Author Topic: Is this offensive?  (Read 2637 times)

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Offline Frank

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2012, 02:47:19 PM »
With respect to the question of whether or not independence benefited the slave population, I'm inclined to think that this is wishful thinking seeing as how whatever King George thought about the slave trade, slavery was outlawed in Britain and in its colonies decades before it was made illegal in the US.  And even after that, as I've written, there were systems of forced labor put into place that enslaved blacks well into the 20th century.  I'm not saying that independence was a bad thing overall, I'm just not sure that I can agree with you on this point.

Can you at least concede that, once they got out from under the thumb of British rule, every northern state passed either anti-slavery laws or included anti-slavery provisions in their state constitutions? That was from 1777-1804. England didn't abolish slavery until 1833. Vermont outlawed it in 1777. Massachusetts in 1780. Thomas Jefferson was ONE VOTE SHORT in Congress of ending slavery altogether in the states in 1784 and that led to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which outlawed the selling of slaves anywhere northwest of the Ohio River.

Had the United States not fought and achieved independence, who's to say that England would have stopped a profitable business for them at all?

That, in a nutshell, is why I believe that American independence benefited everyone. It was the beginning of abolition movements around the world, following the examples of the northern states. That's not wishful thinking, that a careful consideration of historical facts. England followed America's lead, not vice-versa.

Actually many nations ended slavery before America or The UK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_slavery_timeline

I would also point out there is a big difference between the abolition of "Slave Trading" and actual slavery. E.G.

Quote
1701: The Lord Chief Justice rules that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England.

Hence the slave trade was legal as long as it's participants landed no slaves in England.

As for the OP. Maybe he was just pointing out that black people have been treated very poorly in America, hell they still are, especially considering that they didn't exactly volunteer to go there.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2012, 03:00:45 PM »
The first country in the Americas to outlaw slavery was Haiti in 1804.  Thirty years before England got around to it. No thanks to the French, who thought that liberte, egalite and fraternite was only for white folks.

The Africans overthrew the system, kicked out the slaveowners and liberated all the slaves on Hispaniola. And have been paying for the affrontery ever since. Incidentally many of the French slave owners escaped to the US where they were free to keep on oppressing people for 60 more years.

Who wants to hear about the Indian Removal Act and Wounded Knee as long as you have Thanksgiving and Pocahontas cartoons? Real history bites. Sanitized history makes us feel much better. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2012, 03:17:16 PM »

I remember walking through Times Square back in 1999 and stopping for a moment with all the other white tourists to listen to a street preacher lambaste the white devil. He was literally standing on a soap box. It made my fiance extremely nervous so I didn't tarry for too long.


Wow.  I have to say that this is a very telling story.

13 years ago you heard a man speaking despairingly about your race.  He wasn’t directing his speech at you.  He (possibly, probably?) wasn’t even speaking rationally.  It frightened your fiancé.  And it left a huge impression on you.  You still think about it.  Remember it.  It disturbs you. 


In my 20's I was followed by a carload of white youths as I walked from my job to my apartment. They knew where I worked and where I lived. They cruised slowly beside me, yelled racial and sexual remarks at me, called me a monkey, etc. This happened every day for several weeks. I found my door and lock damaged once, and suspect that they tried to break into my apartment while I was out. I could not sleep at night in fear of my life.

I told my white co-workers about it, and they asked me why I did not just move. I had found a nice apartment walking distance from my job. I had no car. I had done nothing wrong. I was a black professional woman in a largely white US town.  And I was supposed to be the one to move.[1]

I have many more stories like this. I think most people of color have stories like this. We don't talk about them most of the time. It's just life. But we sometimes get a bit testy and make snide jokes or crazy remarks that disturb white people.
 1. I wonder if they had gotten out of their car and shot me, would they have just been "standing their ground"?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2012, 05:08:40 PM »
My bolding:
If you don't believe me, name ten famous black European men or women. 

Why do I present that challenge? Simple, America continues to be ridiculed as the worst modern civilization in regards to racial equality. Europe and Britain have apparently overcome their sordid past of black oppression. So, name ten famous black Europeans.

Do the black people in Europe constantly bang the drum of restoration? Do they constantly remind the British Empire of their part in the slave trade?

I am not being facetious, I honestly can't think of any examples I am asking for.
As Timo said, you are shooting yourself in the foot by making this argument; instead of demonstrating some fact about European treatment of black people, you're merely highlighting your own ignorance and reinforcing the stereotype of American insularity.

I assure you that black footballers such as Thierry Henry (France), Andy Cole (England) and Ruud Gullit (Holland) are more famous, globally, than most American Football players. 

Then we have Lewis Hamilton, the youngest ever winner of the Formula One championship (and incidentally, the first black driver to win a major race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway). Ring any bells?

How about Daley Thompson and Kelly Holmes, both double Olympic gold medallists?

Yannick Noah? Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? Maybe tennis isn't your thing.

Boxing, though: Timo mentioned Lennox Lewis, there's also Frank Bruno, Chris Eubank and John Conteh, all world champions...

You may not know who these people are, Jay, but millions of other people do.

Offline Frank

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2012, 06:39:47 PM »
White people tend to have a blind spot when it comes to black sports stars which is not extended to ordinary black people.

As for famous black europeans, I'm sure I could google some up but it's not the point. The fact is that europe didn't import black people anywhere like as much as America did. At the start of the civil war the southern states had more black than white people living in them and they were almost all slaves. Given this fact it's not surprising that America may have more famouse black people than Europe simply on the much higher percentage of black people alone.

Although I'll bet a lot of them are in the entertainment/sports/civil rights industries. How many of them are captains of industry, scientists, etc etc? how many black billionaires are there?
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Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2012, 08:44:36 PM »
Can you at least concede that, once they got out from under the thumb of British rule, every northern state passed either anti-slavery laws or included anti-slavery provisions in their state constitutions? That was from 1777-1804. England didn't abolish slavery until 1833. Vermont outlawed it in 1777. Massachusetts in 1780.

Yes.  But you're still being kind of simplistic.

I think that it's important to remember that New England itself had a relatively small slave population to begin with, at least when compared to the South and the mid Atlantic, where well over 90 percent of slaves were held in the 1770s.  And even then, there were still places like Conneticut that indeed began to phase out slavery in that 1777-1804 but still recorded having slaves in the mid 19th century.  Furthermore, even when slavery was made ostensibly illegal, whether by statute or court ruling, the law was often poorly enforced, with recorded cases of slavery persisting in places like Massachusettes for decades, even if no slaves were counted by the Census.  It's probably also important to remember that a lot of former slave owners and other white people resented the newly freed blacks and worked to economically marginalize them, relegating many to squatters communities in forest areas outside of their former residences.  Some even went as far as kidnapping blacks and selling them in Southern states.

Finally, I think that whatever the politics of slavery were in Northern states internally, many business interests in the North still benefited economically from slavery in the South and had an interest in preserving the institution, which is probably part of the reason it stuck around for so long even as the tide of opinion shifted against it.

Thomas Jefferson was ONE VOTE SHORT in Congress of ending slavery altogether in the states in 1784 and that led to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which outlawed the selling of slaves anywhere northwest of the Ohio River.

I think you're mistaken.  Jefferson never attempted to outlaw slavery in the states.  He did indeed work towards ensuring that territories entering the US would not be allowed to import slaves.  Maybe that's the failed 1784 vote you're thinking of?  But that's not exactly the same thing, is it?  I mean, it doesn't even make much sense when you consider the fact that he represented Virginia, the state with more slaves than any other.

Furthermore, I think the acquisition of the Northwest territories were kind of a bad look to begin with, given that this was land that was designated for Native settlement.

Had the United States not fought and achieved independence, who's to say that England would have stopped a profitable business for them at all?

I don't know.  But I don't think it's all that clear that the British would have definitely allowed it to continue into the 20th century.  They outlawed slavery in the West Indies before we outlawed it here.  And they outlawed Indian slavery before we outlawed slavery here.  I'm sure that both systems of forced labor benefited the empire economically and enriched their elites, but I don't think that this is the only sort of consideration that people were making.  I'm sure people had moral concerns and were concerned about slave rebellions and all that.

That, in a nutshell, is why I believe that American independence benefited everyone. It was the beginning of abolition movements around the world, following the examples of the northern states. That's not wishful thinking, that a careful consideration of historical facts. England followed America's lead, not vice-versa.

I don't think that things were as simple as anyone following anyone's lead.  Slavery in a place like Vermont was dramatically different than slavery in a place like Virginia.  It occupied a different place in their respective cultures and economies and so not surprisingly they had different reasons for maintaining the institution and eventually different reasons for ending it, and different experiences throughout that whole process.  The same is true of Britain, France, the US, the colonies, the Middle East, and every other slave state.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2012, 08:47:55 PM »
Also, Tim Wise needs to stop whining, yo.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2012, 08:51:07 PM »
I am enjoying the thread, and although I have nothing to add, I wish for a correction about the truth of slavery to be mentioned.

How will America avoid future atrocities if it is ignorant of, or merely disregards/downplays, past atrocities?

How many people do you think there are in America who are unaware of the fact that slavery used to be legal here?

One little fun fact. Although we always assume it used to be legal, slavery actually is still legal today, as per the 13th Amendment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Quote
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

Bolding mine. Now we with our perceptions of morality probably doesn't mind a murderer being a slave for punishment. However, a crime means anything really, so those who need recreational drugs for their ailments, if caught, can be arrested, and once such, they are now slaves despite not doing anything wrong.

I feel the proper phrase should have been abolished racial slavery, as slavery is still legal today, as punishment for a crime, which I personally disagree with. If we ever get to prison reform, this is also needed to be done away with.

Offline boobatuba

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2012, 09:13:03 PM »
I think you're mistaken.  Jefferson never attempted to outlaw slavery in the states.  He did indeed work towards ensuring that territories entering the US would not be allowed to import slaves.  Maybe that's the failed 1784 vote you're thinking of?  But that's not exactly the same thing, is it?  I mean, it doesn't even make much sense when you consider the fact that he represented Virginia, the state with more slaves than any other.

No, I'm not mistaken.

Quote from: the linked article
Jefferson wrote a proposal by which slavery would have been forever prohibited in these and all other new territories that the United States acquired after 1800. In one of the cruel ironies of democracy, the provision was defeated by a single vote. Had it passed, it would have precluded slavery in the Louisiana Territory that was later acquired, thus averting the bitter divisions that led to the Missouri Compromise, Bloody Kansas, and ultimately, the Civil War.

Jefferson's FIRST ACT as governor of Virginia in 1779 was to attempt to outlaw slavery in his state. He was unsuccessful. He of course didn't have any power to outlaw slavery in the other states. As President, he tried again to outlaw the practice but met resistance from the strong political power of the South. As such, he compromised with the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.

To be fair, what's unsaid here is the reason Jefferson opposed slavery and that was clearly his belief in segregation. But that doesn't change the fact that he did fight against slavery and was one vote away from getting it outlawed in 1784.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:28:12 PM by boobatuba »

Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2012, 09:26:08 PM »
Did you read that article?  It doesn't back up your claim that:

Thomas Jefferson was ONE VOTE SHORT in Congress of ending slavery altogether in the states in 1784.

Key words:

Jefferson wrote a proposal by which slavery would have been forever prohibited in these and all other new territories that the United States acquired after 1800
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Offline boobatuba

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #68 on: July 10, 2012, 09:33:15 PM »
Did you read that article?  It doesn't back up your claim that:

Thomas Jefferson was ONE VOTE SHORT in Congress of ending slavery altogether in the states in 1784.

Key words:

Jefferson wrote a proposal by which slavery would have been forever prohibited in these and all other new territories that the United States acquired after 1800

Of course I read it. I see the double meaning though. The vote was in 1784. I wasn't saying slavery would have been ended in all the states in 1784.

But it's difficult to deny that, had Jefferson's provisions in the Ordinance been kept, the Civil War would surely have been avoided and slavery abolished.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #69 on: July 10, 2012, 09:38:51 PM »
Jefferson was a slave owner, and the father of children born into slavery.  And perhaps the lover, or perhaps the rapist, of the mother of those children.

His relationship to slavery was complex.  To say the least. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Hemings

Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #70 on: July 10, 2012, 09:50:53 PM »
Of course I read it. I see the double meaning though. The vote was in 1784. I wasn't saying slavery would have been ended in all the states in 1784.

It sure looked like it in your original post.  You wrote that they were voting to 'end slavery altogether' in 1784, which was untrue and made little sense considering Jefferson's background and was not what was voted on.  But yeah...

But it's difficult to deny that, had Jefferson's provisions in the Ordinance been kept, the Civil War would surely have been avoided and slavery abolished.

Weren't we talking about whether or not the revolution benefited enslaved blacks?

I mean, I guess it could have been the case that with the entrance of all of these free states into the country, along with slavery being phased out in the Northeast, there would have been enough of a way to abolish slavery peacefully and perhaps earlier.  If that's what you're saying, then that makes sense to me.  But I'm not exactly sure how it relates to our discussion.  It could have been the case that after revolution in the colonies failed, slavery ended in the 1830s and 40s, when it ended elsewhere in the British Empire.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #71 on: July 10, 2012, 09:53:47 PM »
I disagree. <snip>  I think we can skip punching the obvious punching bags. Because they obviously are what they are.

And if we ignore the broken windows, what does that lead to?

You may not know who these people are, Jay, but millions of other people do.

I understand that the average Darfurian doesn't care one whit about whether or not Brittany Spears will get custody of her baby or not[1]. That's not what I was talking about.

I also understand that there are plenty of Americans who have no idea who Thurgood Marshall was. My point is that, in America, black people have access to power and that they can be influential on a world stage. That is specifically why I outlined black politicians and theologians as well as black sport stars or musical entertainers.

how many black billionaires are there?

One...or two depending on how you count marriages. According to Forbes Robert and Sheila Johnson's combined worth is close to a billion.

I answered your question Frank, now you answer mine...how many black billionaires are there from countries other than America? How any black billionaires from Europe? France?

13 years ago you heard a man speaking despairingly about your race.  He wasn’t directing his speech at you.  He (possibly, probably?) wasn’t even speaking rationally.  It frightened your fiancé.  And it left a huge impression on you.  You still think about it.  Remember it.  It disturbs you.

I wasn't disturbed at all. I wanted to stick around and hear what he had to say. It was only in deference to my wife's comfort that we walked on down the road.  She does not like anything remotely confrontational.

I look back on that memory as a lament. Not a regret. I still think about it because I don't know what I missed.

Quote
How many times do you think a person of color has heard someone speaking despairingly about their race or ethnicity?  By someone who isn’t even directing the speech at them?  By someone who is (possibly, probably) not even speaking rationally?  In a lifetime?  In a year?  In a week?  On the TV.  On the street.  In line at the supermarket.  On the bus.  And what about the speech that is directed at them?  Or the actions?  The store clerk who follows them.  The real estate agent who directs them away from certain neighborhoods.   The maitre d who ignores them.  The police officer who just needs to determine what they are doing in this neighborhood.  The lone elevator passenger who looks just a little nervous when they get on the elevator and gets off on the next floor.  If you do not believe that these things really happen in this day and age, ask a person of color.  And then believe their words.

You are feeding off of stereo types and bias here. I don't think it's full blown racism. It might be but how does one tell the difference? There are plenty of black cops...who do they arrest? I have been rejected for loans because of my credit and work history. If I were black and raised to believe that white people pre judged me based on my skin I might have been inclined to think that the white person sitting across from me was a racist.

Quote
Racism exists.  Blatant, outright, indisputable racism.  Racism targeted at individuals.  Racism built into our cities and our neighborhoods and our institutions.


Again, I think it's prejudice, not necessarily racism. There is a subtle difference. 

Quote
White privilege exists

I have no idea what you are talking about here.  I would like to take this time to tell you another story. I first learned what racial tension was when I moved to Charleston SC in 1994-5. The first direct encounter I had with a black person in Charleston was at a fast food restaurant. He was a middle aged man with a great big huge smile on his face. He didn't work there but he welcomed me to Charleston anyway. He left me with a good feeling.

During the next several months I met and spoke to more black people than I had ever seen in my life up till that point. Most of those encounters were non eventful. Normal. But, there was this one time while I was working at a pawn shop in downtown Charleston on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. A middle aged black man came in looking to buy a handgun. After perusing the guns we had to offer he settled on a small caliber semi automatic. I acquired his information and placed a call to verify his background. I was told that it could take anywhere from 2 to 36 hours to clear the purchase. That was the standard response for every background check I ran. I told him it could take up to three days for approval and offered to let him put the handgun on lay-a-way for $1 to hold the weapon back until his background check was approved. He declined to pay the dollar and said it would be fine. So, I put the gun back in the display case and told him that I would call him just as soon as I heard back from them.

As it turned out, I was off the very next day and the very next day...someone else sold the gun he picked out to someone else.

When my customer came back to pick up his firearm and discovered that it had been sold he became extremely agitated and accused me of selling the gun out from underneath him because I was racist and didn't want a black man to buy a gun.

I was terrified and insulted at the same time. Now, I don't know if this guy genuinely thought that I was racist or if he was just playing the race card in order to get a special deal with the pawn shop. Either way, he got a special deal straight from the owner...who told me not to worry bout that kind of shit, said it happened all the time. After a couple of years I realized that yes, it did happen all the time.

Quote
In my previous post on this thread I talked about disparities among the races in terms of incarceration rates and infant mortality rates and educational attainment rates.   This is HUGE.  Why are we not talking about these issues all of the time????

Perhaps because the study you cited is over 30 years old? How has the landscape changed since then I wonder? How many black people who hold PhD's today had parents who were slaves?  None? So there are no black people with PhD's today? As far as infant mortality...are you suggesting that white doctors are deliberately allowing black babies to be neglected and as a result die?

I'll have to check out the video some other time...I can't use my wifi card for videos. :(
 1. much less, even heard of her
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Offline boobatuba

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #72 on: July 10, 2012, 11:23:40 PM »
I mean, I guess it could have been the case that with the entrance of all of these free states into the country, along with slavery being phased out in the Northeast, there would have been enough of a way to abolish slavery peacefully and perhaps earlier.  If that's what you're saying, then that makes sense to me.

Yeah, that's really what I've been saying all along, but I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to know that would absolutely have been the case. It's my theory after consideration of historical facts that the US could have avoided the civil war entirely had northern abolition measures taken hold soon after independence. I'm glad we found some common ground. I enjoy your posts and find them to be insightful and intelligent. It's been a pretty uncomfortable disagreement for me and I apologize for not articulating my position better from the start.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 11:25:26 PM by boobatuba »

Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #73 on: July 11, 2012, 02:53:48 AM »
It's all good, my dude.  I appreciate your perspective.  When I started this thread, my hope wasn't to have everyone agree with me.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #74 on: July 11, 2012, 12:11:01 PM »

I answered your question Frank, now you answer mine...how many black billionaires are there from countries other than America? How any black billionaires from Europe? France?


Here you go, see for yourself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_billionaires
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Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #75 on: July 11, 2012, 12:20:35 PM »
The top 3 richest black people in the world are in Africa, therefore Africa is the continent that provides the most opportunity to black people!  Mr. Blackwell's logic is sound indeed.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #76 on: July 11, 2012, 03:54:56 PM »
Likewise, China has more Chinese billionaires than the US, so China obviously has more economic opportunities for Chinese people. And the richest man in the world is Mexican, so Mexico has the most economic opportunity. Right?

It is so tiresome to hear these silly arguments that obscure the real problems that exist in the US.

Blacks in the US have it better than blacks in Sudan. Poor people in the US have cars and poor people in Sudan don't. So blacks and poor folks in the US should just shut up.

Or else what? You'll ship them off to Sudan?

Racism has become institutionalized in the US, so people don't have to be actively burning crosses or beating up black people to participate in discrimination.

For example, black people with equal credit scores to whites routinely get worse credit terms, get sold crappy mortgages, and pay higher interest rates. Even when they qualify for the better terms. Black women with the same breast cancer diagnosis get worse treatment than white women, and don't live as long. Black people with equal skills and education earn less than whites, have higher rates of unemployment, remain unemployed for longer. And so on.

For some strange reason, when you control for everything else, racial discrimination remains. Ignoring the racial issues because they are complicated won't solve anything.

I am part of a longitudinal health study of black women, the first and largest of its kind in the US. One thing that has already emerged is that the stress of dealing with racism (including wondering whether a particular bad outcome was due to race or not) has a negative effect on health outcomes. Surprise, surprise.

One of the nice things about living in Africa was that, for the first time in my life, I was in the majority in a country. Anywhere I went, people who looked kind of like me were in charge of everything. Black doctors, engineers, managers, scientists, CEO's, farmers, mechanics. In the US people say, you can be anything. In Africa I actually saw that in reality for the first time. The good people, the bad people, the smart people and the dumb people-- all black. All the way up and down on the social ladder.

Every beautician in the entire country could do my hair, and my hair products and skin products were in every single store, not just a few in certain neighborhoods.  My body shape was the standard-- everything was made to fit my behind. I was not looked at as the "other"; I was regular, normal, status quo.  If something went sour, I knew that race had nothing to do with it. For the first time in my life I could look at the world "color blind" like white people in the US say they do.

The experience gave me a new outlook on life and I have carried that with me ever since. It may be one important difference between US black people and African immigrants to the US. The black immigrants tend to be more successful as business leaders, scientists, etc. It could be because they know they can be whatever they have the ability to be, because they have seen it happen.[1]

I suggest a visit to a country where people like you are in the majority as a self-esteem builder for anyone of any race. It has nothing to do with disliking white people. It is about learning to love yourself.



 1. Not having slavery, lynching and Jim Crow dragging your ancestors down probably helps a tad, too.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #77 on: July 11, 2012, 09:19:53 PM »

I am part of a longitudinal health study of black women, the first and largest of its kind in the US. One thing that has already emerged is that the stress of dealing with racism (including wondering whether a particular bad outcome was due to race or not) has a negative effect on health outcomes. Surprise, surprise.


Wow!  Thank you for taking part in such an important study.  Can you link any information about the study itself or the preliminary findings?  Or is it too early in the process?  I would be fascinated to see it. 

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #78 on: July 11, 2012, 09:49:20 PM »
I've been watching this thread and found myself agreeing with both sides off and on.

I feel it best to share a little about my history before offering my opinions. I live in Tennessee, born and raised. I've never lived any where else, and I rarely go out of town. So my worldview is entirely limited to what I've witnessed first hand, the media, and I've read online.

My grandmother was racist until she met my best friend. At first she was very leery but it was the first biracial person she'd ever met, and more than likely the most personal interaction she ever had with a black person.

However, I was never introduced to racism by my family. The area I grew up in is the "whitest" side of town. But one of my three bullies was a black guy. For me his race didn't matter. He was a jerk because he bullied me. He was also the only one of three bullies to redeem himself. He never outright apologized but we eventually made peace.

I really never fit in to this "white" side of town. They were very snobby and uppity so with the bullying, about to become a freshmen,  and all the other life issues I was dealing with I asked to move to the other side of town. You know the one that's not "THAT"[1] far away from the "whitest" side of town, but some where in the middle.

To be honest high school was the first time I really started noticing the race issue. One of the worst I encountered was how poorly the black girls at school treated my best friend. They couldn't accept her because she was biracial. They made sure to let her know she was not one of them. The black guys also treated her differently, like being biracial was some kinda exotic breed or something equally juvenile. But she herself was prejudice against black guys. Her dad was a crack head and her mom a snotty white woman. My best friend decided that in order to avoid crack heads, and in order to fit in with her snotty white family she had to abandon her black heritage. There were other girls in school who were black who refused to hang out with other black kids. One in particular actually said she hated black people. It was all new to me and I never really said much about it one way or the other. Most of my friends dated interracial and I could pretty much get a long with everyone except the snobs.

Around 17 I met my first drug peddling gangsters[2]. It all happened rather abruptly. The sister of one of my other best friends in high school was being beaten by her boyfriend[3]. She was walking in front of my apartment complex and asked for help. I couldn't turn her away. Well to make a long story short before I knew what happened he too was living with me. And most of his friends might as well have been living there cause it's where they ate and slept. I ended up with my car stolen by a white guy. My checks stolen by several black guys. My rings pawned by a white chic and a black guy. And many other bad experiences. But I also had my first encounter with a sexual predator. He was also black.

Around 19 I moved to the "ghetto". Or about as ghetto as it gets around here. I was the minority. It was the first time I ever witnessed being a "white girl". My entire life I was "just a girl". But not anymore. I was the white girl who got stared at for walking in to the gas station to by a soda. I was harassed by this drug dealer across the street and had mine and my daughters lives threatened. I honestly couldn't take it. I was living with my biracial in laws and living in a world that didn't accept me. For the first time in my entire life I actually understood what discrimination felt like.  I only experienced that life for about 6 months but I didn't walk away from it with hate. I walked away from it with an understanding and perhaps some empathy.

To sum up who I am today I'm a white girl, living in the middle of town. Not to close to the uppity racist side of town and not too close to the ghetto side either. I like living where people are judged by their actions not the color of their skin. I've felt injustices by white people and black people equally the same and through the years I've learned that it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture. I openly admit that I internally hate several clusters of the population around here. I've unfortunately learned that in order to protect myself and my family, in order to survive I have to follow certain rules. Such as I can't go down town clubbing and walk in to an ally alone. Not because I'm afraid of a black guy, a Mexican guy, white guy, or whatever. But because it's not safe.

And while it's not always nice to stereotype people by their appearance sometimes doing so protects me. Whether it's cool to admit it or not, white or black, if you walk, talk and act like a drug dealer I'm not opening my door when I'm home alone. I'm not going to stop and give you directions in the middle of the night. Same thing for my children. My daughter gets so mad because I won't let her go outside and buy ice cream from the random van that pulls in here from time to time. Is the person driving the van a pedophile? Probably not but I'm not gonna learn my lesson the hard way either. My daughter is also not allowed to walk up to a stranger and meet their dog. There are certain neighborhoods that I know aren't safe to drive in. Etc Etc Etc.

Sometimes I wonder if all this makes me racist or prejudice. But the truth is I don't care what the color of your skin is. I do my best not to treat any stranger differently from the next. But there are some cultures of population around here that I've learned to avoid. My ex for instance is a white guy who likes to hang out with drug dealers, addicts, thieves, and ex-cons. Do you think I invite them all over for a cook out?

Am I really supposed to feel empathy for them because they chose a life of crime? Just because they were born and raised on the wrong side of town? Am I supposed to turn a blind eye to their chosen lifestyles because they may or may not be the direct descendants to slaves? Am I now a bad person because I don't want to allow myself to be victimized or because I refuse to be naive to harsh realities of life around me?

I truly feel empathy for anyone who has been judged, treated differently, harassed, assaulted or otherwise victimized strictly because of the color of their skin. It's not my wishes to undermine that side of humanity. I'm not ever going to say it doesn't happen or that we have ratified racism in America. That's simply not true.

But when Chris Rock makes comments like this IMO it says, "Hey white girl you are wrong for enjoying the 4th because you just so happened to have been born white." It feels racist to me. Maybe that's because of my life experience, maybe that's not what he intends to mean. But I didn't ask to be born white any more than he asked to be born black. I don't ask people to treat me better than the black woman of my equal. I expect to be treated as fairly as anyone else does, and the color of skin shouldn't get me any further in life then color of another's holds them back. The possibility that it doesn't surely doesn't mean that it's my fault this happens and that I should personally be looked down on because it may or may not happen.

So this thread got me wondering. My daughters best friend in school is black. Assuming they both go to the same middle and high schools how exactly does the education system treat the two differently? Do they not both get the same homework? Does the teacher not grade them with same expectations of correct answers? Or are we saying that the injustices in our school system only happen in neighborhoods where the population is mostly black?

As for the incarceration rate. I really don't understand that argument either. I don't like many of the laws of our society. I'd love to run to the local Walgreens and buy a bag of pot for recreational use. But purchasing pot is illegal, so is possession. So you know what I don't buy or smoke pot. I don't like the consequences so I don't do the crime. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm 100% for the decriminalization of victimless crimes, but you won't see me arguing for the release of those convicts until those laws are changed. Not because I think they deserve to be there but because they made a decision to break the laws that got them there fully knowing the consequence of their actions.

I understand that decades of slavery has it's consequences. But as a human I find us all equally accountable for our decisions. And no I'm not some stupid naive white girl who can't fathom having to overcome hard obstacles and challenges that are set up to make me fail. Most of my life has been spent fighting for my right to survive, one way or another I've always encountered adversity. Eventually, we all have to take personal accountability for our actions. I'm sorry for those who are born in to harsher neighborhoods than I've ever witnessed. I'm sympathetic for the children who grow up addicted to drugs, or used to transport drugs, or who have to sale drugs to eat. But eventually we all make a decision to continue living the lives we were born in to.

I'm sorry for the TLDR post, but I've been debating on whether or not to share my opinions in this thread for fear of persecution. I genuinely respect several people on this forum and don't want to lose their respect. I'm afraid my opinions won't be met with smiley faces and dancing fairies. But I've been honest, and that's the best anyone can be. If you disagree with me that's fine, I've accepted at this point that I've said things many will disagree with. My only hope is that me being honest doesn't cause those of your I respect to look poorly upon me.
 1. I don't say this in a offensive tone, I say this like the snotty white people would always say.
 2. This is their own personification of themselves, not me placing stereotypes on them
 3. Who just so happened to be black
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #79 on: July 11, 2012, 11:08:25 PM »
No worries Kim.

Here is another story from my life. I told you that my mom never mentioned race when talking about people. Well, as a general rule I don't either. She succeeded in raising her children to be accepting of skin color at least.

But, she didn't realize how successful she was at her goal. Several years back I got a phone call from mom. She had that serious tone to her voice that indicated to me that I needed to pay close attention. She told me that my younger sister was getting married. This was a complete shock because I had no idea that she was even dating someone.

Turns out it was a short engagement. Which concerned me. Mom's concern was how me and my brother would react to the fact that her fiance was a French speaking African. You know, black. Mom wasn't completely sure that me or my brother would be okay with that fact. Turns out we were fine with that...but who the fuck was this guy? Is he cool? Is he going treat our sister right?

Honestly, I was more shocked that she was getting married than I was that it happened to be French speaking black man from Africa.

Bless Mom's heart for not knowing if we were racist or not. She just wanted to soften the blow in case we did have a problem with the color of our new brother in law's skin color.


Here is a picture of him with my middle child on Christmas in 2009.


I have some better pictures but they are on my computer back home. The language and culture barrier has provided many good stories. Good times.

I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2012, 02:49:21 AM »
My only hope is that me being honest doesn't cause those of your I respect to look poorly upon me.

Nah, never that.  Thank you for your post.

So this thread got me wondering. My daughters best friend in school is black. Assuming they both go to the same middle and high schools how exactly does the education system treat the two differently? Do they not both get the same homework? Does the teacher not grade them with same expectations of correct answers? Or are we saying that the injustices in our school system only happen in neighborhoods where the population is mostly black?

No.  Equal access to good schools is definitely serious and is something needs to be addressed.  But even within the same school site, white students and black students will often come away with different experiences.  For example, there's a study that showed that in an integrated school, or specifically schools with a lot of white and black people, a school probably not unlike the one you send your daughter to, black students are more likely to be placed on a lower track for mathematics than their test scores warrent.  This sort of thing can have the effect of segregating ostensibly integrated schools by tracking the white students higher than the black students.  I'm not exactly sure how widespread it is or to what extent it segregates schools, but I have been told my more than one white friend (peace to anecdotal evidence) of mine that their high school worked like that.

As for the incarceration rate. I really don't understand that argument either. I don't like many of the laws of our society. I'd love to run to the local Walgreens and buy a bag of pot for recreational use. But purchasing pot is illegal, so is possession. So you know what I don't buy or smoke pot. I don't like the consequences so I don't do the crime. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm 100% for the decriminalization of victimless crimes, but you won't see me arguing for the release of those convicts until those laws are changed. Not because I think they deserve to be there but because they made a decision to break the laws that got them there fully knowing the consequence of their actions.

When we talk about mass incarceration, the issue isn't always about whether or not any of these people have broken the law per se.  For me, when I talk about mass incarceration, I'm concerned with the law.  I think drug prohibition should be ended, for example.  But I'm also concerned about the ways in which current laws are enforced, the ways in which our courts work, and the ways in which cases are decided.  Sticking with drugs as an example, check the math of this.  Black folks constitute roughly 13 percent of the population.  Studies have shown that blacks and whites use drugs at similar rates.  And yet we constitute about 35 percent of drug arrests.  Keep in mind that the vast majority of all drug arrests are for simple possession. 

Why would that be the case?

Eventually, we all have to take personal accountability for our actions. I'm sorry for those who are born in to harsher neighborhoods than I've ever witnessed. I'm sympathetic for the children who grow up addicted to drugs, or used to transport drugs, or who have to sale drugs to eat. But eventually we all make a decision to continue living the lives we were born in to.

I actually don't disagree with this, if we're talking about what an oppressed or disadvantaged person should do for the time being.  We can talk about economic disparities and white privilage until we're blue in the face.  And we can organize ourselves and fight the good fight against things that contribute to racial injustice.  But until we get there, we've got to live our lives as best we can. 

I'm glad that you shared before you wrote this because, honestly, I tend to get a little defensive when I hear stuff like this because it's the sort of thing that people that.  Usually the language of personal responsibility is used to wave away the significance of racial discrimination.  I suppose it's not unlike your fear of walking by yourself at night.  You shouldn't have to be careful.  But you are careful.  That danger is real and it's something you have to deal with.  Likewise, there are things black people shouldn't have to deal with.  But we do anyway.  We shouldn't have to deal with it.  But here we are.

But when Chris Rock makes comments like this IMO it says, "Hey white girl you are wrong for enjoying the 4th because you just so happened to have been born white." It feels racist to me. Maybe that's because of my life experience, maybe that's not what he intends to mean.

I sincerely doubt that's how he meant it and honestly, I'm still having a hard time understanding why so many of you would read it that way.  The way I read it, the feeling underlying the tweet wasn't even really about white people.  It was basically, "knowing about our country's history of slavery and oppression against my people makes me feel weird about the 4th."  But maybe that's me projecting my ambivilance towards patriotic celebrations onto Chris Rock.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 03:22:38 AM by Timo »
Nah son...

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2012, 07:40:40 AM »
I have some better pictures but they are on my computer back home. The language and culture barrier has provided many good stories. Good times.

My first daughter's Papaw is a really awesome black man. I have no idea how he is so nice and passive when at most time's I'm confident he married the devil (My ex mother in law, she's white.) His son is also my eldest's uncle and I had the pleasure of watching him grow up. He's a really good uncle to my daughter. These people have absolutely no relation to me at all. I'm not married to anyone on that side of the family and we don't have any blood lines. But when I ran out of baby wipes a few weeks ago you know who brought them to me? Papaw. I told him and the devilish grandma they were welcome to be my baby's grandparents[1] too. I think they enjoy having a new grandbaby even if she's not really there's. My point it they consider me family even though I'm not with their son. (Papaw's step son.) They invite us to their cookouts and still treat me better than my own family. Not because we are white or they are black. But because I was apart of their family since I was 17. They gave me a home and food when my own mother would rather treat me like a servant. (I was 19 and hit a rough patch.) Any ways, my point really is when I need someone to be there for me I don't call my blood family, I call papaw and the devilish grandma. It's funny how my exs family mean more to me than my own, but it's the truth.
 1. They were there when she was born. Papaw taught her his rendition of peekaboo and showed her how to take her first steps. Grandma's pretty cool too, she likes baby hugs, kisses, and spoils her with new clothes.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 07:45:06 AM by Kimberly »
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #82 on: July 12, 2012, 08:42:51 AM »
No.  Equal access to good schools is definitely serious and is something needs to be addressed.  But even within the same school site, white students and black students will often come away with different experiences.  For example, there's a study that showed that in an integrated school, or specifically schools with a lot of white and black people, a school probably not unlike the one you send your daughter to, black students are more likely to be placed on a lower track for mathematics than their test scores warrent.  This sort of thing can have the effect of segregating ostensibly integrated schools by tracking the white students higher than the black students.  I'm not exactly sure how widespread it is or to what extent it segregates schools, but I have been told my more than one white friend (peace to anecdotal evidence) of mine that their high school worked like that.

I've not personally experienced this. As I mentioned before my daughter's best friend is black. My daughter told me she was jealous because her best friend got put in a higher reading level than her because she was a better reader. The good news is this motivated my daughter to read more. She never made it to the same reading level (advanced) as her best friend.

When I was in third grade I was placed in the lower math levels because I was failing to understand multiplication. I think this was an injustice because if the teacher didn't know I was being abused at home and that was why I was struggling than she was an idiot. But I guess that's neither here nor there. I was white and because of my poor grades I was dropped from the advanced math group and put in what I called the stupid group.

So any ways, at least in this part of TN I'm not aware of such issues. But I'd gladly ready any sources you may have that discuss this further.

When we talk about mass incarceration, the issue isn't always about whether or not any of these people have broken the law per se.  For me, when I talk about mass incarceration, I'm concerned with the law.  I think drug prohibition should be ended, for example.  But I'm also concerned about the ways in which current laws are enforced, the ways in which our courts work, and the ways in which cases are decided.  Sticking with drugs as an example, check the math of this.  Black folks constitute roughly 13 percent of the population.  Studies have shown that blacks and whites use drugs at similar rates.  And yet we constitute about 35 percent of drug arrests.  Keep in mind that the vast majority of all drug arrests are for simple possession. 

Why would that be the case?

I really don't know. Based on my personal experience there are an equal amount of black/white drug users and dealers.

You may not like this but the white drug dealers were more low profile. They had a day job, and seemed to blend in to society so much so that you would have no idea they were dealers. The black drug dealers rarely had a day job and if they did it didn't last long. They also didn't blend in well with society because they decided to dress and act like your stereotypical drug dealer. (You know like the rap videos portray.)

In my not so professional opinion this probably increases the likelihoods of getting caught. Not because you are more likely to get busted doing drugs if you are white/black. But because the police have a profile they are looking for. They also get reports of patterns. Like people coming in and out of an apartment building all day long. So IMO if you can't blend in to society[1] you increase your chances of being profiled. And what happens when the profiler was right to profile them and he finds the evidence he was looking for? Is he then wrong for profiling? Or was he right because the person was in possession of drugs or was busted selling drugs?

I don't attempt to know the answers to those questions. In one hand I don't think people should be profiled  because of the type of clothes the wear, the way they carry themselves, what car they drive or what type of music they play. But in the other hand if they are right and the person who meets the profile was also doing something illegal how do you justify not profiling? I really don't know the "right" answer but I tend to believe that if you can't do your business and blend in to society you are both a bad businessman and increase your chances of getting caught.

I'm also open to read any other sources you have on this topic that aren't anecdotal.

I actually don't disagree with this, if we're talking about what an oppressed or disadvantaged person should do for the time being.  We can talk about economic disparities and white privilage until we're blue in the face.  And we can organize ourselves and fight the good fight against things that contribute to racial injustice.  But until we get there, we've got to live our lives as best we can. 

I'm glad that you shared before you wrote this because, honestly, I tend to get a little defensive when I hear stuff like this because it's the sort of thing that people that.  Usually the language of personal responsibility is used to wave away the significance of racial discrimination.  I suppose it's not unlike your fear of walking by yourself at night.  You shouldn't have to be careful.  But you are careful.  That danger is real and it's something you have to deal with.  Likewise, there are things black people shouldn't have to deal with.  But we do anyway.  We shouldn't have to deal with it.  But here we are.

I'm glad I didn't put you on the defensive. I really enjoyed several of your posts here. It seems like you are genuinely trying to understand those who have a different view than your own. Everyone has to do what they have to do to do survive. And I don't just hold this philosophy for people born in to the drug life or who are black trying to fit in to a white society.

I'll be brief but here's another personal story. When I was 17 I met this guy who would eventually be the father of my first child. I've shared in another thread that he's something like 7 years older than me (I forget.) But trust me has was on my level when I was 17. He was also a practicing alcoholic and occasional drug user. (That sounds weird even typing it, but it's true. He did his drug use in binges not for long lengths of time.) Basically all he did consistently was drink and beat me. I'm not sure where it happened but at some point in time I decided my life wasn't worth fighting for and I decided to stay with him. Where ever that point in time was I hold myself accountable for everything that happened to me after it. Not because I'm trying to punish myself for making a bad choice, I'm not; I'm past that. But because I had a way out, I could have left him at any point in time. I was a good person, who didn't deserve to be treated like that. But it was easier to stay than it was to start all over again. So I was, for lack of a better term, fucking lazy. I eventually found the motivation to leave him and we are something of friends now. He's not a bad guy, he's an acceptable dad, and we get a long fairly well. We've made our lives work together for the sake of our daughter. But my point is that I had a personal accountability to end the madness. It was never my fault he got violent but it was my fault I was there to start with. And for the record he didn't have some emotional trap set up for me, at some point all emotions were lost. There was no fear. He would have let me leave, and he worked nights so I could have left when he was at work any day of the week.

Any ways moral of the story is I think at some point in time we decide to either accept the cards we are dealt or ask for a redeal.

I sincerely doubt that's how he meant it and honestly, I'm still having a hard time understanding why so many of you would read it that way.  The way I read it, the feeling underlying the tweet wasn't even really about white people.  It was basically, "knowing about our country's history of slavery and oppression against my people makes me feel weird about the 4th."  But maybe that's me projecting my ambivilance towards patriotic celebrations onto Chris Rock.

Perhaps not. I typical find Chris Rock to be one of the less harsh about the white/black jokes as some of his peers. Most of the time I find him funny, initially when I read the OP I was like, "Meh just another black comedian poking a stick at me, trying to get a rise out of me cause I'm white. I guess he doesn't want white people to enjoy this holiday and that if I do enjoy this holiday something is wrong with me. Oh well, he was funny in that one movie... oh wait no that was Matthew Lawrence; or was it Chris Tucker? What was Chris Rock in last? Hell IDK fuck it who cares."

I don't see how he was trying to educate the white people on US History. As others have said he could have done a better job if that was his goal. But then it wouldn't be funny and we wouldn't be having this conversation. So whether or not his intent was to be offensive doesn't matter. His intent defiantly was to spark controversy and get people talking about HIM.

I don't tweet or twirp or whatever they call it. So I would have never known about his joke had it not been posted here. He accomplished his goal of making sure people on the internet still find him relevant. Because I can't tell you the last time I thought about Chris Rock this much in years.
 1. And I'm not saying be white, this area is diverse enough that you won't get looked at weird just for being black.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Timo

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #83 on: July 13, 2012, 12:53:32 AM »
But I'd gladly ready any sources you may have that discuss this further.

Yeah, I've never personally experienced it either.  I didn't go to a really mixed school until college.  But here's the study that I was referencing:

http://msan.wceruw.org/documents/resources_for_educators/Mathematics/Black%20White%20Gap%20Math%20Coursetaking.pdf

They also didn't blend in well with society because they decided to dress and act like your stereotypical drug dealer. (You know like the rap videos portray.)

A couple of things.

1.) I don't think real or imagined differences in the relative conspicuousness (is that a word?) of white and black drug dealers can account for these racial disparities here.  Since the early nineties the vast majority of drug arrests (about 80 percent) are for possession and not for the production or sale of drugs.[1]
2.) Style of dress is not enough to establish probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
3.) What does a 'stereotypical drug dealer' (or rapper for that matter) act or dress like?  Does this differ significantly from people in the same community and in the same age cohort that are not involved with the drug trade?  I really don't even understand what you're saying here.

But in the other hand if they are right and the person who meets the profile was also doing something illegal how do you justify not profiling? I really don't know the "right" answer but I tend to believe that if you can't do your business and blend in to society you are both a bad businessman and increase your chances of getting caught.

I agree with you on the second point, but I don't think this thread is about best practices for drug dealers.  With respect to the first point, it's obviously wrong even if they manage to find that the person has committed some sort of crime.  If I were a police officer and I started detaining and searching people on your block for no good reason, I don't think that I would be justified in my actions just because, in a few instances, I would probably be able find out that a crime has taken place.  There is such a thing as an illegal search.  And we do have rights under the constitution.

You might want to check out this video from a few years back in NYC:

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/07/11/nyregion/1247468422062/stop-and-frisk-in-brownsville-brooklyn.html

I like it because it presents both the problem that police tactics can pose for residents while acknowledging that there are reasons that the tactics are employed in the first place, reasons that the residents recognize as valid even while disagreeing with those tactics.  I think it also shows why I don't think much of your claims about profiling.  When cops can't tell the difference between a group of criminals and a group of high school football players on their way home from practice, it's probably an indication that things aren't exactly cut and dry because criminals tend to dress more or less like everyone else.  I think that example also demonstrates that there can be a policy with a disperate racial impact even without overt racism on the part of the officers carrying that policy out.  The fact that the officers stopped bothering the kids when they were carrying their helmets is a pretty good indication that, in general, the cops probably aren't interested in stopping people just because they're black, since helmet or no helmet, they're still black kids.

I'm also open to read any other sources you have on this topic that aren't anecdotal.

I think it's kind of funny that you would make that caveat after providing only anecdotes and generalizations in an attempt to explain away the statistics I presented.  Just saying.

Anyway, no worries.  Here's a little something.  It's a little summary of an analysis of LAPD records that was done a few years back (2004 records, the records were old when the study was done).

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/23/opinion/oe-ayres23

We found persistent and statistically significant racial disparities in policing that raise grave concerns that African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles are, as we put it in the report, "over-stopped, over-frisked, over-searched and over-arrested." After controlling for violent crime rates and property crime rates in specific neighborhoods, as well as a host of other variables, we found the following:

For every 10,000 residents, about 3,400 more black people are stopped than whites, and 360 more Latinos are stopped than whites. Stopped blacks are 127% more likely to be frisked -- and stopped Latinos are 43% more likely to be frisked -- than stopped whites.

Stopped blacks are 76% more likely to be searched, and stopped Latinos are 16% more likely to be searched than stopped whites.

Stopped blacks are 29% more likely to be arrested, and stopped Latinos are 32% more likely to be arrested than stopped whites.

Now consider this: Although stopped blacks were 127% more likely to be frisked than stopped whites, they were 42.3% less likely to be found with a weapon after they were frisked, 25% less likely to be found with drugs and 33% less likely to be found with other contraband. We found similar patterns for Latinos.

Not only did we find that African Americans and Latinos were subjected to more stops, frisks, searches and arrests than whites, we also found that these additional police actions aren't because of the fact that people of color live in higher-crime areas or because they more often carry drugs or weapons, or any other legitimate reason that we can discern from the rich set of data we examined.


And here's a pretty telling little bit of information that they uncovered when they examined the race of the officers involved in stops:

As an ancillary test -- after we'd calculated the general disparities -- we did look at the officers involved, and we found that the racial disparities in the likelihood of arrest were substantially lower when at least one of the stopping officers was the same race as the suspect.

For example, we found that the black arrest disparity was 9 percentage points lower when at least one of the stopping officers was black. Bratton should be troubled that there is less disparity when the officer is the same race as the person stopped, as that result adds credibility to the idea that the disparities in different-race interactions may be because of racial bias.


I don't see how he was trying to educate the white people on US History. As others have said he could have done a better job if that was his goal. But then it wouldn't be funny and we wouldn't be having this conversation. So whether or not his intent was to be offensive doesn't matter. His intent defiantly was to spark controversy and get people talking about HIM.

I don't think that this was about educating anyone either.  I think he's merely riffing on the dissonance between the ideals on which this country was founded and the realities of African chattel slavery.  I still don't understand how you see that as somehow 'poking at' you, as if you are implicated in something that happened centuries before you were born.
 1. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm
Nah son...

Offline Quesi

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #84 on: July 13, 2012, 08:04:24 AM »
One of the strongest voices in NYC against stop and frisk is City Councilmember Jumaame Williams.  Ironically, a few months ago, at the city’s West Indian Day Parade, he got a taste of what it feels like to be tackled, put face down on the ground, and handcuffed.

As one of the few NYC elected officials of West Indian descent, he was an honored participant in the annual parade.  Along with his friend and colleague, Kirsten John Foy, who is a senior aid to elected official Bill DeBlasio, the two men were walking to a VIP luncheon following the parade.  The street had been blocked off to parade-goers in order to allow access to the VIP’s traveling to the event.  But these two VIP’s, in spite of showing identification, were arrested for attempting to walk down the street that had been blocked off for them. 

Watch the man in the bluish/turquoise shirt.  That is Foy, a senior governmental official.  Yeah.  Perhaps he could have been a little deferential.  Everything in his body language says “WTF!  I’m supposed to be here!”  But he didn’t fit the aesthetic of who the police thought should be in the VIP area. 



I’m Jumaame Williams’ “friend’ on facebook, (I do a lot of work with the city council, and he is one the hardest working members), so I heard about the incident early and followed it.  At first the police said that he had “punched a cop.”  They retracted that statement quickly, and claimed that “someone” had punched a police captain, and that they were removing the elected officials for their own safety.  Look at Foy in this video.  Do you think the police are acting in an effort to protect his safety?   Ultimately, no one was charged with this alleged punch.  Maybe it is because there weren’t enough police on this little strip of road?  Or perhaps it was fictional.  Who is to say it wasn’t? 

Last month, on the other side of the nation, another governmental official was detained, in a very different kind of stop, by a different governmental entity.  Former Arizona governor, Raul Castro, was stopped by the border patrol after setting off a radiation detecting device used by homeland security. 

After it was determined that the 96 year old former governor and diplomat was in fact not part of a joint Mexican/al Qaeda plot to set off a nuclear device in Tucson, (he had in fact, had some medical procedures done on his pace maker the day before, which carried residual radiation), he was denied requests to return to his car as they continued with appropriate paperwork.  The 96 year old man, with a heart condition, was made to stand outside in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, (in a suit… he was on his way to his own 96th birthday party) for more than 40 minutes. 

http://my.auburnjournal.com/detail/212518.html

Now these two stories are newsworthy because the detained individuals are so clearly in the right.  But the mouthy 18 year old kid?  If a cop says he punched him, whether it happened or not, the charges are assault.  And if that kid had a joint in his pocket, or a knife or an expensive piece of jewelry for which he doesn’t happen to have a receipt, he’s not going to college in September.  He’s going to jail.   

Here is some stop and frisk data from NYC in recent years. 

•   In 2009, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 581,168 times.
510,742 were totally innocent (88 percent).
310,611 were black (55 percent).
180,055 were Latino (32 percent).
53,601 were white (10 percent).
289,602 were aged 14-24 (50 percent).

•   In 2010, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 601,285 times.
518,849 were totally innocent (86 percent).
315,083 were black (54 percent).
189,326 were Latino (33 percent).
54,810 were white (9 percent).

295,902 were aged 14-24 (49 percent).
•   In 2011, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 685,724 times.
605,328 were totally innocent (88 percent).
350,743 were black (53 percent).
223,740 were Latino (34 percent).
61,805 were white (9 percent).
341,581 were aged 14-24 (51 percent).

•   In the first three months of 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 203,500 times
181,457 were totally innocent (89 percent).
108,097 were black (54 percent).
69,043 were Latino (33 percent).
18,387 were white (9 percent).

Please note that about 17% of NYC residents are black, and about 18% are latino. Yet these two groups are a little bit overrepresented in the stop and frisk practices, and demonstrated by the above data.  White (non Hispanic) New Yorkers represent about 58% of the residents.   

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #85 on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:26 AM »
I think it's kind of funny that you would make that caveat after providing only anecdotes and generalizations in an attempt to explain away the statistics I presented.  Just saying.

I tried to make it clear that I had nothing else to offer. You seemed to be projecting that you have obtained knowledge that wasn't anecdotal and that you didn't want to talk about anecdotal stuff until we were blue in the face. It was my attempt to educate myself and steer the conversation in the direction that I assumed you would have preferred that it go.

I'm going to read/watch your sources before replying further. Thanks.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Is this offensive?
« Reply #86 on: July 13, 2012, 10:32:46 AM »
Yeah, I've never personally experienced it either.  I didn't go to a really mixed school until college.  But here's the study that I was referencing:

http://msan.wceruw.org/documents/resources_for_educators/Mathematics/Black%20White%20Gap%20Math%20Coursetaking.pdf

Thank you for the source.

A couple of things.

1.) I don't think real or imagined differences in the relative conspicuousness (is that a word?) of white and black drug dealers can account for these racial disparities here.  Since the early nineties the vast majority of drug arrests (about 80 percent) are for possession and not for the production or sale of drugs.[1]
 1. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm

It may not account for it all. Pretty sure I said in my not so professional opinion. I told you what I have personally witnessed; that doesn't mean what I've witnessed is the end all be all.

Is it easier to arrest someone for possession that to catch someone in the act of buying/selling? To make a drug deal there are several steps.

1. "Phone a friend" (May or may not have drugs on you if you got caught in this stage.) Takes what 2-5 min on the phone? Police would have to have a warrant to catch you in this stage right? So it's not as likely to happen here. If you did get caught here it could be possession or soliciting drugs. 

2. In route to meet dealer (May or may not have drugs on you if you got caught in this stage. Normally if you're in the process of re-upping you don't have drugs on you.) This is prob what 20-30 min in route process, it's possible to get caught with drugs at this stage if you have them on you but I think it's least likely to occur here. If it did occur here it would be a possession charge.

3. Meeting Place (Presumably there will be drugs at this stage unless you are being conned.) Unless the cops got wind of where your meet up was I doubt you are going to get caught here. They could be watching this location after identifying a pattern and they could be recording your picture to use for a later date. They could also be doing more check points at known drug dealer locations so it could be likely you would get busted in this stage. Really just depends on the situation. If it did occur here it would be a possession charge and/or dealing/soliciting charge.

4. Exchange drugs (Drugs would be at this stage.) This takes any where from a few seconds to as long as you decide to hang out. If it did occur here it would be a possession charge and/or dealing charge.

5. Each party leaves. (Drugs would be at this stage. The drug dealer may or may not still have drugs on him.) If it did occur here it would be a possession charge.

6. Drug use (There will be drugs at this stage.) If it did occur here it would be a possession charge.

So I count at least 6 possible points in a drug transaction where if caught you could be charged with possession. 2 points in time[2] where it could be for dealing. And 2 points in time where it could be for solicitation. So if we play the game of probabilities how likely is that you will get busted for possession vs dealing/soliciting?

Possession is also easier to prove in court than the intent to sell or distribute. It's also likely that lots of people would plead down to a simple possession charge than a higher charge if offered a plea bargain.

I'm not a hardcore researcher, I don't have stats to back this up, but IMO it seems logical that possession charges would be more frequent than any other drug charges. I'm not even taking in to account that there are prob more drug users than drug dealers so that too would increase the probability.

2.) Style of dress is not enough to establish probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

I agree, didn't say that it did. Just said that looking at what I've witnessed in this area it could explain a portion of the issue. Which seems to be true based on your's and Quesi's stats on racial profiling.

3.) What does a 'stereotypical drug dealer' (or rapper for that matter) act or dress like?  Does this differ significantly from people in the same community and in the same age cohort that are not involved with the drug trade?  I really don't even understand what you're saying here.

::Bashes eye lashes:: Really? You don't know what I was saying? How exactly do rappers use their image to target their audience? What messages do the typically send? How do they get their street cred? You don't have to play coy with me. We all know what I was talking about. This will prob be the only time I ever source cracked.com but check out Dr. Dre before and after shots.

http://www.cracked.com/article_15826_six-musicians-with-pasts-they-hope-youll-forget.html

Before world wide popularity:


After:


I personally owned this CD when I was teen:



Can we pretend we all know what Dr Dre did here? Can we also stop pretending that main stream rappers don't use a "gangster" image to sell albums? I'm not talking about anything that shouldn't be widely known or accepted Timo.

I personally think Dr Dre has a very professional look now one that I think he has is more distinguished. The lyrics in his songs have also progressed. But lets not pretend how he got where he is today wasn't by personifying the gangster image.

To be fair here's Dr Dre's BFF in a similar picture:


It seems like they both use the same propaganda to sell albums.

I'm sure there are plenty examples of rappers who don't use this propaganda to sell albums. And I'm sure there are plenty of kids/adults who dress like these rappers and who aren't criminals. That's why in your profiling stats you can see a discrepancy in the amounts of innocent people who are profiled, of all races. But we can't ignore some for the sake of all. Meaning you can't pretend that the images, experiences, and types of drug dealers/users exist just because it doesn't always fit the mold. Which was entirely my point. If I showed you a picture of this white chic who sells pot around here you would have no idea she sold pot. The point is if you can blend in to your surroundings, be a "chameleon" so to speak. Then who's going to profile you?[3]

Can you tell me who looks more like a drug user here:




How about if we look at this instead:
http://planetoddity.com/faces-of-meth-addicts/

You tell me there aren't distinguishable features of drug addicts. I will say it again in case anyone reading this missed it. I'm all for the decriminalization of recreational drug use and victimless crimes. But lets not pretend that there aren't certain stereotypes that exist because people actually fit the mold. The problem is distinguishing when it's okay to search them or accuse them of a crime. 

I agree with you on the second point, but I don't think this thread is about best practices for drug dealers.  With respect to the first point, it's obviously wrong even if they manage to find that the person has committed some sort of crime.  If I were a police officer and I started detaining and searching people on your block for no good reason, I don't think that I would be justified in my actions just because, in a few instances, I would probably be able find out that a crime has taken place.  There is such a thing as an illegal search.  And we do have rights under the constitution.

You are right. I really wasn't aware of the magnitude of racial profiling. I don't see that around here and I've not ever really read the stats on it before. The most I had heard about it before was in recent news for Arizona. I wasn't really aware that is was more widespread.

You might want to check out this video from a few years back in NYC:
<snip>

I like it because it presents both the problem that police tactics can pose for residents while acknowledging that there are reasons that the tactics are employed in the first place, reasons that the residents recognize as valid even while disagreeing with those tactics.  I think it also shows why I don't think much of your claims about profiling.  When cops can't tell the difference between a group of criminals and a group of high school football players on their way home from practice, it's probably an indication that things aren't exactly cut and dry because criminals tend to dress more or less like everyone else.  I think that example also demonstrates that there can be a policy with a disperate racial impact even without overt racism on the part of the officers carrying that policy out.  The fact that the officers stopped bothering the kids when they were carrying their helmets is a pretty good indication that, in general, the cops probably aren't interested in stopping people just because they're black, since helmet or no helmet, they're still black kids.

I think you are right to a degree. I'm curious about what alternative you would suggest to the problem of trying to stop non residents from entering the buildings with broken locks? Should police not monitor suspicious behavior in projects? Are there measure that we can take to stop crime in the projects?

I honestly don't know a better way for police to try to protect the people in the projects. Can you agree that the projects can be a dangerous place? What if the police just left and didn't go to the projects at all? Would crime rate increase? How do the police move forward to keep innocent people safe?

Anyway, no worries.  Here's a little something.  It's a little summary of an analysis of LAPD records that was done a few years back (2004 records, the records were old when the study was done).

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/23/opinion/oe-ayres23

<snip>

As an ancillary test -- after we'd calculated the general disparities -- we did look at the officers involved, and we found that the racial disparities in the likelihood of arrest were substantially lower when at least one of the stopping officers was the same race as the suspect.

For example, we found that the black arrest disparity was 9 percentage points lower when at least one of the stopping officers was black. Bratton should be troubled that there is less disparity when the officer is the same race as the person stopped, as that result adds credibility to the idea that the disparities in different-race interactions may be because of racial bias.

I find that most troubling. In one hand at least it keeps the cops from being racist or profiling, but in the other it's sad that you have to have someone of the same raise around to keep the other cops in line.

I don't think that this was about educating anyone either.  I think he's merely riffing on the dissonance between the ideals on which this country was founded and the realities of African chattel slavery.  I still don't understand how you see that as somehow 'poking at' you, as if you are implicated in something that happened centuries before you were born.

Well I did say I could be wrong but unless either of us are in his head I doubt we will ever know.

I apologize for typos or grammatical errors. I'm not exactly free ATM.
 2. The two could arguably overlap leaving only one point in time but I felt like being generous.
 3. This does assume you aren't being profiled for the color of your skin. I'm strictly discussing the "gangster" image as way to profile someone. I do progress however to show you how you can also tell what a drug user looks like.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.