from.

 

I've lived around black people all my life - the areas I've lived in and gone to school often times have been predominantly black. I've never heard one "bitch and moan" about "not getting a break" or "getting beat down by the white man." I've seen them work just as hard as many of my white friends though, and end up half as far. I've seen them get arrested and get in trouble for possessing minute amounts of drugs while I've walked scott-free in the same situation. I know that I get pulled over for going 20 over the speed limit, the cop will give me a stern talking to - because that's what's happened before - while some blacks I've known won't pass the speed limit because a fine would be the least of their problems if an officer pulled them over. I've heard white people say the most racist things in the presence of other white people, without any awareness of what they were saying, and have everyone around them agree with them. I've been chastised before for pointing out that someone was making a blatantly racist comment in front of a black person.

 

I'm having a hard time seeing where you're getting your view from here. Even a cursory google search of "racism study" or "racism america study" or even "race in america study" or similar terms brings up nothing but support for the notion that racism and racial inequality are alive and well in America. A broad search of any of the research databases my university has access to brings up similar results: nothing but support for the idea that racism exists and affects minorities significantly. The only way I can conceptualize you having such an ass-backwards view of race is that you've never actually spent more than five minutes talking to a black person, and haven't tried to achieve an understanding of racism on your own.

 

____________________

 

I'd say that racism is a pretty big deal today, in a multitude of ways. Like many issues, it is not a simple black-white issue: it affects everyone in a variety of ways. Human beings generalize - I'm inclined to think that doing so is part of our nature. And unfortunately, we are not very far removed from a time when it was commonplace to assume blacks and non-whites in general to be lesser. My parents grew up fearful of and prejudiced towards black people, and my grandparents were around before the civil rights movement came into swing, and I know a lot of other people with similar families. I think a lot of people today are raised, not with an outright hatred of blacks and minorities, but with broad misconceptions and poor generalizations of who black people are and how they act. I think those misconceptions and generalizations cause many people to act in ways that they may not even be aware are racist - they may prefer the company of white people, they may actively avoid blacks, and, given the appropriate situation, they may assume the guilt of a black person over the guilt of a white person.

 

I'm sure similar misconceptions and generalizations work in the reverse as well: I know that there are quite a few black people who were raised to be fearful or distrusting of white people, and for good reason, given the environment their parents grew up in. That kind of distrust is harmful to both blacks and whites, minorities and non-minorities. I'm also sure that the situation has improved for blacks and minorities significantly. None of that means that racism doesn't exist in America, or that it's confined to black communities, and I don't think that we can rightfully ignore the evidence that continues to crop up suggesting that racism is still a problem in America.

 

Growing up where I have and seeing what I have, as a white person, I'd be downright distrustful of anyone who suggested that racism wasn't an issue in America. Because for me, that person would have to be dangerously ignorant or dangerously dishonest to express such a view.

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My parents were nice to black people when they met them, but no way would they ever move to a black neighborhood or send me to a predominately black school. They'd be inclined to vote in a race-neutral way, but they were certainly derisive toward them in private, and this would surely color their decision making in a variety of areas e.g. crime, hiring, social association, etc. This was true of every grown-up I knew growing up, and is true for about half of the fellow adults I consort with now in various walks of life.

 

In short, I've personally experienced lots of racism, and lots of meaningful problems associated with it, for both sides of the perpetration.

 

I'd surely love to hear where all of these people live (Galt's Gulch perhaps?) where racism is a thing of the past and everybody is color blind, and anybody who says any different are just bitching and moaning about non-existent problems. Where is this utopia? It's certainly noplace I've ever visited.

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In my earlier post, I stated that the problem of racism in America is complicated. I apologize for my habitual understatements and broad generalizations, but reams of studies and books covering the subject do not change the fact that our personal experiences result in a subjective opinion. Anyone who has come of age in America has some anecdotal evidence of racism. The scope of the problem changes as events add a new layer of history to the narrative. And history matters. Opinions based on interpretations of history matter. To each person, their opinion is valid regardless of unknown facts. I, a white man, proceed through life largely unconcerned that my European-American characteristics are an advantage in American social and economic advancement. I don't feel any guilt for this. Today's social and economic environment has changed quite a bit over the past fifty years, and African-Americans, at least the ones I personally know, have raised themselves to the stations of life befitting their efforts. Many have rising well above my station in life. I have little doubt that they earned it.

 

Racism exists, even after fifty years of the successes of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century. Normal "white-working-class" attitudes have mostly been reconstructed. Empathy among people in hourly wage employment today (and most work places) would have been unrecognizable back in the 60s. It is the social and economic environment that has changed, and that the reduction (or stagnation) of stable employment especially in urban-industrial areas has contributed to an expansion of poverty. As I see it, it is a revival of the age-old conflict of "the Haves versus the Have-nots." In this video, Doctor Anne Wortham discusses the historic displacement of economic opportunity coinciding with the rise of black political power:

 

 

Referring again to my earlier post, much of the problem (as it exists today, rather than 50 years ago) is a failure to view the individual as an individual. Individuals with miserable dispositions will find any reason to judge someone else as a contributing factor to their miserable life. Some people are rude; I may interpret their rudeness as a characteristic of merely a bad attitude, or a bad attitude coupled with racism. Sometimes the later judgement is based on evidence. In casual daily interactions with strangers, it rarely matters, unless the actions lead to aggressive escalations. An applicant seeks an opportunity with a record of his/her past, a resume and references. In this case, the character of the individual is on display; the individual's history matters. When that history reads well, that person is far more likely to advance than someone with a less competitive history. To be sure, law enforcement officials use their own criterion, and law enforcement may be addressed on another post. My concerns are of those who wish to advance themselves, i.e. advance the individual. When people act as a team, and act on a constructive goal, great things can be done. When they act as an angry mob, well, obviously the results are not so great. When the angry and miserable people of any complexion get over their personal problems, they are welcome to join in any constructive opportunity available, without discrimination.

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Holy shit. I'm really curious where you get such an ass backwards view of the world from.

[...]

The only way I can conceptualize you having such an ass-backwards view of race is that you've never actually spent more than five minutes talking to a black person, and haven't tried to achieve an understanding of racism on your own.

Looks like you were able to answer this on your own.

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Got it. So based on the fact that "network media" has a vested interest in there being more racism than there is,

I would not consider this a fact, as you've couched it here. When the news chooses to focus on one thing, at the exclusion of another, or generates a story based on the reporter's implicit philosophy, or is flavored by their superior's direction, - is not a recipe for drawing a conclusion of a racist agenda. It would be more of a derivative result.

 

The University of Arkansas conducts a poll that creates a group of questions to investigate to what extent and across what spectrum racism exists. How might the questions asked, and the multiple choice categories made available to pick from, help shape the results of such a poll?

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I thought I answered this in my prior post. I can add that I'm talking about younger blacks from the ghetto, and older blacks in general, even hardworking decent people, who nonetheless dislike white people in general. This is based on my experience in Ohio, and I know of no "numbers" which could identify this kind of information.

What experience? You didn't give any examples. The numbers that exist are in studies. I mean, are you saying experience is what you heard someone say? How did you know the blacks in question disliked black people? Was it one person? A rally of 3,000 people? Do you visit the ghetto or read sociological studies to know what blacks in the ghetto do? If you have no numbers or hard facts, what objectivity is there?

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What experience? You didn't give any examples. The numbers that exist are in studies. I mean, are you saying experience is what you heard someone say? How did you know the blacks in question disliked black people? Was it one person? A rally of 3,000 people? Do you visit the ghetto or read sociological studies to know what blacks in the ghetto do? If you have no numbers or hard facts, what objectivity is there?

I don't know what you want me to say. Should I give a detailed rundown of every anecdotal encounter that I've experienced within the specifics I mentioned (younger ghetto blacks, older civilized blacks, etc.)? Should I then link that to the numerous news stories I've watched over the years, exhibiting similar behavior across the US? Etc. If you don't believe me now, is it safe to assume you won't believe me then?

 

A study which asks the question, "Has racism significantly affected your life in a negative way?" is going to be answered in the same way in which I've answered. Why is that answer more valid than mine?

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I don't know if the typical sociological study is relevant to the question. Even if studies show that anti-black stereotyping exists, I don't think that would answer what Jaskn and Nicky are saying. So, let me ask,  to clarify...

 

 

Looks like you were able to answer this on your own.

How would you answer those who point to instances of stereotyping of black people? I assume you'll agree that it's something done by blacks and whites and everyone else, to some degree (To echo Ludicious "Human beings generalize"). I assume the real debate is whether the degree of stereotyping is actually used to make decisions, whether these decisions are important enough to matter, and whether there are enough low/non-biased people around to provide alternatives.

 

There was a time when it would be pointless for a black person to apply for certain jobs even though they were just middle-class supervisory. There are probably still some tiny percentage of places like that, but not worth talking about. For the main, that's long in the past. Now, we're down to debating whether there is some percentage of those jobs where a black person would be given some negative weighting because he is black: either consciously or automatically. Would you agree that this type of stereotyping exists, at least to some extent? 

 

Sociologists will sometimes construct experiments where they judge cooperation and vary a single factor, like skin-color or sex. For instance, a white woman in business dress may ask strangers in a mall for change for $10. then, a black woman similarly dressed would do the same. And, again with a white woman dressed like she came from a trailer-park, and a black-woman similarly dressed down. Such studies often show that people react differently, and that the differences cannot be explained by normal sampling error. Depending on the experiment, sometimes a woman gets more cooperation than a man, an older person more than a younger one, a well-dressed person more than someone who dresses as the cultural stereotype of "sloppy". These types of studies often show biases toward blacks. 

 

Giving someone change, or answering a questionnaire, or stopping a certain distance from another person are all low-cost/low-return decisions. When the decisions are weightier, many people will consciously adopt a more "open mind", by which they mean they will try to consciously monitor their biases. So, an interviewer who has a poor first impression of someone may take the time to dig deeper, and the initial bias thus becomes insignificant. I'm curious how you integrate findings of studies like that?

 

Also, suppose that someone could demonstrate there is some quantifiable stereo-typing. For instance, suppose someone could demonstrate that there are about 10% of job openings where a black person would face severe bias and would be unlikely to get the job, and another 10% where he would face some bias and had a slightly lowered chance of getting the job (say getting it only if he clearly beats the white candidate, but seldom if it is close), and that when he is offered the job, his wages are 10% lower.

 

Would you consider such a result unbelievable? Would that change any conclusions you've reached? Or, would you say such finding would not contradict your position?

 

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[...] To be sure, law enforcement officials use their own criterion, and law enforcement may be addressed on another post. [...]

 

I would agree that the problem of racism in the USA broadly breaks up into two subjects, one being economic, and the other being civil.

 

I think the latter subject is simpler, more relevant, and probably more actionable in the shorter run.

 

The poll in the OP has questions that directly related to this side of the issue, and most of the questions there seem to generally related to it as well.

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How would you answer those who point to instances of stereotyping of black people?

 

[...]we're down to debating whether there is some percentage of those jobs where a black person would be given some negative weighting because he is black: either consciously or automatically. Would you agree that this type of stereotyping exists, at least to some extent? 

 

Sociologists will sometimes construct experiments where they judge cooperation and vary a single factor, like skin-color or sex. [...]These types of studies often show biases toward blacks.

 

Giving someone change, or answering a questionnaire, or stopping a certain distance from another person are all low-cost/low-return decisions. When the decisions are weightier, many people will [...]try to consciously monitor their biases. So, an interviewer who has a poor first impression of someone may take the time to dig deeper, and the initial bias thus becomes insignificant. I'm curious how you integrate findings of studies like that?

 

Also, suppose that someone could demonstrate there is some quantifiable stereo-typing. [...]Would you consider such a result unbelievable? Would that change any conclusions you've reached? Or, would you say such finding would not contradict your position?

 

I do think there are some people who, as a first impression, judge a person negatively strictly because he is black. In my experience, these are only people who are white and aged 60+. They aren't in positions of influence (we see what happens to leaders of organizations when their racism is revealed), nor even regular company managers (who are afraid of being accused of discrimination). Even for these white 60+, the negativity is kept quiet, mostly just verbal in small-group settings, and they will check themselves, as you describe, even in their low cost/return decisions, even if only because they know their views are not the norm anymore. Past this small group of strict racists, I think the "human generalizing" done by the rest of the population brings in more and more factors in their hasty and negative judgements, factors which aren't necessarily related to skin color. For example, the "baggy clothes" isn't limited to race when stereotyped, and has a negative connotation of its own.

 

I suppose if it were possible to demonstrate quantifiable stereotyping, I would have no choice but to concede that people are still strict racists, using no other negative stereotyping/generalizing in their judgements. But, I would be highly skeptical, especially if the results indicated that a large number of people were still like this. Such findings would go against all of my experience on the job, and my observations in everyday public interactions, in the media, and online. If anything, to "blacks" (whatever that even means anymore, given how fragmented is "black culture" and how varied is "black" skin tone), I think people walk on pins and needles to not offend.

 

I worked in a warehouse setting for years, a job I think represents a "normal lower middle class." For regular warehousemen, there was no negative "strict racism," neither from fellow warehousemen nor from management, in treatment on the job nor in private interactions. The black/white employee ratio was split evenly, and the job performance of each group was about the same -- likely indicating neither group was hired just because of the color of their skin. But, in management, there was a bias for blacks. Several times, promotions were given to a black employee with obviously inferior job performance. Additionally, even speaking about race in any context was shushed, with subtle glances all the way to, "You better watch what you say." Criticism was permitted about white management, and changes were made, but I repeatedly encountered an invisible wall when I raised concerns about black management.

 

From where I stand, certain groups of black people continuously play the "race card," and almost all young white people are happy to accept the guilt, and dole out special treatment.

 

The thread title just says "racism," but we've mostly been talking only about "blacks." All of what I've written so far has been about "blacks." If we were to bring in, say, "Mexicans," I would say almost the opposite from what I have. I think the majority of the native US population judges Mexicans negatively predominantly because of their race.

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In my experience, these are only people who are white and aged 60+.

 

Not really in mine.

 

From your post, it seems to me that you have a pretty narrow experience of what racism is and how it works. I don't mean that as an insult or criticism - just that you might not be aware of what kinds of racism exist and how and where it occurs.

 

Let me give an example: I have a friend who, if she sees a pair of white guys walking down the sidewalk towards her, she won't react in any way. If she sees a pair of black guys walking down the sidewalk towards her, she'll get visibly nervous, she'll move out of the way by a pretty significant margin, she'll talk in a more hushed voice - even if she's not saying anything racist - and so on. 

 

Another example: a cop sees me, a white guy, with weed. He gives me a warning. Same cop sees a black guy with weed, he arrests him. There's no difference in the law here: the difference was simply a subtle shift in mindset. The cop saw me, and his first assumption was simply that I was some harmless white kid trying out weed, no biggie. When he saw the black guy, his first assumption was that the black guy had weed and was therefore dangerous, likely part of a gang.

 

These aren't huge, flashing, banners proclaiming "RACISM!". These are subtle mindsets that affect the way we interact with people of different races. It affects the way we hire people, it affects the way we treat people, it affects the way we pay people, it affects out expectations of people, it affects the way we reward people, it affects the way we talk to and about people. Nothing about it is huge or explicit, and rarely is it even intentional: they're subtle mindsets that many people learn while growing up, usually as a result of having parents with similar mindsets. As I said before - we are not far removed from a time of explicit, widespread racism, and it still has an effect on the mindsets that we have today.

 

Most people are not explicit racists. Most people, when it comes to big decisions, can contain their racism. But, unfortunately, most people in the United States also have these subtle mindsets. I grew up with explicitly racist parents, and for a long time I had a similar, subtle mindset of racism. It took explicit effort on my part to curb the assumptions that I made of people on a regular basis.

 

 

 

Several times, promotions were given to a black employee with obviously inferior job performance. 

 

Are you sure? Did you look at the numbers that management used to determine who got promoted? Did you monitor those employee's work on a regular basis? Question: if a white guy with obviously inferior job performance had been promoted... would you have even noticed? Considering that it happens all the time in just about every workplace that people with inferior performance (from the perspective of employees on the same level), regardless of race, get promoted, I highly doubt that you would. 

 

 

 

but I repeatedly encountered an invisible wall when I raised concerns about black management.

 

Were you raising concerns about management, or about black management? Because I'd stonewall you all the way if you were raising concerns specifically about black management. 

 

 

 

From where I stand, certain groups of black people continuously play the "race card," and almost all young white people are happy to accept the guilt, and dole out special treatment.

 

And yet I hear white people bitch and moan on a regular basis about black privilege. How often do you see black people playing the "race card"? Can you give some examples where such a thing has been done successfully? This is the kind of thing that I see often complained about by white people, but very rarely backed up. When, where, and how have you seen the "race card" played, and by whom? Was it in a situation where it was actually inappropriate to bring up race? If you can come up with an example, do you think that the person played the "race card" as a result of their being black or as a result of black culture... or simply as a result of them being a shitty person, irrespective of race? 

 

 

 

I don't know what you want me to say. Should I give a detailed rundown of every anecdotal encounter that I've experienced within the specifics I mentioned (younger ghetto blacks, older civilized blacks, etc.)? Should I then link that to the numerous news stories I've watched over the years, exhibiting similar behavior across the US? Etc. If you don't believe me now, is it safe to assume you won't believe me then?

 

The reason why Eiuol would ask for specific examples, I imagine, is that it's not uncommon for a person to come up with a notion of a thing from hearing about it, rather than from personal experiences, and then later on thinking (entirely truthfully in their own mind) that this notion was based on personal experience. It's a pretty common phenomenon, stemming from the simple fact that humans have highly fallible memories. When some notion is established in our mind - for example, from childhood exposure to the mindset of one's own parents - a good deal of time in the past, it saves memory, space and thought to just assume that it's based on personal experience than to remember that you picked up on that idea from a specific place.

 

If you can't come up with specific examples of some notion you have, I'd be curious why you have that notion at all - you can say all you want that it comes from a "lifetime of experience" or whatnot, but if you can't come up with a single specific experience to give as an example, how can even you suggest that the notion has a logical or even anecdotal basis in your mind? Was there no such occurrence in your past of significant enough importance that you can remember it? Because if not, I don't really see what you have to base your ideas on.

 

 

 

 

Sociologists will sometimes construct experiments where they judge cooperation and vary a single factor, like skin-color or sex. For instance, a white woman in business dress may ask strangers in a mall for change for $10. then, a black woman similarly dressed would do the same. And, again with a white woman dressed like she came from a trailer-park, and a black-woman similarly dressed down. Such studies often show that people react differently, and that the differences cannot be explained by normal sampling error. Depending on the experiment, sometimes a woman gets more cooperation than a man, an older person more than a younger one, a well-dressed person more than someone who dresses as the cultural stereotype of "sloppy". These types of studies often show biases toward blacks. 

 

Thank you for pointing this out and explaining it. This is more or less the point that I had above: a lot of what we see in terms of racism now is the result of subtle underlying mindsets, not explicit, out-of-the-way, racism. 

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JASKN, what percentage of the population where you live (i.e. the specific neighborhood) is black? Other minority?

 

How often do you talk to police officers in lengthy casual conversation?

 

How often do you talk to simple laborers who aren't as... polite in their manner of speaking?

 

How many of your friends or co-workers are black? Do you ever talk to them about how they are treated by the police?

 

Would your parents have gleefully sent you to a mostly-black school if they had a choice?

 

You obviously live in a different sort of environment some others of us do, so I'm curious what that environment looks like.

Edited by CrowEpistemologist

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In this thread I have laid out a specific context, including my US state, my work experience, specific race (black vs. "Mexican") and even age groups... Yet you're questioning what experience I'm talking about. At the same time, you say, "In *my* experience, people are racist..."

If you don't believe me or think I'm mistaken, that's fine. But you're using the same evidence as me -- personal experience -- and saying yours is true and mine is not. It's what I was talking about earlier when I said it's going to be a judgement call.

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If you don't believe me or think I'm mistaken, that's fine. But you're using the same evidence as me -- personal experience -- and saying yours is true and mine is not. It's what I was talking about earlier when I said it's going to be a judgement call. 

 

Except there's also an abundance of statistical evidence indicating that racism, of some sort, is alive and well in the United States.

 

 

 

Yet you're questioning what experience I'm talking about.

 

Because you're relying exclusively on anecdotal evidence. Beyond that, you've made several specific anecdotal claims that I, and I'm sure others, have heard regularly in other contexts, which suggests that you may not actually have anecdotal evidence, you just think you do. The fact that you've consistently avoided laying out a specific example to back up your notions indicates to me - someone who has given specific examples - that perhaps you don't have any specific instances of anecdotal evidence backing up your claim.

 

It is not at all uncommon for a person to learn about something or hear about something or adopt a notion from their parents or some other place where it's commonly expressed, and then later - perhaps after years of holding that notion or mindset - claim that the notion or mindset is based on personal experience, when it's not - and they don't even know it! This is an altogether too common error in human memory, and the best way to counter it in a discussion is to ask for a specific example. The fact that you can't seem to provide one indicates to me that this is the case for you: you don't have any specific examples, you just think you do, because you've held this mindset for so long.

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It's funny that you question my environment, because I was also questioning yours to myself.

My environment is split about 35% black, 35% white, 25% Mexican and 5% Somalian. Of those percentages, I'd say about half of the blacks and whites are decent people, most of the Mexicans are decent, and the Somalians are so far removed from American culture that I have no idea. Columbus, OH has huge ghettos filled with many rotten people who deserve to be discriminated against. Unfortunately, even though the Mexicans keep their neighborhoods like civilized islands in the ghetto, people in Columbus view them as second class citizens.

Anyone questioning my experience with rough people or varied personality types or varied races, is obviously not familiar with a warehouse environment, which is essentially defined by those qualities.

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JASKN, I'm not questioning your integrity. I'm simply curious as to how you came to get he experience you are recounting.

 

I was trying to learn about your specific environment. I can use Wikipedia too :-). I live in a metro area that is probably similar in mix, but where I actually live there are virtually no black people, for instance.

 

You seemed to indicate you work in a blue-collar warehouse environment with a racial mix. Good to know. Presumably you banter with these people, no? None of them talk about being unfairly or unusually targeted by the police?

 

Here's another anecdote for you. I once dated a woman who had traveled all over the world and lived in Europe for a while.

 

Then she had to attend a wedding of a friend in (somewhere in the deep South I forget where). I recall her being shocked at what she saw and heard, and her overall comment was that culturally that place she was in was more different than any of the European countries she visited.

 

Y'all ever visited the deep South? :-)

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I didn't mean to imply offense about my integrity. I really can't envision where you're located that still *widely* judges blacks strictly by their skin tones. Again, I think if "black" is used as a judgement factor, it's only a precursor to judging against a cultural stereotype (ie. "other factors"). If the culture is judged to be "friendly," the skin tone ceases to matter.

I worked in that environment for 7 years, enough time to get a complete and robust idea of the people, the work, the families of the people, the business customers of the warehouse, management attitudes, etc. I also know what types of jobs these people sought, what types of welfare programs they received, what types of friends they kept, what they thought of different types of people, etc. Columbus is unique for the Midwest in its distinct lack of homophobia (all throughout the city), but based on my travelings in-state (I now drive around the state for work), it is a decent representation of racism/lack of racism for the more populated areas. The "hillbillies" who live in the outskirts maintain their own culture, and I'm not sure about their racial views. I know they're generally more mindlessly religious. But, they're fewer in number, too.

I have no desire to visit the south because of the (strict) racists and violent homophobes who I still hear inhabit the area. At the same time, though, I know via pop culture that Atlanta has an entire community of wealthy blacks. Some of them seem to have retained much of "black culture," while others haven't. So, how widespread is the strict racism? What effect does it have, and on whom? As the thread poll asks, is it actually a practical problem for anyone? Or, are people on both sides seeking unrelated agendas, under the pretense of a supposed racial issue?

As for the police, it looks like they keep their own super-racially-charged profiling, which isn't consistent with the rest of the population. It appears as though it even bleeds into black profiling against blacks who aren't part of "black culture" (ie. nerdy types or whatever). This is horrible and sad, and I think the data is irrefutable -- such as arrest and prison stats. It's especially horrible when cops get more violent against blacks. But, here the stats are easy to interpret... Well, kind of easy. There is still the problem that there are more blacks in ghettos than whites, which will naturally skew the police racism statistics.

It would be one thing if my experience went along with "all of America is still racist" stats, but it does not. It wouldn't make sense for me to say, "Oh, the stats must be correct, they're stats after all." Too many variables are involved in judging racism for me to be able to do that, and go against my experience.

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