Dialogue on Race & Politics – Language Barriers

I had an open and frank discussion about race with Chatter on her Rev. King post. Of course we see things from different perspectives but I appreciate her and Revka’s willingness to participate in a discussion that is not for the faint at heart. Race is a very sensitive issue and toes are easily stepped upon so one must proceed with caution.

Eventually, the subject of Affirmative Action came up and I pointed out Chatter that in my personal opinion, Affirmative Action is a red herring used by politicians to frame the entire subject of race into a single sound bite. Conservatives perfected the art of packaging their message and many who support conservative politicians use those very same talking points when talking outside of the political arena. What many fail to see is that what is framed for a political discussion does not transfer well when talking with the average black person.

In order to open a real discussion about race and the state of the black community, a linguistic lesson is in order. White conservatives need to understand that certain catch phrases to not translate well because of the perceived meaning behind the phrase. Though many average white conservatives may not know this – mostly due to the fact that many do not interact with black people in their personal lives. But this ignorance is a hindrance and avoidable.

Poverty Pimp
Often I hear the term poverty pimp used by conservatives to describe many black activist whom they disagree with. This is probably one of the most degrading terms in political discourse. What people are saying when they use this term is that the black community is a street walking whore, making their money from serving Johns (The Government) and turn around and give the money to slick talking black activist that only pretend to have our best interest in mind while they pimp us to the next John.

The thought behind this phrase is that Conservatives do not believe that black people think for themselves and come to conclusions bases on their own rationality but because of “black leaders” told us what to think. It is a phrase that should die and die soon.

The stereotype of the big lazy black buck has been around for as long as I can remember. But politicians are much to smart to call black people lazy so they frame the term in a different manner. “Black people are waiting for a handout.” Maybe it is not obvious to some, but it is obvious to me that this is just another way of perpetuating the stereotype about the work ethic of black people. To say that we are waiting on handouts is to say that we are not going to college, that we are not sending resumes and that we are not getting up in the morning going to work or looking for work to feed our families. This is another term that should be placed on a shelf.

Victim Mentality
The victim mentality is a process of an individual/group blaming outside influences for its failures. This is a means for white people to exonerate themselves for the 400 years of oppression that black people endured. It is also to say that those 400 years had no lasting impact and that every issue facing the black community today is solely linked to the moral depravity of black people. Another purpose of this phrase is to relieve white people of any guilt for having advanced on the backs of free black labor, Jim Crow and other forms of discrimination.

The problem is that by injecting this phrase into a discussion about race is to eliminate any historical perspective from the debate. Thereby focusing the ills on the black community, once again, on the moral depravity of black people.

Colorblind Society
I consider this a utopian phrase. It has no relevance to the discussion of race other than to diminish the impact of the disparities that persist between the black and white communities. It is something that won’t happen and is a phrase that should be eliminated from the vocabulary of Americans.

Affirmative Action
This is a red herring and a topic that allows conservatives to band the aforementioned phrases into one compartment. Most black people have never benefited from an Affirmative Action program. With that said, it is a topic that generates a lot of passion and gets more attention than it deserves. I view Affirmative Actions like this:

For over 400 years, every morning black people were forced to run with an anchor (slavery) simply because of the color of their skin while white people ran free. Over time white people were able to advance further than black people. One day the anchor was removed but then someone placed hurdles (Jim Crow/Discrimination) in the path of black people. Black people fell further behind. Then one day the hurdles were removed (a few holes exist but nothings perfect).

The question now becomes, when the race starts tomorrow morning, where would you place the starting line for black people? Considering the distance between the race, would you now make allowances for a capable black person to at least move to the point where he and the white person start the race in the same place? Do you provide programs to allow black people to eliminate the gap? Or do you say, since all of the hurdles are gone, you should have no problem keeping up - even with the gap?


What average folk have to understand is that politicians have created an art form out of framing political topics and depending on the perspective, they are construed differently. Most white people saw nothing wrong with Ronald Reagan going to Paris, Mississippi and discuss states rights. But many black people saw that as a slap in the face. Black people had a problem with George Bush going to Bob Jones University and then not meeting with the NAACP. A lot of people overlooked the message that George Bush sent when he made his announcement to oppose Michigan University’s Affirmative Action program on Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

The problem with many conservatives is that they frame the discussion of race with the same depth as politicians. This is a mistake because politicians deliberately simplify the message for mass consumption when it is far more complex on the individual level. Can the discussion of race proceed without referring to the phrases mentioned in this post?


38 Responses to Dialogue on Race & Politics – Language Barriers

  1. Anonymous Says:
    Let's balance this out a bit. I'll agree that these terms should be banned, but additionally those Blacks who might hold what are considered "conservative" positions are not automatically accused of being a sell-out, Sambo, Oreo, or have the "authenticity" of their "blackness" called into question at the drop of a hat...
  2. James Manning Says:
    I agree. I'll make that a part of my next post.
  3. bold as love Says:
    Okay James, I agree. Let's get rid of all those terms and just call things and people what they are.

    1-Anyone that can not accomplish the basic's in life- feed, clothe and house themselves- let's call them what they are-Fuck ups.

    2- Anything that doesn't contribute to the elevation of our society will be hence forth referred to as Fucked up.

    There, a just and fair Neo-Con(yeah, I finally accepted the label)solution.
  4. Little Miss Chatterbox Says:
    I also agree with anonymous on those comments as well.

    And James thank-you for the helpful comments in this post. I appreciate knowing them.

    I must come to W's defense in one area though. I read Karen Hughes' book and she talks about George W. Bush's visit to Bob Jones. (I loathe Bob Jones University. Not only because they have racist issues (although that is a huge reason)but because they are also a very legalistic school that doesn't understand genuine Christianity. I won't even use their homeschool curriculum just on principle.) They had no idea what Bob Jones' University was like except that it was a big Christian college. They didn't learn of some of the controversies until they were on their way there in the airplane. As I was reading the book I'm like you should've had me on your campaign because I could've told you not to darken their door.

    Also, the reason he didn't meet with the NAACP is because they constantly berate and insult him. Would you go meet with someone who made it abundantly clear that they thought you were the anti-christ? I wouldn't.

    Just some thoughts.
  5. Steve Says:
    RE: The NAACP / Anti-Christ reference... how else would something like that get fixed, if not by visiting with the very people who don't care for you? If there is no perceived relevance or importance in the 1st place, then no visit.

    On the flip side, maybe the NAACP *could* soften the rhetoric. But what would motivate them to do so?

    Just some thoughts.
  6. Steve Says:
    Ok, one more thing... We all want the same things regardless of ethnicity: employment, safety and security for ourselves and our families, opportunity to improve our lives - either through education or through fair business practicies, etc.

    I wonder how much discussion that takes place about race happens with the assumption that one side or the other really doesn't have those things in mind?
  7. MEP Says:
    The problem with affirmative action is that it is often misunderstood - that's why people think it generates "reverse racism" and oppose it. The purpose behing AA is to broaden hiring managers' networks, ask them to look beyond the circles of friends that they would normally look to for "deserving" people - who are often white males. The purpose isn't to hire minorities no matter what or to hire "less qualified" people . . . it's to generate a more diverse pool of qualified applicants.

    And I think it's a perfectly legitimate and often very necessary policy. Especially in upper level positions that tend to be the "old (White) boy's club."

    That's my contribution - from someone who has spent some time studying diversity policies and practices in organizations.
  8. James Manning Says:
    Chatter, I think steve makes a point. Sometimes you have to go into the lion's den to work. Yes, the NAACP could lighten up but lets deal with one side of the issue at a time.

    Here, I am trying to point out the barrier to even getting a good dialogue started. When you use these phrases, it creates a roadblock to progress because they come with their own anchors.

    As for GW's excuse about Bob Jones - Chatter, please don't believe that. Theses folks are experts and the certainly knew about the heat the other presidential hopefuls got when they went to BJU. All he had to do was ask his father about it.

    Bold, you see, you are on the wrong foot. Are we to say that the only reason people are poor is because they are fuck ups? Can you apply that standard across the board, in every region of the country, to every individual? I don't think you can. Hence, you have completely missed the purpose of this post. If we are going to talk about race, poverty or any other issue, you have to first start by removing rhetorical barriers - and you just added one.

    As for things that don't elevate us as being fucked up - ok, too general for my taste but I'll give you that one.
  9. Revka Says:
    James, I compliment you for this because although it is touchy, unfortuneatly, this dialogue needs to happen. Maybe this is what is needed to begin to close the 'gap' you are talking about.
    Most conservatives I know don't white-wash (great term eh??:-) all African Americans. I too don't like the terms used like 'handouts' and 'pimping'.
    I think there are a lot of people on welfare who don't have brown, or dark brown skin. There are all kinds of different skinned people who are taking..'handouts' who want to, and some who don't want to, but have to for the meantime etc.. etc...
    The thing about your post that bothered me was a sense of 'white-washing' most conservatives in the categories you, yourself hate to be put in.
    I am on the other side and I hate to be put in the same light by African Americans, that I am just like every other white conservative. I remember turning a corner once and a bunch of ladies came around the corner. i accidently bumped into them. I immediately said i was sorry, and they said.."White bitch!" But that is one time in my life compared to a million of times in an African American's life.
    My sister in law is an audiologist and a white man refused to come back because she was working there. That blew me away.. She is my sister and this man didn't like her because of her skin! She is an incredible audiologist! I guess, it gave me the check i needed to remember racism is still out there.

    Regardless of all the terms, politics whatever, we are all equal at the foot of the cross. We are equal in God's eyes. Always have been. It is too bad the Christians of old didn't see it that way. They were wrong.

    I wasn't there when slavery was going on. But it is funny how it was taught as an incredible cruel injustice to me as a kid.
    We certainly can learn from history, but we need to come together, and work to eradicate the hate and misconception on both sides. We do think for ourselves.. Well, MOST of us do.

    Anyway, enough of taking up your whole comment section.. sorry :-)
    Great post though..
  10. James Manning Says:
    Rebecca, I can understand that I should have been more careful to qualify my comments. I make assumption that ALL conservatives or all white people think the same way. But I think everyone agrees that in order to start this dialogue we have to overcome the language barrier.

    This post is meant to point out the barrier in conservative talking points. Though not every conservative uses them in the fashion I described, I do believe it is part of their playbook.

    And understand, I'm not done with this. I'm going to get on my brothers and sisters today.
  11. NEO, SOC Says:
    Great post JM; I am going to flow with Rebecca for a second here and this is the only reason why:

    "For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too." Matthew 5:45

    >I say this because, regardless of 400 years of unfortunate oppression; God still reigned!
    >In spite of the 400 years of Egyptian oppression of the Israelites; God still reigned!
    >In spite of the racism I had to contend with in my life when I was being underpayed though equally qualified; God still reigned!

    The real problem JM is when we bring out the real problem is America ready to deal with resolving your excellent points? And not just White America; but Black America, too. The NAACP has its benefits but it can't politicize things and not look at offering a solution instead of polarizing with a particular party. Even conservatives (I am a neo-republitarian) need to pull their heads out of the sand and not just address this issue but the moral decay in our leadership positions across the board the vilify "good" and deify deviant, reckless behaviour.

    Can there be hope? Yeah! But, I think it will be when my own people will stop call me the names that the first commenter so poignantly presented.

    PS - I'm linking you!
  12. James Manning Says:
    Neo, Glad you came through. I will agree that we do not help ourselves by killing our conservative brothers and sisters. But some of them need to be put down... and that's the truth as I see it.
  13. NEO, SOC Says:
    No problem JM; just let me know which ones they are so I can find some fanatics who'll do the job quick and cheap! :)
  14. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    I think the vast majority of us have fallen into race-based traps again and again. But it’s tough to see your way out of it when you’ve been raised in race-obsessed society.

    When Mayor Nagin spouted off like an idiot, he created a firestorm of racially charged controversy. But to me, the interesting issue is this: Television, Talk-Radio, Blogs, Newspapers and other mediums immediately anointed him as what “the Blacks” think; he’s bandied about as “proof” of some sort of Black racist hypocrisy that White folks are desperately looking to use so they might say “See? They’re racist too. So we’re even on this race stuff.” C’mon now. Even?

    It was disturbing to see so many White folks fane phony anger, and lie in front of television cameras and on the radio about how they were made “uncomfortable” by the Mayor’s ridiculous comments. The city of New Orleans was a majority Black city before this horrible disaster. White folks weren’t “comfortable” living in the city limits of New Orleans long before Mayor Nagin made himself look like an ass.

    On the other hand, when Pat Robertson spouts off like an idiot, his ideas and his politics are what people attack. Major news mediums have NEVER framed him as the voice of White people. In fact, mainstream America has been careful to distinguish him from the vast majority of sane and decent Christians. I mean, come on. This guy is a real ass. But either way, he’s seen as an individual, not as a “them.”

    In Black and White racial terms, mainstream America looks to a few Black individuals (usually nut jobs too) to speak for the whole Black community, rather than taking the painful and difficult time to actually learn about Black folks. The simple truth is: most White folks have very little contact with actual Black people, but the same is not true for Black folks; that’s just a consequence of population differences.

    Has anyone ever wondered why Al Sharpton is always on TV? Out of 40 million Black people in this country, he’d be lucky if 4,000 attended one of his events. Every African-American knows he isn’t nearly as well-respected as mainstream America wants. But yet, you’d think he was THE authority on Black people. Ever watched Fox News and seen him used as a gauge to find out what’s going on in the Black community? The same is not done for people like David Duke, who unfortunately enjoys more support than we would all like to admit.

    To me, I see people on all sides of the racial divide falling into this kind of thinking. Racism, at home and everywhere in the world, is like a disease. And it can unfortunately be highly communicable.

    But he’s the real kicker: Race isn’t just about Black and White either anymore, especially now that it’s fashionable to hate Arabs. Every one of these racial disconnects seems to work similarly.

    But also, I'd like to say that it's nice to see a respectful discussion of these sensitive issue. Most people can do so with responding like an ass. Kudos to all the commmentors.
  15. Diane S. Says:
    James, it's almost banal to say this, but AMEN! to the labels. All of them, including the one's anon mentioned.

    @ bold as love

    Am I to infer that you mean a little old lady in a wheel chair, living in a nursing home, is a fuck up? Not everyone has the means or the opportunity to feed, clothe, or house themselves. It is a fact of life.

    @ Chatter

    First, thank you for kindly taking my correction on your blog. I posted that with fear and trepidation.

    I have to agree with James on the Bob Jones University debacle. If W. didn't know what he was walking into, he should have fired his staff en masse.

    As regards the NAACP: I think dialogue between opposing factions is the only chance we have of finding light in this darkness. If I'm not mistaken, and James tell me if I am, this is precisely why Liberal James reads so many conservative blogs.

    I cannot overemphasize the importance I place on dialogue. It is hard. It is even sometimes insulting or painful, but it is absolutely necessary. America has got to start building bridges.

    @ Steve

    "I wonder how much discussion that takes place about race happens with the assumption that one side or the other really doesn't have those things in mind?"

    I'm wondering if you mean that all sides of the discussion want this for everyone? Because I do not believe this is the case. I think Da Man (a category that does not include all white conservatives) don't give a flying fig if everyone else has the things you mentioned. Not as long as his house is in order.

    I'd love you to change my mind.

    @ MEP

    Amen. My response to the "reverse discimination" claims has always been that the day unemployment rates and salaries for white men are worse than they are for womem and minorities is the day you can call me and cry to me about this. Until that day, just bite it.

    Your avatar rocks, BTW.

    @ Rebecca and Neo Soc,

    "We are all equal at the foot of the Cross."

    Meaning no disrespect to any other religion, I've always felt that the civil rights movement lost its way somewhat when it left the church for precisely this reason. Dr. King's vision cannot be seperated from his Christian beliefs. It was a Christian vision. It remains a Christian vision.

    Oh man, I know I am going to have pissed some people off with that one. So should I mention that I will put my body on the line to protect anyone's relgious freedom? Satisfied? I guess not. Okay, fire at will.

    Neo Soc, could you tell me exactly what a "neo-republitarian" is? Most specifically, could you differentiate it from a libertarian?

    @ euphemistic

    Excellent point, and very well argued. One of the things I learned as my world expanded and I had more and more contact with black people was that black people know way more about white people than white people know about black people. And it's not just because the media streams out a white message 24 hours a day, it's also a question of survival.

    This turned into an excessively long post. I'm sorry! James, you can have your blog back now. Please excuse me.
  16. NEO, SOC Says:

    neo-republitarian: I have voted republican; but I am a conservative who wants us to restore some of our old privileges back. Such as the right to bear arms w/o the crap that we have to go through just to get a permit to carry concealed (which is a direct violation of our 2nd Amendment Rights). Most important though; my faith decides how I vote.
  17. Little Miss Chatterbox Says:
    I did a little farewell to Palmer and posted his pic today :-).
  18. Deb S. Says:
    A well-written post.
  19. Cynthia Says:
    @James: Nice post. Whenever I here someone say that they are colorblind, this is a red flag to me. Generally what comes next is the following phrase "I don't care if a person is blue, green, or some other color that doesn't reflect the natural hues of people. If they really didn't care, why didn't they use the natural colors of people?

    @Anonymous, I think when those black people regurgitate the talking points of the white conservatives; they generally denigrate blacks for being mistreated by whites. They completely let whites off the hook and they say exactly what bold as love is saying we are the problem. Never mind that the majority of are undereducated when we graduate from schools. What would you call this type of black person who is unwilling to look at the whole truth?

    Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. sponsored an amendment to the constitution that would give every American equal access to high quality education and he was called dumb by a Jewish reporter. This is the type of systemic racism that blacks are facing that these so called black Republicans are denying exists. So, how should we identify those that engage in these types of behaviors?

    @bold as love, I think it is fucked up that black people as a group doesn’t have equal access to high quality education. Surely, this doesn’t elevate everybody in this society

    If some of us are excelling under these conditions, you really have to wonder what would happened if the playing field was level.
  20. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    @ little Miss Chatterbox:

    “They had no idea what Bob Jones University was like except that it was a big Christian college.”

    I haven’t read Ms. Hughes book, but I can tell you that it is highly unlikely that all of the intelligent people around George W. Bush were unaware of Bob Jones University’s racist history and policies.

    In the 1980’s, when many of the advisors in GW’s inner-circle were working and campaigning for President Regan, there was a major Supreme Court case, BOB JONES UNIVERSITY v. UNITED STATES, 461 U.S. 574 (1983), in which the Court denied the University certain tax benefits because they were in violation of national anti-discrimination policies. The decision was an 8 – 1 decision.

    While it may be true that Bob Jones University was not widely known in public, the people around GW were well-aware of its history. Reagan visited and campaigned there too.

    @ rebecca:

    “I remember turning a corner once and a bunch of ladies came around the corner. I accidentally bumped into them. I immediately said I was sorry, and they said… "White bitch!"

    Obviously, there is no defense to anything like that.

    I would only add that incidents like these are more than likely far and in-between in your life. Most White people really do have very little contact with Black folks. The vast majority of their information comes from things they read, talk-radio, mostly television or handfuls of interactions with Black people.

    If incidents like these are viewed in the context of the average African-American life, then people would truly be shocked and in admiration when finding that after a lifetime of little petty experiences like this, Black people have not become hardcore racists.

    This one instance sticks out for you, but to be completely truthful, a great many African-Americans (and most professional ones) experience something petty of this nature on a daily basis, and definitely at least once a week. And that is no exaggeration.

    @ neo soc:

    I agree with you and Anonymous wholeheartedly. It weakens the Black community to allow talented and educated African-Americans to be ostracized from the community because they are outside of the mainstream; I don’t deal with people that make fun of other Black people because they are Republican. African-Americans are NOT a behavior, or a political idea, or even “the struggle.” African-Americans are a people, which means that, “NO,” Bill Clinton is not a “Black” president, and Paul Wall is not “Black” either (though I must admit, sounds like he grew up around a lot of people that were). Both those comments irritate me.

    On the other hand, it’s antithetical to the community as a whole to belie the mainstream because some Black individuals and families have obtained a measure of success. As long as the community has no power to set a major agenda AND produce results on local, state, national, or maybe even international stages, the African-American community is weak, in relative and absolute terms. This is bad for everyone, even those who say they have achieved in spite of discrimination. Even the most successful of us are next on the chopping block. Just ask Colin Powell how quickly you can be shut out.

    As a community, we have to demand a higher level of excellence. We have to make things out of our control in our control. But at the same time, it’s foolish to think that you can’t be next just because you’ve made it to the near-top. It’s dangerous to get caught up in Pride and trying to distinguish yourself from the community by saying: “look, I did it, no problems here. I’m the good kind.”

    @ cynthia:

    “They completely let whites off the hook and they say exactly what bold as love is saying, we are the problem.”

    Unfortunately, it’s a fantasy to believe that White people are on a hook at all. The Black community has never coerced the White community into anything. All of their support/denigration of African-Americans, on either side of the isle, solidifies the power structure for reasons that advance THEIR interests. We may not be the problem in the sense that there is something wrong with us, but we do have to make ourselves the solution.

    No one is coming to help us. Please consider Hurricane Katrina. That situation exposed things in our community that should be frightening the hell out of ALL Black people. If we don’t demand to be the solution to all of our problems, both petty and institutionalized, we are at the mercy of people who do not, and have never cared.

    There is only one solution: to rear and develop the undeveloped young minds in our community in – mathematics, science, information technology, law, medicine and so on. And we know from experience that no one is going to help or assist us with that. The previous generations believed you had to be twice as good as the best just to get the same as the AVERAGE white person. This is still true, though that mentality is fading.

    I’ve worked with young people before to teach a high-level of excellence in the fundamentals (like people did/do for me), and I will continue to do so throughout my entire life. It’s shocking to see older African-Americans who grew up in four-room shacks and under harsh racist segregation have better grammatical skills than young kids in school today. We can fix this. But only by teaching children that the same level of excellence demanded for success in entertainment and athletics is need in ALL aspects of life.

    We work harder that any other group as a whole in athletic disciplines that have Black participants (though people try to say it’s just that we are genetic freaks). So let’s bring that energy to law, science, investment banking, and engineering. We once did that as a community, not just as individuals.

    Sorry for blowing up this discussion, but this issue struck a cord with me. But I am impressed with the discussion as a whole.
  21. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    @ cynthia:

    One more thing. I agree with your sentiment on all that, “blue, green, or some other color” mess. I don’t know why, but I find it irritating for the same reasons as you.

    And I’ll bet you anything in my life, if there really were, Blue, Green, Purple, or similarly colored people, they would be hated on as well.

    It would probably be something to the tune of: “Damn broccoli-ass bastards, all they wanna do is eat carrots and smoke Meth all day.”

    Or maybe: “Man, you ever been with one of those grape-bitches? Purple chicks are whores.”
  22. James Manning Says:
    Great points added to the discussion. I agree with euphamistically speaking that we need to make ourselves part of the salution because white people have only gotten involved with the black community only when forced to do so. The time has passed when force is a weapon available to us. The barriers that once existed are no longer and many in the white community see no problem with the hurdles that exist or in denial about their existence.

    So what to do? Education and economic development is what many focus on and maybe that is the only way. I'm not sure. But I won't deal with that issue until I deal with our own issues - and that is coming in the next post.
  23. Anonymous Says:
    “They completely let whites off the hook…” --Cynthia

    Cynthia: What exactly is going to be gained by keeping whites ON the hook??? The paradigm of the Black community has gone from “we succeed in spite of…” to “we fail because of…” to “we can’t succeed without…” We need to come to our senses and quit waiting around for the so-called “white establishment” to solve our damn problems. And how can we talk about a level playing field and then go out and support Affirmative Action? Talk about having your cake… I don’t have a problem with the goals of Affirmative Action but when it takes the form of racial quotas we have completely gone off the deep end. – not to mention that the biggest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action have been educated, white women.

    And another thing we need to stop doing is tying every one of the ills that continues to plague Black communities to slavery. Slavery and racism were two different things, and slavery was nothing but pure capitalism. Today’s “white establishment” doesn’t owe us jack for slavery, any more than our so-called African brothers who were over there selling our ancestors for profit – which is why I will forever call myself Black before I call myself African-American. Racism has since been rectified through legislation, but sooner or later we’ll figure out that no matter how many laws you pass, racism is never going to completely go away. So what should we do?

    For all the talk of a Black community – we hardly act like a community. Where is the concentrated effort to bring wealth to lower-income Black neighborhood and then keep it there? Why do successful Black-owned businesses allow themselves to be bought up by huge conglomerates? By not only building wealth, but by KEEPING it, Blacks will no longer be the pawns of white liberals who really have no interest in fixing our problems and only use the Black vote to remain in/regain power.
  24. jan brauner Says:
    I think that for there to truly be a "productive" dialogue on race,three things have to happen. 1) We have to be willing to get into one another's shoes. I don't see that happenin'cuz it comes with a cost. Remember that Bob Dylan song, "I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes......" Damn, sometimes, people's shoes stink! 2) We all have to be willing to let go of our anger.....and 3)We have to let go of our ideas. We need to be able to say that we are wrong sometimes. We need to be able to "change our minds."

    And, I have never met a purple person, but I have seen a heck of a lot of little old ladies with blue hair, and a lot of groovy young ladies with blue hair.
  25. Wadena Says:
    Strange discussion!!!

    Everybody seems to be walking on eggshells, even the Republitarian (whatever the hell THAT is).

    In these troubled times....when I think of black men I can really admire and respect....I am at a loss to think of anybody but Harry Belafonte.

    He speaks.....and the Faux News Fascists give him the ultimate compliment of rolling their eyes to utterly demean him.

    (They do that when they are terrified that an idea may catch on.)

    And all the media conspire to keep his comments quiet.....for fear his ideas might catch on.

    You folks got a ways to go.
  26. Wadena Says:
    And Manning....if you have trouble with cats misbehaving at night--get yourself five pillows and a flashlight.

    When they start up, go after them and throw pillows at them. Pursue them without mercy.

    In three nights your problems will be over.

    A cat knows these things.

    And Manning, talking about killing kitties is just NASTY!
  27. Cynthia Says:
    Anonymous: Your questions are answered in James’ other post on this topic. The questions you have asked are the real problem with black conservatives, their unwillingness to analyze the truth. Here it is.
  28. James Manning Says:

    I think your point illustrates something that is frustrating to this conversation. Your focus on economic development isn't lost on me but it takes human resources and access to capitol to achieve that goal. And that is something that is lacking in the black community in part to racism and in part to self-destructive ways. But it is one thing to talk about economic development and it is an entirely different thing to execute such a plan.

    Your second point about slavery is at best invalid. To write slavery off as simply a part of capitalism without any reference to the human toll is idiotic. Ford practices capitalism. JP Morgan and United Steel practiced capitalism. Slavery may have been part of an economic engine but its consequences are far reaching when you look at the conditions it created for black people. And to say that racism has been rectified by legislation tells me that you have little understanding of this issue outside of a couple of talking points and utopian idealism. Sorry, I don't think you know what you are talking about.
  29. James Manning Says:
    But I do appreciate you adding to the discussion. It is another point we can talk about.
  30. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the Crowd,

    James great post as always. I have to agree with you on all points. In America we never have real conversations about race. It makes most White people very uncomfortable. The ironic thing is the amount of White men that complain about a job or promotion that was not given to them because a lesser qualified Black was given the job. Could someone answer this if Black Americans only make up about 10 to 13% of the US population, how in the world can they be taking jobs from 90% of White men? I am not a liberal and can’t stand Jesse or Al but that is another story. Like I said before very few Americans really want the truth!
  31. NEO, SOC Says:
    anonymous; great points!

    wadena: Walking on eggshells? How so? Also, what is the article you where linking in reference to apathetic black conservatives who are in denial about the truth? Again, let's look at anonymous' excellent prose:
    The paradigm of the Black community has gone from “we succeed in spite of…” to “we fail because of…” to “we can’t succeed without…” We need to come to our senses and quit waiting around for the so-called “white establishment” to solve our damn problems.

    It couldn't have been said any better! Jesse Jackson in tandem with MLK is a more progessive force than Jesse & Al & Farrakhan. But, it's not only blacks who milk the welfare system and drain on our society. But, it is sad when you look in the 'hoods' and black women don't mind dispensing children like party favors, when they know that the brother has nothing good ahead accept spinning rims and a probation officer! Blacks perpetuate the stereotype by wallowing in a lifestyle of decadence and expect the Man to accept it is artistic youthful expression. THUG-fabulous! Just when we couldn't present ourselves as 'STUPIDER'! The 'we deserve' mentality is sickening because I had blacks from my own school trying to physical harm me because I chose to walk a different path. Did you catch the article, about the niggers who beat up the Nigerian kid in Philadephia? And yes, I call them that because the beatdown I kid who was more affluent than them. What? Yes! And instead of being happy for someone elses success; they chose to demean and ridicule the family with 'jungle-monkey' behaviour. They feed the racists who don't want reconciliation! The feed the media who will portray blacks, hispanics or anyone in a light not so flattering. I see more blacks out here in Indianapolis milking the welfare system, while looking for brothas to impregnate them as a means of revenue and then sit around and run the streets like the children don't even exist. The number of black women having abortions is 30% the population of women getting abortions! Did the man put them there or the irresponsible ho who slept with that person! Many are using abortion as birth control. So, when a black woman has an abortion, what color is the child being aborted? So, is it really the 'Man' sterlizing us or we ourselves because depravity has no bounds? Why should we worry about blacks being employed if they won't be around in the future because of self-annihilation?
  32. NEO, SOC Says:
    Harry Belafonte? Please tell me that was a case of sarcasm! Harry Belafonte?

    Isn't amazing that once people have made their successes on this nation, they're more readily capable of degrading the nation that supported their success. Harry Belafonte needs to shut up and sit his arse down! Let's go meet with socialist dictators and show great support. What the hell is that man doing for America? Hello, Harry Belafonte? Didn't the 'Banana Boat' song make you millions here? And too think that I use to sing that stupid song for weeks on end on karaoke night at the restaurant I worked at in New York!

    You want blacks to admire; how about Condi? Where was the stinking black community when a sista was made 3rd in Charge! As good as Gena Davis is as an actor, I could give two (2) flips about here show because it's about the Left's wanton desires for reality; when we actually have a theoretically possible candidate residing in office! Hello, black community!!!!! Where the hell are you???? We actually have a president who has hired more minorities in positions of influence than the stinking Democratic Party who "supports" them! And don't give me that token crap either! Regardless of whether or not Bush 1 & 2 had 'token' aspirations; minorities are there! Oh, yeah. Clinton hired a brotha on to oversea education. Who cares when government administration (repubs & dems) will cut the education budget before anything else? Go Williams Sisters, go Tiger, go Jerome Bettis, go Michael Jordan! It's good that we can still be successful in the athletic community. But what about the intellectual? Forget about the cottin gin and focus on less abortions because one of those aborted black babies (or white) could have created the cure for aids and cancer. And let's stop crowing about people who may be honest about some of our famed stars (ineptness) and let's focus on taking constructive criticism.
  33. NEO, SOC Says:
    Forgive me; I had many typos in those last posts. 'The' should have been 'they' and 'too' should have been 'to' and more. I get a little lax in my diatribes. Great post, james manning!
  34. Wadena Says:
    Neo, I was totally serious in what I said.

    I regard Belafonte as a hero that all of us, of all colors and ethnicities, can look up to.

    He's telling it EXACTLY as it is at a time when most are too cowardly to speak out.

    I'm amazed that you think Condi Rice is someone to respect.

    Condi Rice is a wannabe Crypto-Fascist black woman.....working for a Crypto-Fascist administration of white guys in suits who do war crimes and economic crimes against everyone except the wealthy.....now THERE'S a puzzling situation for you (is she that wealthy or does she imagine she will be after they get through raping America?).

    But, like Harry said, Hitler had quite a few Jews in high places for a long time, too.

    At least Colin Powell had the courage and the intelligence to turn his back and walk OUT of that horrific mess.

    He was treated badly.

    Maybe he'll recover. Maybe Belafonte will regain some respect for him in time.

    Then again maybe this nation will never recover from the disaster that Powell helped come to pass.

    Sure hope that's not his legacy.
  35. Bullfrog Says:
    What is funny is if GW had an all white cabinet, he would be getting criticised for THAT. Since the libs can't get him on racism, let's criticize the QUALITY of the non-whites he has hired.

  36. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  37. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    01 24 06

    Hey James: I came by your blog to see a wonderful set of comments on a very tough set of issues. I think I shared many of my opinions on Dell's and Bookerrising's blogs so I will be brief. I think Rebecca's comment was compelling and showed an understanding that I rarely see with anyone anymore. She talked about how someone called her a White bitch, but that was only one incident in her life, compared to millions with a person of color. If more people had that attitude, we would be better off.

    Next, I wanted to touch on something Wadena said:

    "Neo, I was totally serious in what I said. I regard Belafonte as a hero that all of us, of all colors and ethnicities, can look up to. He's telling it EXACTLY as it is at a time when most are too cowardly to speak out...I'm amazed that you think Condi Rice is someone to respect.

    Condi Rice is a wannabe Crypto-Fascist black woman.....working for a Crypto-Fascist administration of white guys in suits who do war crimes and economic crimes against everyone except the wealthy.....now THERE'S a puzzling situation for you (is she that wealthy or does she imagine she will be after they get through raping America?).

    But, like Harry said, Hitler had quite a few Jews in high places for a long time, too."

    I don't know where you are getting your facts, but Harry Belefonte is a bloviating, intelligent (and wildly attractive) hypocrite!!! HOW DARE HE ALIGN HIMSELF WITH SOCIALIST COMMIES LIKE HUGO CHAVEZ WHO HATE AMERICA AND THEN TRY TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF AMERICAN MARKETS! The hypocrisy is astonishing to me. If he doesn't like the administration or the turns this country has taken, he is free to leave. But let's face it socialist and communist dictators never ever ever ever open the door for egalitarian societies; in fact such systems of governance can never be honestly implemented, which is why his alliance with Commies is so disturbing.

    I also find your insults to Condi to be exceedingly self righteous. You have no idea (and neither do I) what she has gone through and what allegiences she has had to forge. I DO KNOW THAT WHEN SHE WAS THE PROVOST AT STANFORD SHE WAS INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY AND DID PARTICIPATE IN helping to build EAST PALO ALTO (the ghetto). So I don't know what side of the bed you woke up on, but Condi IS An AMERICAN hero!

    And NeoSoc is right; where have the Blacks been to support her? We have been sitting around bitching about her and hating on her and listening to the likes of assholes like Al Sharpton (self importance the size of Texas)and not listening to the pragmatism of the msg of MLK or even Elizabeth Wright.

    James sorry for rambling, this post got me going.
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