Dialogue on Race & Politics - Stereotypes, Myths & Misinformation

Disclaimer: This is not a topic for the faint at heart. If you are not prepared for a battle royal, please do not comment on this. Also, if you are afraid to air some of your dirtly laundry on race, this may not be the post for you. I think it's about time we open some barn doors and let some fresh air in this piece.

I grew up in one of the most racially segregated cities in America. Chicago is a place where racial animosity smolders under the surface like lava. Needing only one incident to turn the hands of time back 40 years to when racism was overt and a fact of life. Though it has changed some, there are still neighborhoods in Chicago that racial diversity is delicate issue. Bridgeport, Ravenswood, Englewood, Pilsen and Humbolt Park are not places that one ventures into without a specific reason to do so. This is a fact of life. I have my issues when the thought arises that I may have to live in a neighborhood that is not predominantly black. I'm not saying I feel comfortable living in the hood, but Chicago has numerous middle class black neighborhoods and that is where most black people strive to live.

California is a different world and I'm getting to the point of understanding that - but my survival instincts kick in and I do wonder, 'as a black man, do I really want to live in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood.' The reality of my past says that doing so is good way for a black man to get a beat down. But in my current reality, that is not the case. So it is something that I must overcome. That is not the only stereotype that I have. I have them of white people and black people. I'm sure we all have stereotypes and perceptions that may not jive with reality and they show themselves every once in a while.

In order to move this discussion further, why don't we take the time to look at some stereotypes, myths and misinformation and see if we can wade through the muck.

#1 (Misinformation) The lack of morals in the black community is the primary reasons for their condition.

Like any ethnic group, black folks have their share of ignorant people. But is it really the morality of black people that is the reason for the disparities. Let’s look at some numbers.

• 76% live above the poverty line (vs. 10% in 1940 and 45% in 1960). All-time high above poverty: 79% in 2001
• 91.6% are employed. All-time high since slavery's end: 92.8% (April 2000)
Poverty rate by family composition: married-couple families 8%, single-dad families 19%, single-mom families 35%
• 79% are high school graduates (vs. 14% in 1950)
• 17% are college graduates (vs. 2% in 1950). Women: 18%. Men: 16%
• African American men 18-24, there were 480,000 in college and 180,000 in prison or jail.

Based on just these few facts, more black people are trying to do the right thing than not. But you wouldn't know that if you listened to the media. Take note of the number of black men in jail compared college. It is always said that there are more black men in jail than in college, but that's only if you look at the entire population of black men. When looking at school age black men, the numbers drastically change. But there is a still a disparity when comparing those numbers to whites.

#2 (Myth) Poor people are feeding off of the system and waiting for handouts.

The fact is that most poor people work but make very low wages.

"Of the more than 35 million persons classified as living in poverty, most are children, disabled or elderly," Glasmeier notes. "But 7 million of them are men and women who are working at jobs that do not pay a wage they can live on. A majority of working poor are over age 24 and in their wage-earning period of life."

#3 (Myth) Black conservatives are sell outs and beholden to white conservatives

I think there are a lot of black conservatives and they come in many forms. There are some that view things from and economic perspective. Then there are some that come from a religious perspective. Most are consider themselves Republican, but then there are others that sway towards libertarian. And of course, there are some that are Sambos. (If you are interested in understanding that term, Dell Gines is the foremost expert and can explain it to in ways that I can not). If you really want an insight to the different perspectives of black conservatives, the following blogs lays it out perfectly. I now divide black conservative into three categories. I give some examples of bloggers, politicians and writers so you'll understand the categories better.

Black Fist Conservatives w/ Emphasis on Education and Economic development: Dell Gines, Joseph C Phillips

Race Neutral w/Emphasis on Individualism & Morality: Cobbs, JC Watts, Alan Keys, Colin Powell, Condi Rice

Suckers w/Emphasis in white folks acceptance: Jesse Lee Peterson, Star Parker, Michelle Malkin, Lashawn Barber

I will submit to you that the only rotten apples in the bunch are Jesse Lee Peterson and Star Parker. To move the debate beyond point/counter point, we need not disqualify black people from the discussion of race because they carry a conservative ID.

Final Thought

There are so many more stereotypes, myths and misinformation with regards to race and race relations that it is impossible to summarize them all here. My intent was to start the dialogue. The problem with stereotypes is that there is an undercurrent of truth associated with them. The value that we place on that undercurrent is where things fall apart. Some people main focus is the undercurrent and other ignore its existence. It is my belief that this conversation needs to take place before we start offering solutions on race. You can't offer an accurate prescription if you don't have the proper perspective.

Discussion Starters:
1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?
2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?
3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?
4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?


81 Responses to Dialogue on Race & Politics - Stereotypes, Myths & Misinformation

  1. SRH Says:
    I will focus on question 4.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?

    I grew in a predominantly white area in Alabama. Went to college and met the love of my life who is a woman of color. She is biracial and identifies herself as such. Her mom is white and her dad is black. I had to drop bunches of stereotypes to be in a relationship with a woman of color. It really openned my eyes to the unseen racism out there.

    I look forward to the responses to this post. You seem to get good discussions going on here.
  2. James Manning Says:
    Thanks SRH, one of the stereotypes that I had to drop was that all white people were racist and that they were all rich. I think this was a byproduct of having a militant uncle living upstairs and never being allowed to cross 63rd street.

    by the time I got to high I lost those two stereotypes but then I ran into the police and gained more. I also found out that Latino guys I knew in 7th and 8th grade considered me a Gangster Disciple when I reached high school and I was back to not being able to cross 63rd street.

    I think I should take a stab at my own questiosn and see what I come up with.
  3. James Manning Says:
    Ok, some of them came from the sidebar and Booker Risining blog and the one about prisons came from:


    The study of black men prison/college study was based on black men 18-55 in prison and black men 18-24 in college. But when the same age groups are used, black men in college out number black men in prison. That sheds a different light on the future of the black community. the disparities exist, but the raw numbers indicated something very different than what the media is reporting.
  4. Rell Says:
    lol for a high comedy one, my grandma told me to never take showers after white people because they smell "like dogs" and don't use wash clothes but just put the soap in their ummm areas.

    LOL -- that's a stereotype for you, told to me by grandmother when i was 10. lol...
  5. James Manning Says:
    LOL, Rell I heard the same thing. I had a white guy in high school ask me why do people call black people porch monkeys - that was the first time I had ever heard the phrase. I told him such and he felt bad, but it showed me that there were more words than nigger out there to describe black people.
  6. NEO, SOC Says:
    I'll answer Qs first then go to my comments: #1. All black Democrats are welfare ridden, ignoramuses #2. Black conservative = sellout; black man striving to better himself is too conceited and trying to be white; black guys who date white girls lack the ability to remain ethnically pure (see Undercover Brother); Haitian people brought aids to the US (spawned stereotype from blacks) #3 Are you saying was my stereotype based on fact? No! But, I try to get as many facts before holding to a particular view; #4. All black Democrats are welfare ridden, ignoramuses

    I grew up in some 'interesting' areas in New York. My parents rented out rooms in our house to Hispanics and other Haitians. I lived with whites Americans; Irish & Scottish Americans. I even lived in a one family home with twelve Hispanics (El Salvador, etc) on one floor. I have worked in restaurants and worked for big corporations. So, I had seen a couple of things.

    In reference to jail population; here in Indianapolis the black population on the streets is 10%. In the jail, it is 90%. Whether the numbers are true or not is not the problem. I'll tell what is:

    I spent 21 glorious days locked up because I tried to get my son from my in-laws, who were holding him against my will. (Write me and I can tell you more about it). Either way, while incarcerated, I had learned some things about blacks I wish I had never seen. James Manning, used the term 'porch-monkey' and I saw many people who weren't dignified for the porch let alone civilization. Many people in there knew guards and were too comfortable with being in there. Many gave me attitudes because I chose not to follow the 'thug' mentality. Many wanted to start fights with me because I didn't ascribe to a clan. I walked my own path (actually, almost 10 miles a day to keep preoccupied). There was no reverence for authority. Instead of desiring to introspect; they regressed into behaviour that made Lord of Flies seem like a good fairy tale. I had one black at 0100h talking for an hour non-stop. His sentence started with 'nigga'; ended with 'nigga' and had at least three 'niggas' strewn out in the sentence. More brothas were locked up; but for good cause: drug running, abuse, deviant behaviour. Some were locked up for foolishness: unpaid child support. That to me is the real brainer for stupid black women who choose dead beat brothers to sleep with or they already knew that the brother had three kids from other women. I say in that instance the woman needs to be held accountable! Close your damn legs! Arse-holes! Either way, I saw many people whose life was leading to the slammer and they refused to change their perspectives and held to the fact that someone else was wrong and they held no accountability to their actions. That even means the stupid brothers who failed to walk away from known 'troubled' women. I'll stop here for now.
  7. James Manning Says:
    Neo, thanks for commenting. That's an interesting episode you had there. But let's look at it from another perspective. We've already concluded that disparities exist and based on our populations, black people are over represented in prisons. But can we associate those numbers with the majority of black people.

    I admit, I associate a lot of behavior onto people that do not deserve it. I have to start checking myself on that.

    Let's go a step furher. Say you have 10 kids in a classroom with the following test results: 1 @ 100%, 1 @ 89%, 2 @ 81%, 5 @75@ and 2 below 65%.

    One of the failing students is a problem child, smokes in the hall, curses at the teachers, don't do homework and is in need of a good beat down. The other has some issues at home and could probably pass if removed from his environment. There are 5 students that could go either way. Question, how would you describe your class. You would probably focus in on the problem child and the ace. Juxtaposing the two and ignoring the fact that most of the class represents achievement and failures of those opposing students. I focus on the passing students while realizing that some assistance should be given to the failure and also realizing the one of my failing students is probably not going to make it.

    It is this mentality that always compare bottom dwelling thugs/drug dealers to high achievers such as Condi Rice and Colin Powell. When the reality is that most black people are neither. So what you saw and see in prison represents a small segment of the black population - and it is not fair to associate that mentality with the rest.

    It is something we all do, because I did yesterday. But we have to fight it.
  8. nikki Says:
    1. i've assumed that all mexican folk live ten to an apartment.
    2. folk think i'm either a weed smoking rasta or an earth sista who's always talking about 'fight the power'. all of this just cuz i've got 'locs.
    3. actually, i consider my perspective one in which i see 'facts' as being 'information gathered by organizations with their own agenda' and therefore, deal with the real, i.e. meeting folks and basing my opinion on them individually.
    4. i definitely had the belief about the black conservative thing, but after talking to dell, i've come to realize that beina conservative doesn't mean being a sell-out.
  9. Bullfrog Says:
    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?

    Largly, people of color frown upon race mixing. I learned this the hard way as I am white and was romantically involved (including marriage) with a black woman for 8 years. We got crazy looks from everyone, but black folks were alot more vocal and had no problem "confronting" us publicly. I had to hold my tongue more than once. I even had people tell me, "You take good care of her now..." like I had borrowed her from them and they didn't want their "stuff" to get damaged. I understand the sentiment, but I am a good man and treated her like a queen, because that's what she was.

    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?

    Let's see: Non-dancing, small "package" having, uncool, bad musical taste... Oh, you probably meant that question for non-white people?

    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?

    Today, yes. Years ago, definitely not. It took experience to overcome my pre-judgements.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?

    Wow, that's a long list! Suffice it to say, my prejuduce had to be exposed to the light of the truth through years of experience.
  10. NEO, SOC Says:
    cynthia; so you're saying all black conservatives are sellouts? What is your proof to it? You're fine to have you're own opinion; but I'd like to see the facts that you have that supports such an assertion. After my divorce; I was convinced that all black women want only thug-fabulous men. Is that true?
  11. Wadena Says:
    I remember the movie "Little Big Man" with Dustin Hoffman. He was white (raised Native American) and was talking with his adopted Native American Grandfather about black people.

    Remember how that went?

    Grandfather thought about it for a while and then said, "Ah yes.....the black white man. I have seen them. They look different from the white white man.....but they are just as crazy."

    But grandfather had only seen the black cavalry troopers who rode with the white army and killed the Native Americans for money.

    They were kind of like the men who now go to kill our brothers of the Iraqi people for Bush.

    Worshipping white gods instead of their own. Collecting their thirty pieces of silver every month.

    Like Colin Powell or Condi Rice.....working for those white white men against our brothers.

    Conservatives all, obviously.

    Of course grandfather would think they were crazy like the white men......they were.

    That was a GREAT movie.
  12. NEO, SOC Says:
    cynthia: from what you have read of me: sellout ?

    james: another great ost! keep up the work!
  13. James Manning Says:
    Cynt, I agree with you that some black conservatives are on the take. I have no love for Jesse Peterson and Larry Elder - but I've grown to at least accept the opinions of other black conservatives and I think they have some valid arguments. I still think their focus is too narrow - but that's my opinion.
  14. Shavonne Says:
    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?

    Latin men love eating p*ssy.
    Married people are miserable.
    People who claim to be devoute whatevers (Christian, Jew, Muslim) are the most immoral and the ones you have to look out for.

    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?

    White folks always assume I grew up poor and in the ghetto and
    I’m a unwed mother.

    Black folks always assume I’m mixed or Latina, that is, until I open my mouth.

    Men seem to think I’m easy or I’m some kind of freak. It doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity, they take one look at my hair pulled back in a bun and my glasses sitting on the tip of my nose and assume I’m an undercover sexual kitten.

    Everyone thinks that because I’m so content being single, I must be a lesbian.

    People think I got out of the Army because of the war. I got out because of the bad leadership. I’ll take a bullet and some shrapnel before I take it up the pooper. Ain’t nobody breaking my back!!! Abu Ghraib didn’t surprise me.

    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?

    I would think my perspective is based on facts; however, when it comes to producing the facts, I won’t look them up and prefer to say out of the debate.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?
    I'm supposed to reject them?
  15. bold as love Says:
    "Suckers w/Emphasis in white folks acceptance: Jesse Lee Peterson, Star Parker, Michelle Malkin, Lashawn Barber"

    Now just a dayum minute James- What criteria do you base these accusations on?

    The people you mentioned address real problems and offer real solutions to the problems they address. It's kinda funny we have explored every option except the ones they suggest and yet will still have the same problems- I wonder why. Also, are you inside their head, how else can you know they want white acceptance?

    Shit, those you listed get dumped on all the time, but a proven asshole like Farrakahn,for those of you still in denial-he was involved in Malchom X's death, is hailed as a leader.

    It's not a racial issue folks- it's economic and class.

    He who controls the money,gets to make the decisions- So get busy making some money. If this reality is too much to deal with for some people, hey, suicide is painless.

  16. Little Miss Chatterbox Says:
    I want to spend more time on this but haven't had the time today. But I'm still waiting for examples of how whites stack the cards against blacks, thus making the playing field uneven in 2006?
  17. Steve Says:
    To LMC above:

    Do you believe that there was ever a time in recent history that whites stacked the deck against blacks?

    If not, then there's no point in continuing.

    If so, then please show or detail how it's officially ended in 2006?
  18. Steve Says:
    To bold as love above:

    "Suckers w/Emphasis in white folks acceptance: Jesse Lee Peterson, Star Parker, Michelle Malkin, Lashawn Barber"

    Reasons why they are just that - suckers:

    1) They are mainly A-holes that do little more than dog blacks

    2) They are misguided, and say many irrational statements about blacks

    3) They get supported by giggling whites, because these Blacks say what they are scared to say

    4) They write and speak to a predominantly white audience, even though the people they criticize are blacks. Virtually all the articles written, and speaking engagements accepted, are not where Blacks are. They are where giggling white folks are.

    5) They usually obsessively pander to a white audience, as well as promote extensively to this audience. They enjoy the head patting of white conservatives who say “Good for you” and giggle.

    6) They, from every indication, are only worried about elevating themselves and their careers, and uses the backs of blacks in the form of caustic and negative commentary to do this so they can be endeared to giggling whites.

    Do these suckers address real problems? Absolutely. Do they offer real solutions? Hardly. Pointing out fault, expressing morality, and basically saying "get busy" as if it's a magic wand that will resolve all social and economic ills as short sighted at the very least, and ignorant at best. Change comes from social interaction, personal community involvement, and legislation. These suckers engage in none of the above.
  19. Steve Says:
    Discussion Starters:
    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?

    Most whites are wholly oblivious to the validity of any culture other than their own.

    Most whites who say that they are not racist are usually the worst racists of the bunch, and have absolutely no clue.

    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?

    From whites: Complete agreement with and assimilation into white culture and ideals from those that do not know me personally, based upon my conservative appearance, speech, and demeanor.

    From Blacks: Complete rejection and / or a lack of understanding of my own people and Black culture from those that do not know me personally, based upon my conservative appearance, speech, and demeanor.

    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?

    Not sure if there is any non-anecdotal data available that would coincide with my beliefs (#1), but based upon personal experience - professional, street, etc., I wouild believe it to be true for the most part.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?

    Re: #1 - I'm finding a greater number of exceptions (thankfully) to my observations and experiences. (Please note: I said "based upon my observations and experiences", not "all white people are this or that...") Running into / talking with / meeting white folks (or any person, regardless of ethnicity) with some sense of a world view - or a view from a perspective other than what is traditionally based upon there own race - is refreshing.
  20. NEO, SOC Says:
    James Manning: I like this blog and I think there is room for growth in this dialogue, as long as people are not condescending and coming off, unwilling to change. "Change" does not mean weakness! It actually shows strength and maturity to acknowledge when one's view could possibly be skewed.

    I mention all this because in the last two (2) blogs, there have been some great points brought forth on both sides. Yet, one side pursues to belittle the other, in the guise of being real (like Ted Kennedy's arrogant position that goes unchecked despite the fossils in his own closet). The demeanor comes off arrogant and it makes you wonder if one should go any further? And MSM calls Christians closed-minded?

    My point is; in the earlier post there was the comment as to whether Bush should have met with the NAACP? Some presented yes because that would have enabled some form of talks to begin. Personally, I liked the fact that he didn't go because the NAACP is too interwoven into the Democratic Party that they fail to speak for Black America any longer. Their behaviour towards Bush is irreprehensible. I am at least willing to communicate with you because you at least can share your opinions but are at least open to "constructive" dialogue. Yet, some may even consider you weak. Wadena's comments in these last two (2)blogs are scary, and worse yet sounds to be like an Islamo-Facist (check out his blog). While, Cynthia & Shavonne may have great testimonies of life experiences, to think that some of their stereotypes/presuppositions don't require rejection means there is more work to do. But, keep up the dialogue and we'll see what happens from there..... PEACE
  21. NEO, SOC Says:
    James Manning; another thing: To address your earlier question: "can we associate those numbers with the majority of black people?

    The answer is an obvious NO! But, does it not bother how so many blacks do not denounce the poor behaviour of those in media "representing" us? Terrell Owens, Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson? What about the ghetto reality that comes Monday's on UPN? I'd rather go through three (3) hours of Good Times re-runs. At least that show offered the truth AND solutions. Most of the shows now still show blacks as out of control, neck-twisting, booty shaking idiots. And goes unchecked!!!! Blacks laughed at the Cosby's because they say it was unreal "Black America". Bill Cosby tells us to stop wasting money on fashion and more on education and what was the NAACP's response to an excellent question? I have Black colleges here in Indiana failing because the leaders of the colleges have their heads so far up anti-Bush propoganda/Democratic flabarbage that they are driving the institutions into extinction, but it will be Bushes fault. Yet, if you spend the time at the facilities you will see that Bush had nothing to do with it at all.

    So, back to your question. No, we won't ascribe that mentality to ALL blacks; but blacks can't be content to just vote one way because Mama Shug' did so. More blacks need to be 'free' thinkers and that's about escaping the slave mentality of ghetto America
  22. Steve Says:
    To Neo:

    "Personally, I liked the fact that he didn't go because the NAACP is too interwoven into the Democratic Party that they fail to speak for Black America any longer."

    If the majority of Blacks are voting Democratic - for whatever reason, "Momma Shug did it too" included - then I believe the NAACP is representing the majority of Blacks.

    Democratic ineffectiveness is another issue.

    Shunning the NAACP purely for political reasons (as suggested) represents the motivation for most/all decision making by Bush. Bush is for whoever is for Bush. That eliminates all those that openly oppose him, and many that actively support him (blindly). I'm sure the laid off, unemployed, and underemployed republicans are second guessing their support, based on his contunued level if dissatisfaction by the vast majority.

    2ndly, shunning Jesse, and UPN (the network that shows those crazy TV shows), etc. is understood. And there are obvious flaws in rejecting the idea (as suggested by Cosby) that spending money on education should be more disireable than spending money on new clothes. Agreed.

    But the definition of "free thinking" isn't simply the rejection of anything / everything that's politically defined as liberal. Nor does free thinking = blind allegiance to conservatism. This isn't soley a political issue, it's a social issue - a people issue regardless of political affiliation.

    Politics = power. Political affiliation = belonging to a group formed for the acquisition of power. I question Black's true participation in any political party, not because of a given affiliation (dem or repub), but because of our active and effective participation. Having a belief is a political party is secondary to that party's ability to be helpful in Black folk's lives.

    Pointing out the flaws in things such as terrell owens' behavior may be warranted, but to ommit the fact that most non-black "leaders" of any category (political, religious, economic, etc.) exclude the needs and circumstances of Blacks is equally as flawed.

    Self sufficiency and self determination isn't only necessary, it's examplified in James' stats in the original post - increased enrollment in college, increased home ownership, etc. (The Nation of Islam has been advocating self determination for more years than the Republican party.) Shaking what you've labled as the "ghetto menatlity" is understood, but if that was all there was too it, the need for dialogues like this one wouldn't be necessary.

    There are institutional inequalities built into the system in which you and I operate. They exist and persist regardless of how many degrees I hold, the corporate position I hold, or how much money I have in the bank. Those things help to insulate ourselves from the problem at hand, but it doesn't eliminate it.
  23. Steve Says:
    Examples of institutional racism, regardless of individual political party affiliation:

    The Economy: Blacks were still nearly 60 percent more likely to be rejected for a mortgage compared to similarly credit-worthy whites.


    The Legal System: Punishment and Prejudice - Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs


    The Media: http://www.counterpunch.org/wise10292005.html

    The better racism can be examplified, the better it can be understood. And it's a lot deeper than political party affiliation, or having a "ghetto mentality".
  24. James Manning Says:
    Neo, To be honest, I hear more about Jesse Jackson from conservatives than I hear from Jesse Jackson. I think he's the boogie man that the right likes to bring up in discussons like this. But I really can't tell you the last time I've heard anything from him (and I'm a news junkie) - and bet most black people are in the same position as myself. So reject Jesse Jackson is a non-issue.

    Next, you can not equate morality to empowerment. Yes, moral deviant behavior may account for the prison population but it does not account for black poverty. Is there a segment living off of the government - sure. But as noted in many studies, most poor people work. Most black people graduate from high school. More young black people are going to college than to prison. So, the actions of TO, Jesse Jackson and hip hop thugs seem to have little to do with the condition of most black people.
  25. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    01 24 06
    Whoa James: You have been on fire lately!
    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?
    I don't want to share that publically.
    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?
    That I have a loud mouth and will be one big black agressive woman who is a leftist. That since I have more Libertarian (and some conservative views) that I can't be "really Black" and that I am a sellout to other Blacks and a person for Whites to badmouth other Blacks to.(Fuck that shit! I don't allow it!)
    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?
    Yes based on the facts of my own personal experience.
    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?
    I was afraid of Big White Men with tatoos who rode motorcycles. My mother may have passed that fear down, but when I was a kid she used the term PWT every now and then to describe people with such apprearances. And since she spent part of her life in segregated TEXAS in the fifties, I can see where her fear comes from. Ironically, one of our dearest buddies (and his wife) is a long haired, goat bearded, mountain man White guy from Kentucky. So establishing a relationship with him and his wife independent of the prejudice, but getting to know each other on a human level has been one of the best things of my existence. I sure am happy I got rid of that stereotype!
  26. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    01 24 06

    Oh and all that talk about "moral poverty" by Jessie Lee Peterson and those of his ilk are simply ridiculous! Moral poverty has little do do with race- it is independent of such narrow constraints - and has EVERYTHING to do with the human condition.

    And I do think Jessie Jackson has been the target of major smear campaigns by the Right, but then he has placed himself in a corner by his own actions. The guy has contributed a great deal to our society, but I think he is now a characiture of himself and needs to slow his roll. I have met him on a few occasions and think he is pretty self important. But you know, despite all that I refuse NOT to acknowledge his contributions to the Civil Rights movement.

    James, haven't you noticed how whenever there is a Black man in a position of power, he is magically labelled a leftist or a moonbat? Let me be clear: There is a MAJOR divide among many so called conservatives. I am attracted to that rhetoric simply because of the message of self sufficiency and went out on a limb to say that Farrakhan promotes self sufficiency and that I respect him. One asshole said that I wasn't really conservative and deblogrolled me. But what he REALLY meant to say was that I am TOO BLACK in my concerns for him. If he honestly believes in self empowerment and an end to our current welfare state, he might realize that Farrakhan actually champions that for Blacks. And I acknowledge that he is a bit looney with his antisemitism of the past, but I still refuse to say that he hasn't contributed anything either.Sorry for ranting; its just that the shortsightedness of people really bothers me. Just as some ignorant DL Hughly loving asshole will use this phrase: "Black people don't---------", I think there are some White conservatives out there who are closet racists and really don't mean they are conservative; more or less that they are jingoistic and racist populists (I don't think all populists or jingoists are bad, simply the kind I am mentioning here).
  27. NEO, SOC Says:
    James and Steve: Well said. And please don't think me one to blindly follow the conservative party. Do I believe BET is a proper representation of Black America? NO!

    'If the majority of Blacks are voting Democratic - for whatever reason, "Momma Shug did it too" included - then I believe the NAACP is representing the majority of Blacks.'

    While this flows logically; am I wrong not feel jolted? The Democrats are in the minority since 04, and they're crying louder than when they were in the minority.

    Do I believe that liberals have nothing to offer? NO! Actually!!!
    Liberals shame the conversatives (especially in the church arena, to which I am ashamed) in reference to the civil rights movement. When the conservative scholars were in theire ivory towers; the liberals were marching and supporting. So, I appreciate some things that the liberal party can offer. But, let's look at the damage of liberalism in Canada. They just finished elections and there are parts of the country where the Conservatives won and people are joyous because of the oppression and corruption of the liberal party. Is the conservative party w/o corruption? Answer: No! The problem you run into now is there is a party developing out of the different parties that is undermining America's progress. Their views are way out there and their mentality is solely based on the trinity-self (me, myself, & I).

    They make decisions on laws and make the only exceptions of the law for themselves. They keep trying to disarm Americans and fail to realize that citizens need to protect themselves by their 2nd Amendment right. They keep saying to disarm American citizens instead of the military and law enforcement but they neglect to realize that criminals plain and simple don't care for our laws and will circumvent them again. So, what's left? A defenseless America ready to be wiped out because we believe it's the government's job to fix all our problems when we need to start putting the owness back on the individual.

    In regards to the issue of poverty. I agree and I was there. My parents were off the boat immigrants and we lived poorer than many of the poor blacks in our neighborhood. Many of times the refrigerator looked like the showroom model: empty! But that reality exists across all colors. Are there inequalities that exist; I'd be stupid to say no. I have experienced them.

    But even in that arena; I fault the church first but I also fault many blacks. The church has failed to live up to its responsibility in being a beacon of light in the community. Praise God (and I hate to admit it) for the Nation of Islam's efforts in the communities. But, where I fault blacks are the ones that deify these preachers who are too consumed with themselves to live humbly (not squalorly). They roll around in fancy cars and fancy homes; they erect multi-million dollar edifices and have more tv shows than they need. It annoys me because no preacher needs to make more than $100K from his church (book sales is another thing)! It sets the wrong picture and neighborhoods go under because the people are gullible enough to support these dictators. Mind you, I am a believer, preacher/teacher.

    My president disappoints me when tougher legislation is not passed to make off-shore employment so lucrative! My president disappoints me with the pathetic border control and lax immigration laws.

    My president encourages me because he speaks out against abortion/homosexual marriages which are two (2) big things our communities don't want to deal with. Brothers on the 'down-low' infecting our sisters, and it goes unchecked! We keep aborting our own children and then get angry when White Americans show up at Black Expos trying to educate the community about the unknown dangers of abortion and sexual immorality. They don't want to cover the reality of the low life expectancies of those in the homosexual community.

    We buy into Michael Moores one-sided pseudo-journalism and when I ask someone what has the Democratic Party done for blacks in the last thirty-years; I get over and over: "Bush lied, people died!" What the hell is that? The question was never answered and still isn't!

    Clinton wasn't scene as wrong in his bold faced lie; but Bush was condemned by fabricated truths before they were valid. Sandy Burger steals Top Secret documents and you don't hear a word about any conviction because he's still walking the streets; but look how fast Daly, Libby, and the such are being vilified! Ted Kennedy still walks these streets with blood on his hands and this is the party blacks as a majority support?

    I'll support anyone with views that I deem important to me. Pro-Life, biblical marriage stands at the forefront for me. Even if, the candidates is a Hindu and pushes for the things I care most; then they have my vote and support. Give me a Democrat who has solutions; they'll get my vote. Give me solutions that don't consist solely of the blame-shift mentality and you have my support. Also, I leave Jesse alone as long as he continues to remain quiet.
  28. NEO, SOC Says:
    Correction: My president disappoints me when tougher legislation is not passed to make off-shore employment NOT so lucrative!
    scene is supposed to be seen
    Daly= Delay
    candidates = candidate

    I leave = I will leave;

    there were more typos but these where the critical ones; Sorry
    Great Post Mr. Journalism!
  29. James Manning Says:
    Mahn, thanks for commenting. I agree that morality and poverty have little in common. But it is an easy assumption to make and allows some to wash their hands of the entire issue because if they just went to church, their lives would turn around.

    The mentioning of Jesse Jackson is a red herring IMO and a distraction.
  30. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    01 24 06

    "The mentioning of Jesse Jackson is a red herring IMO and a distraction."

    Um ah okay James, but what about the general sense of my statement? Which was that it seems like anything that promotes healthy Black identity is seen as leftist. Cuz that is what I have been getting lately. And I don't know why you think he is a red herring. Like I said, he is not a bad guy plain and simple - just egotistical.
  31. James Manning Says:
    @ Neo:

    Rather than point counter-point you I will say that I have no beef with what you just expressed. Your political priorities are moral issues and you vote accordingly. That's cool with me. My issues are inequality and poverty - and I vote accordingly. But the purose here was to allow us the ability to shed some absolutes. Adn I think we've all done that.

    You'll never convince me that Jesse Peterson has anything to offer, but I am convinced that black conservatives and black liberals create dialgue that advances beyond rhetoric and name calling.

    As for politicians and corruption. I think we know the two go hand in hand. Again, I'm not up for point/counter pointing that one because we'll be here forever. But don't make the mistake in thinking that black people support of the Dems is an endorsement of corruption committed by Dems. I think Steve said it best

    Politics = power. Political affiliation = belonging to a group formed for the acquisition of power

    When blacks have the same legislative access in the Republican Party as they do in the Democrat Party. Then things may change. But black republicans are winning in districts where there aren't many black people. That means that their primary concerns are not the black community. When a black republican represents a black community, then we'll see a change in political affiliations.
  32. James Manning Says:
    Mahn, I agree. That is a problem with the Right. They do not want to support someone that places an emphasis on the black community. Their reasoning is that race is not a factor and we should live in a utopian colorblind society. So, to focus on black empowerment is to focus on race and that certainly is a leftist tool to keep the masses in line.
  33. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    @ bullfrog:

    Hate to hear about any experience where people are being abused by others because they are with someone they love. Many of us can empathize.

    @ neo, soc:

    When you said, “After my divorce; I was convinced that all black women want only thug-fabulous men…”

    I had to laugh. Off the top of my head, I can think about at least six single and well-to-do Black men (all good-looking as well. If you want me to throw in the not so good-looking, then the number increases) that have an extremely hard time dating. And ALL of them have gone through that thought process. I’ve even had that conversation with successful African-Americans overseas. It sucks to find out how often it is true, but giving up on Black women or harboring extreme anger against with our community is not the answer. Although, I don’t know if waiting forever is the answer either. I know I haven’t found my solution yet.

    @ Wadena:

    “Like Colin Powell or Condi Rice.....working for those white white men against our brothers.”

    I really don’t think it’s a fair assessment of either of these two to claim that they are working “against” our brothers. Condi and I may not share some of the same views, but these two have more to teach about the philosophy of making success in a discriminatory environment than 99.9% of the people who criticize them.

    I think too many Black people have not been taught what “The Struggle” truly is. Crime, the Ghetto, Poverty… these are only PARTS of “The Struggle.” That Black man or woman at the near-top of a law firm, Fortune 400 company, University, government entity or whatever, who has to spend all day dealing with White people hoping to prove they are inferior, are just as important as the masses, and in some cases much more important. These people struggle to find success in world unfriendly to them, and yet, when they find themselves going where no other Black person has gone, they are met with accusations of “Tom-ism.”

    Do you really think Condi or Colin wants to see Black people hurting? Can you honestly believe that? I might not agree with all of their methods, but I applaud their success, and I know for a FACT that they want to see African-Americans do better in ALL things.

    @ bold as love/little miss chatterbox:

    In a nation founded with a racist power structure built in its foundation, how can it make sense that race plays no significant factor, even today in 2006?

    I’ll offer an example:

    There is an assistant attorney general in a certain state who is prosecuting doctors. These are academic scholarship medical students. He alleges a simple breach of contract for problems that could be easily remedied, and then seeks hundred of thousands of dollars in damages. NOT ONE of the doctors has failed to perform the substance of their contract. And guess what… much to everyone’s surprise… ALL of the medical students he has gone after happen to be Black. This jack-ass is putting SCHOLARSHIP doctors out of business.

    In the private sector he proved to be incompetent, and now in the public sector, he wastes the state’s time and money in the name of “saving” the taxpayer (always cute rhetoric to tell White folks) money, by going after these dirty “deadbeats.” All of this so he can try and make some kind of career for himself; all of this so he can pad his record with “wins” in the name of “cleaning up the system.” And this guy will continue to do so because these young kids don’t have the money to appeal the unfair judgments judges have been giving this ass at trial; pretty much all but one student.

    I could go on into every aspect of life in the country, but public and private. In the real world, when does private become public? When private bigotry is held by public officials, that bigotry is no longer private. And I don’t think anyone here has claimed there is no bigotry.

    Just as Black people are too quick to blame too many issues on White racism, White folks are also too quick to try to absolve White society from its culpability in creating many of the problems experienced in the Black community.

    Have you EVER asked yourself how cocaine and heroine find themselves in a community that has no significant means of importing these foreign-grown crops into the country or across the border? Raw materials for anything, from cars to drugs, can’t get here by magic. And whether or not anyone wants to blow that off as insignificant, it’s still true. Now, while it may be an economic decision to sell drugs at any level, it’s not a coincidence you don’t find such epidemics in small poor White towns. Although, they now have their own problems with Meth.

    The history of Black people and Native Americans in this country is America’s shame. There is no denying these two groups have been treating in a shameful manner.

    The social breakdown of values in the Black community is our shame. But the problem is this: we are ALL too eager to blame the source of our shame on someone else.

    There is plenty of culpability to go around. And spending our lives trying to prove it’s someone else’s fault is just exacerbating these problems and creating more resentment on all sides.
  34. Dave Miller Says:
    hey James,

    I hope I am not too late to get in. I've been out of town. While I am sure I won't be as on top of stuff as some of the regulars, I'll give it a shot.

    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?
    As opposed to race, I tend to think that people in bad, poor, or disadvantaged situations refuse to accept any responsibility for their place in life. Yes there are outside factors that can and sometimes do contribute to the situation some one will find themselves in, but there is also usually somethings that person could have done to mitigate that. For example, sometimes people are poor because they really are lazy, not just black, mexican, or trailer park white trash.

    Beyond that, I really have to struggle with the Asians being bad drivers thing.

    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?

    That as a white boy, I can't dance. Oh wait, that's true. Probably that I am a rich white guy. I do missions in Mexico. many people there assume that because I am from the US and white, I am rich. That is so so so not true!

    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?

    Yes, at least the facts as I see them, at that time. For me it is a constantly changing thing based on my experiences with people.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?

    I don't know. I'm still struggling with a lot of these. I am not sure I will ever be free of them because somedays they just creep back into my little mind.

    Now past the above, I will say that USAmerica has to come to grips with some things. There is racism. And there will always be racism. The question will be how do we respond to it. If we use that truth as an excuse, we will not move ahead as a society. I am going to take a wild stab at something here. My impression James, is that there are some pretty well educated people connected to your blog. I will also guess that alot of them are people of color. Independant of the systemic racism that exists in USAmerica, this particular group of people has risen above the downward pressure to move ahead. I would love to hear the stories of how you did that. In spite of the difficulties, how did you get ahead? Most of you have more education than I do, and I am part of the priveledged "white elite."

    I just struggle with people, of any color, who say I can't. Most of you are proof that you can. What would it take to get us thinking, that in spite of the negative circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in, we could rise above those obstacles?

    So with that said, I'll now wait and see how badly I get hammered.
  35. James Manning Says:
    Thanks Dave,

    I use to think that all white people had money and lived like the Brady Bunch.

    I think we all struggle with race and being from a place where race is a part of the landscape as much as Bear football and pizza, I will have to say that I've never fully overcome it. I was lucky by having the opportunity to go to decent schools. I was also able to get a college degree without much money coming out of my pocket - GI Bill is the best thing since sliced bread.

    That got me over. Education is a real factor but I know guys that tried hard but did so in a bogus system - so they ended up with bogus results.
  36. Steve Says:

    All that you've outlined is cool. But, I believe your talking politics and personal preferences. Racism trumps both.

    Politics and preferences can be used as tools to combat racism, but expressing them without the direct context of acknowledging and fighting racism assumes full participation in the process. If Dems are failing Blacks, and Repubs operate under the false assumption that we live in a "color blind" society, then just voting your conscience isn't enough. Neither party serves you (us) fully, therefore voting - by itself - is a half hearted activity. Regardless of political party.

    I dislike BET, Pimps...I mean overpaid Preachers, excessive outsourcing, etc., just like you. But none of these things will stop that cop from giving me a hard time while I drive through his white suburban suburb on the way home, nor will it reduce my improperly inflated interest rate on my car or home loan. (Unless of course, you, we, us make politicians accountable, among other avenues.)

    Personal accountability (imporatant), politics (we must vote), and general conservatism (the act, not the politics or philosophy) is only part of the picture.

    I really think we - all of us - have a hard time grasping just how wide and deep the problem (racism) is. Many of us get comfortable - a big difference between blacks now and Blacks 50 years ago.

    Many immigrants who come to this country, work hard, and acquire a lot are now having problems with there own children - first generation Americans. They too have become comfortable.
  37. Revka Says:
    I may have just lost my privilege to post on your site, James and you may delete this.. It is your right. I just wanted to let you know this is a great thought provoking post, and you have a wonderful blog here..
    This isn't directed toward you, james, but some of your commenters..

    If one is truly into harmony among all races, then we will stop accusing people we don't know of racism because they are white, latino etc..That is another form of racism.
    I don't believe all African Americans hate whites.

    I am sick of it. None of us know eachother's motives, or hearts. I am sick of hearing about star parker kissing up to whites..I am sick of the prideful, arrogant assertions that Jesse peterson likes to make white people giggle..

    Your commenters say they want to have a non-racist America.. STop being racist yourself!

    The reason there is an uprise of tensions is because of those who accuse all 'whites' of racism.. Kind of a stereotype.

    Sorry, James, I usually don't comment like this. But I am sick of the idea that one has to 'have the answer' all the time, and come up with some intellectual response to everything...
    This is too simple.. Just stop it and quit being so angry about racism.. Make changes with actions. If you are a liberal and truly think you are progressive.. then be progressive, not regressive.

    Stan Archie, an African American pastor in Kansas CIty is making a difference!! He is a great example. He is not into politics, but his thrust is to bring blacks and whites together via Jesus Christ. He is friends with Tony Evans, and is part of a big movement to bring us together.
    I hope you don't think Tony Evans is a sambo...

    We can't come together with this kind of name calling, intolerance of the 'person'.
    QUit picking on Jesse Peterson, LaShawn Barber, Star Parker or anyone else with a different opinion.. obviously, you disagree and that is great, but refrain from calling them names.

    O.K.. You are African American, and I am Olive - caucasion american.. I have listened to and READ stuff from all of these 'sambos', but not with a giggle or laugh and neither has anyone else.

    It has caused me to think differently, and has broken my heart as to the apathy of the Christian right toward African Americans, but not in a hateful.. 'I know your motives' type response.

    I have never heard so much hate from supposidly tolerant people in my life!
    I must tell you although I disagree with some well known liberal African Americans on their political views, I certainly don't believe they are saying what they believe to anger African Americans against whites, while they watch and giggle.
    I really think that is what they believes in their heart, and I respect them for saying it.
    I am not going to call them names like you call Star Parker..

    Could you imagine if I had posts about AL, or Farakhan, or any one else who i disagreed with and called them names dealing with their ethnicity? That would be racist indeed.

    We need to come together and quit this crap.
  38. James Manning Says:
    Rebe LOL,

    I'm laughing at the fact that you would think I would delete your post... I thought you were getting ready to cuss some folks out.

    Here is the thing with Jesse Peterson and the rest of that batch. I understand they have different opinions. That's cool with me. And you are correct, I don't know their heart, but I can judge them by their actions. And their actions give me a good indication as to what their motives are - and I define those motives accordingly. You may disagree, but I'm just calling a spade a spade (no pun intended).

    And let's be real, the right has vilified Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Farrakhan for some years now. Labeling them 'Poverty Pimps', race baiters and a whole list of other names. There is no shortage of this and it is a part of the game.

    Another point, there is no up rise in tensions - the fact is that it has never gone away. People just learn how better to ignore it. So it lays dormant for years, building up steam then one day our utopian idealism cracks and the hot lava comes rushing out. And we act surprise because we've found a way to look past it.

    Relationships all work the same. If you never acknowledge mistakes that caused someone else harm, eventually resentment grows. Then one day an explosion occurs over something minor and everyone says 'why are they so upset over something so minor' without understanding or acknowledging the resentment.
  39. Wadena Says:
    It seems to me that what I see from a couple or SEVERAL black (or supposedly black) conservative posters is a NEED to bash black people that they consider to be inferior to them--as though some blacks (poor) are a special "lower" class and conservative blacks are superior.

    And I'd say to them.....wow, you sure have got things turned backwards.

    I'd take a poor and messed up person who treats others with compassion over a middle-class movin' on up heartless bastard every time.

    Do you think it sets you on a higher plane when you trash other black people and call them names?

    Do you think it honorable to join Bush and the Christo-Fascist Religious Right in their attempts to force their beliefs on us all?

    I don't care how successful you are.

    I don't care if you can light your big cigar with a hundred dollar bill.

    I don't care if you spurn Affirmative Action because you, yourself, don't happen to need it.

    I only care if you have a heart of compassion and a yearning for justice.

    If you have that, you will work toward equal health care for all, starting with children.

    If you have that you will work to stop the criminal war on Iraq and the murder of our Iraqi brothers and sisters.

    If you have that you will care about the environment.

    If you have that you will treat women with respect.

    If you have that you will work to protect human rights, especially the right of a mother to govern her own body.

    If you have that you will refuse to persecute homosexuals and you will boldly confront those who do.

    If you have that you will fight to save the public school system that made this country great--and OPPOSE those who are now trying to destroy that system by slowly starving it to death by underfunding it and giving the money to private schools.

    But if all you care about is money for yourself and your success and to hell with those who aren't quite as able to succeed....I can't give you one lick of respect.

    I can give you my sympathy though, because you seem to be lacking a heart, and that's the worst thing that can happen to a human being.
  40. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    @ Rebecca:

    I’m grateful you put yourself out there, especially because there are so many commentators who may potentially disagree with you. I found your comment to be one of the most honest. You’ve enriched the debate, and I hope that anyone who responds respects and understands that.

    First and foremost, given the nature of “conservative” Talk-Radio and television commentary, I’m surprised you can be so irate about the assumptions one group makes of the view of others. The whole conservative mantra seems to be based on “exposing” an amorphous group of people they call “The Liberals.” All their political opponents neatly and conveniently fall into that group.

    Beyond what I read, listen to, and see on TV, the vast majority of White folks I run into in my daily, business and social life, who share this philosophy have little to no MEANINGFUL and SUSTAINED contact with Black people beyond what they are “sick of” reading, listening to on the radio, or seeing on TV. The uneven truth is that as Black people, we have actual and practical interactions with White people, and the angst that comes from the community is for the most part based on ACTUAL and everyday experience, not just the things we read, or maybe a handful of experiences… it is a White privilege to have the ability to tune out racial issues when one gets tired of hearing of them.

    Although, I know this is a harsh and difficult statement for most White folks to accept; it goes against their theory that they don’t actually have a privilege in America. I’m sure: “Just stop it and quit being so angry about racism,” seems simple to a whole lot of White folks. But it is privilege and lack of experience in a racially influenced world that makes life so simple in those terms.

    However, your point on conservative Black people is well-received by me, in part. I don’t like people making fun of Black people just for being conservative. I don’t deal with people who do that.

    But I’ll tell you, Jesse Peterson is still a clown. His eagerness to parade himself around Fox News and to actually work to establish a: "NATIONAL DAY OF REPUDIATION OF JESSE JACKSON" speaks volumes as to what kind of man he is. Men or Women of any culture who so flagrantly work to jump on a bandwagon, which is championed by people outside of their community, especially when book-selling time comes about, are clowns to me. This is something that plagues the African-American community in a way that does not plague others. And go ahead and throw any “The Liberals” that do it as well, I can do without them all.

    There is no simple “it’s the Liberals” answer here. There is no simple “it’s the White folks that are evil” answer here either. But, the fact that there are those who have the ability to close their eyes and walk away from this debate for a minute seems to speak to how different the Black and White worlds are in this country. Black people don’t have the option of being “sick and tired” of hearing or dealing with race; that is a fact of life that is only really appreciated by an ethnic minority that has experience the same kind of institutionalized hate as African-Americans.

    Finally, as far as finding some sort of inherent hypocrisy in pointing out these experiences and agitated views as a form of “hate” from “supposedly tolerant” people… all I can say is that if you’re THIS angry just about the tone of the debate, you’d probably be the most militant Black person around, if your ancestors came from Africa. These are just words. It’s much tougher to deal with petty bigotry, let alone institutionalized bigotry, on a daily and weekly basis.

    @ James:

    How did you sparks such a discussion with so many views? Bravo!!
  41. Revka Says:
    James, cool.. no problem. the part i struggle with is you know someones 'motives' by their actions. None of us even really know our own motives let alone someone elses.
    You know what they are thinking, what their priorities are and what they may believe about stuff, but not their motivations.. That is a heart issue.. That is like saying I know for sure you aren't a Christian because you are a liberal. That would be a totally misguided statement on my part.

    (Actually, i deleted a lot before i finished my comment. i was 'going off' and i decided I was being like them and joining in on all the anger stuff, so I took the higher road).

    It is a shame people don't understand that most Christians don't shove their faith down others' throats. We don't force people to belive in Jesus or slit their throats like other religions i know of.
    The whole point about Christianity IS taking care of the poor via our own pockets and with our own feet. Not via the government.. (I DIDN'T BRING THIS POINT UP, YOUR LAST COMMENTER DID). We freed a country from a Tyrant who DID maniacly and systematically kill people for disagreeing with him. That is Christianity in action.. Freeing people from oppression so that they have the freedom to choose what they want to believe.

    Bringing us together via a church system, or any other system is honorable. Martin Luther King was a Christian whether you want to believe it or not. He was a pastor. He was a strong believer, and wanted justice, but not coupled with hate and bigotry on the other side. He wanted equality and peace between the races..

    Need to finish here. I won't touch any other comments that were left here because it divides instead of unites.
  42. Revka Says:
    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the 'discussion' and your ability to articulate instead of throw around insults.

    First of all, I must say that i agree and disagree on some of your points. I TOTALLY agree there is still racism on a daily basis for African AMericans.. I agree (I will use A.A. because it takes too long to write out ;-)
    I am totally clueless to the experience, and my comment seemed to classify everyone who struggles in this experience as intolerant or racist themselves...

    Can I just say I am a tired woman with 4 kids who hates the fact that there are still ignorant, biggoted white people around, and on the same hand.. I can't step in your skin.. You can't step in mine.. WIll you listen from a person born in 1964 how this has impacted me? :-)
    I learned at a young age about skin differences.. That other commenter said I had no heart because I was a conservative..
    My brother was burned in a fire at 6 years old.. ALL OVER.. almost died. HE has no skin color. He had some plastic surgery, but he went through life not being able to get a job. NO one wanted to hire him because he was too messed up. They were afraid it would scare the customers. I used to flip off people who stared at him.
    I grew up learning that it was the content of the person that mattered, via my brother, and my parents who hated racism.

    My brother has had to endure a different kind of racism.. He ended up marrying a woman who won the title of Miss Black Kansas CIty. She was and still is, beautiful. SHe saw the inside of my brother. They ahve 5 beautiful children and have been married for 25 years. I know her family well and they are like my family. I connect with them all very well and enjoy our times together.
    I prefer going to all black churches to worship because it is a tighter community and i feel more welcome and not as uptight.
    I have a white friend who is teaming up with Stan ARchie to send a new movie to the white churches to make them aware of the divide..
    I do agree with you all that it is there, and ignoring it is wrong.. My intent wasn't to ignore it.. I am weary of it on both sides. I understand we have a longer way to go with racism.
    You, are very good at stating the truth about the struggle. You should be out there more 'informing' the conservatives who apparently aren't seeing it the right way.
    You would be shocked at how they would listen to you, and think through it.
    You have to agree that part of coming together is for us to understand the reality you walk in every day.. And for you to understand how we feel when it seems like we are being told we are so heartless and don't care about others.
  43. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    So much to read and so little time.

    1. I am all stereotyped out. Within reason I give everyone the benefit of the dounbt, and let me tell you, it is a miserable existence having to analyze individuals instead of making assumptions. Of course this is why we have things like government and religion.

    2. That I want to be white because of the way that I talk. That I can dance and play basketball (I'm below average at both). That I think all whites are evil devils. So forth and so on.

    3. Maybe not perfectly aligned, but I try my best. It's really hard though.

    4. Whites are better and more efficient than blacks. Democrats are good while Repiblicans are not good (this has been simplified to: both parties suck ass). All whites are racist. That blacks being the "mother race" makes them any better. That anybody could speak for black folk in general.
  44. James Manning Says:
    To Rebe:

    But you would question someone claiming to be a Christian and selling porn on the Internet. You would question their motives if they came to Church only during a singles event. I know what Peterson says he's about - but I look at what he does - and I question it. You may not question it, but I have a different perspective on what it means to work for the empowerment of the black community.

    Second point, MLK's point was not to unite the races but to live up to its word of providing equal opportunity for all of its citizen. I don't MLK was striving for a color blind society but a system that did not oppress on the basis of color.

    Finally, the point of this excercise was not to unite or divide us, but to get us talking about these issues. People have expressed themselves and yes, some have gotten offended. But by not expressing your feelings, regardless of who gets hurt by them, we run the risk of shoveling the issue of race under the carpet.

    This is not an easy subject but you have the means to escape it and watch the mess unfold on television. Black people live this life. We never escape it. We can ignore it, deny it, even attempt to run from it - but we never escape it.

    @ Euphemistically Speaking:

    I appreciate you input on this post.
  45. Wadena Says:
    """We freed a country from a Tyrant who DID maniacly (sic) and systematically kill people for disagreeing with him. That is Christianity in action..."""

    Yes....I'm SURE that's EXACTLY what Jesus would have done.

    In reality, we drove out a dictator who was no worse than the murderous dictators that we have supported in other countries where it suited us.

    (The Shah of Iran, for example, and fifty Central and South American murderous dictators for a few more examples. To say we also supported Saddam at one time is a bit redundant.)

    We then found that the people of that country didn't want us there and began an attempt to kill all of them that disagreed with our chosen way of life for them.

    So far we've killed and maimed over 200,000 innocent people and they STILL want us out.

    We've also managed to get over 10,000 Americans killed and ten times that wounded with an extremely high ratio of double, triple and quadruple amputees. (A sorry mess to deal with those ruined lives for the next sixty years in and out of veterans hospitals that are already overcrowded due to Republican cuts to their funding.)

    So we have simply replaced one dictator with another, (BUSH) killed and maimed a huge number of innocent people and set the stage for the inevitable civil war.

    All for hegemony and control of Middle East oil.

    Oh yes, I sure do see Jesus in that.

    Jesus said, love your neighbor and if he's weak and defenseless.....go ahead and kill him and steal his oil.

    Whew.....Radical Right Christians.....they never fail to amaze.

    Back to topic after Rebecca's diversion.
  46. James Manning Says:

    Based on what you just wrote, I can understand your position. And it seems to me that your brother's life is a testimony as to how living with prejudice can harden a person's heart. But that's not you - and that's not me. But it is a lot of people. And that is why it is important for those of us who can still manage an ounce of humility to continue this. Because black folks that hate white people are not going to do it. White folks that hate black folks are not going to do it.

    Thank you for sharing, Rebe. Believe me, I truly appreciate your participation in this discussion.
  47. Little Miss Chatterbox Says:
    Where to start? This is such a heavy topic and has so many tentacles.

    It seems to me that stereotypes and racism on both sides hinder people from coming together. I was talking to 2 of my friends about all of this. Both of them grew up in the south and they said there were these subtle racist things that were said and done that they didn't catch until they were older. I could be wrong but it seems to me there is also some of that in black homes towards whites as well. These subtle stereotypes that cause blacks to think bad things about whites before they get a chance to even prove that they aren't racist.

    As we were talking our conclusion was you heal racism one person at a time. You prove by living your life that people aren't out to judge people because of being a different color, etc.

    I agree with neo,soc that I'm a little concerned with wadena's elevated rhetoric. I must say that I take offense to how Christian conservatives are said not to care about people because they don't agree with liberal's solutions for things.

    Wadena said: "I only care if you have a heart of compassion and a yearning for justice." Anybody that knows me knows that compassion and justice describes me completely. But I don't think you help the poor by more government programs that are inefficiently run. I want to pour my money into private organizations that are able to really help those in need and really empower people to make something of their lives.

    And the list goes on. Just because I don't agree with democrat ideas doesn't mean I don't care.
  48. James Manning Says:
    Thanks Chatter,

    I think the next post will be about solutions.
  49. Wadena Says:
    Chatterbox said:

    """Anybody that knows me knows that compassion and justice describes me completely."""

    Good. Then you must be for Affirmative Action, equal health insurance for all, and getting the hell out of Iraq before anybody else gets killed or maimed.

    You must also be for giving the Palestinians back their land and ending support for Zionists, right?

    You must be for funding the public schools instead of stealing the money away for private schools.

    You must be for funding colleges so tuition can be dropped back to reasonable levels.

    You must be in favor of ending the tax cuts that just make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    No? Awwwwwww.....

    See, I was talking about real compassion and justice, not George Bush Cowboy compassion and justice.
  50. Dave Miller Says:
    Please please please Rebecca, do not go down the Christian road on Iraq. I will not question that GW is a Christian. I will not question that he seeks out God before he acts, but our actions are our actions, not those of Jesus'. I find it hard to believe that anyone could find Christian love, hope, and charity in our response to Iraq. I think the bible is pretty clear on "turn the other cheek" and "pray for your enemy." Jesus' life was one of compassion and love even for those who wronged him. It has become a tenant of faith for many GW supporters that he did the Godly thing by attacking Iraq. Do we really believe this is what Jesus would have advocated?

    Are people aware that the most tolerant country in the Middle East towards Christians, outside of Israel and Lebanon, before the war was Iraq? That's right. There were more Christians living in Iraq and able to worship than any other middle east country! Not so any more. Also, I know many people trot out the "just war" theory as support for the war. Are folks aware that every major US denomination stood against the war, called it unjust and illegal, except the Southern Baptists? Even GW's own denomination!

    I bring this up to say the war was a political decision, not a religious one and when people ascribe God, or Jesus, to polical agendas, it only cheapens the reality of the cross.
  51. Euphemistically Speaking Says:
    @ little miss chatterbox:

    I think there is a misconception among many White folks that Black people want to see every White person in American on their knees begging our forgiveness. Now, there are obviously nut-jobs out there who probably entertain that idea, but I don’t think this is the normal discussion.

    As far as the silly things people learn in their homes, many homes have them. But as a society, the problem is when we take our private ignorance into the public sphere. The important difference between White and Black bigotry is that private White bigotry turns into public and private discrimination in mechanisms that run and control society; this is a consequence of both a population differential, but also because the dominant means of producing and administering EVERYTHING in the country is dominated by White folks.

    The petty bigotry that exists among Black folks has very little significant, or absolutely no effect on the lives of White folks. I sometimes get the feeling that White people are reaching to find an argument akin to: “They are racist too. So the problem is really with both sides. ” Perhaps this is an attempt to alleviate a measure of guilt that results from America’s shameful treatment of Black/Native American people (and others to a lesser… yes… lesser extent).

    Racism weakens us all, but its lopsided effect on Black people (and soon to be Arabs) is undeniable. It’s like weighing petty social ignorance against the power of bigotry that can determine employment, set the national/state/local political agendas, and control the media.

    Consider this: I hear people complain about the “Liberal Media” all the time. But to us, it’s much worse, because with an all White media, we have no countervailing force at all; at least the people who complain about the “Liberal Media” have their Fox New, Talk-Radio, Wall Street Journal, and slew of national publications.

    Left-wing, Right-wing, neither group in the broad sense of these political classifications truly cares to contribute to a making the Black community stronger (though, maybe some want less poverty. maybe). They seem to be playing a game called: “who is the REAL racist”? Left-wing racists, or Right-wing racists? Not that it really matters to Black people which one wins that debate.

    Finally, this statement brought many thoughts and experiences to mind:

    “I must say that I take offense to how Christian conservatives are said not to care about people because they don't agree with liberal's solutions for things.”

    What of the Conservative Christians who don’t vote Republican or support some of these Christian Coalition types? In particular, I can think of one Black couple in particular who is far more Conservative than most people I know who vote Republican.

    I in no way support Wadena’s position on this issue, but I would like to say that my problem with the “Christian identity” movements in this country has nothing to do with someone accepting Christ in their life.

    My problem is with the identification of being a Conservative Christian as being Republican, or on the politically Conservative side of the isle. I have known many Conservative Christians who voted liberal politically. Just as I have known many people who lived Liberal lives and beat a Conservative drum, just because they voted that way. To me, it’s extremely offensive and just about heretical to insinuate that Christianity is rightfully a Republican phenomenon in any way.

    That being said, thank you for contributing to the discussion. None of this would have been as interesting or informative if people like you or Rebecca had not put yourselves out there into the firing-line. I appreciate it.
  52. Wadena Says:
    While I agree, of course, that SOME FundaGelical Christians may vote for Liberal candidates, they are few and far between.

    I've traveled in FundaGelical circles for years and belonged to such a church (several of them, actually).

    I knew them well, REALLY WELL, and having known hundreds I can think of only two or three that supported liberal or progressive candidates or parties.

    In my experience, at least 95% were hard core far right wing (either Republican or Libertarian) in every way.....and they felt you should NOT call yourself a Christian if you were not one of them.

    These were NOT black churches, but northern Bible-belt churches (some Charismatic, some not).

    Black churches would have fewer hard-core conservatives, I'm sure.

    (Although judging by some of the shocking talk on this and the other thread.....there is obviously an active and energetic Republican element working hard to stealthily convert people to their way of thinking, and this blog is a good example of that.)
  53. NEO, SOC Says:
    Wadena: What about the military cutbacks by Clinton? Will we act like that didn't happen?

    Dave Miller: Jesus wasn't solely about love. Turned over tables showed righteous indignation. Jesus instructed His disciples to be armed (Luke 22:36). Jesus is the same now as He was in the Old Testament. There is a time for war and a time for peace. Now, I won't say that God moved George Bush to the war because G. W. reviewed the same information that the Senate and Congress reviewed and made the decision from there. Yet, I believe that love means dealing with evil people. And for many of you to banter over whether or not we are welcomed are not spending the quality time to hear from the people there in Iraq who love our American Troop presence. MSM won't report anything good! George Bush had a speech yesterday that stated that if Iran would attack us, we'd meet them will full force. Why wasn't that on MSM? Because of the Anti-Bush movement that has existed since his first administration. MSM media has failed to remain unbiased and reporting all sides of a story. Give me both aspects of the news or shutup and sit down. Do I want more troops to die? Of course not; but anyone who believes that a war can be fought without casualities needs to be a casuality of war. Think of the civil rights war in this country and the lives lost. So, how wouldn't there be loss of life in Iraq or wherever Islam (violence at its core) is thriving. How is it that if Islam is such a religion of peace; that if a Muslim converts to Christianity in the Middle East; they will be killed? How is it that it is illegal to proselytize Muslims but it's okay the other way around. But I digress!

    Almost everyone of us (including me) may have wielded word attacks against those of opposing views. To think that this is only on this great post. If we can't past our biases in the eWorld; how can we make strides in the real world? James: Many of the liberals on this site gave me a mouthful to relay to my conservative 'ostrich' friends. I even enjoyed the positions presented. I pray that the same level of respect given to opposing views will only be reciprocated. I think to some degree all of us on both side have fallen short on ending the prejudices. Why? Possible peer-pressure; fear of being ostracized or possibly even the lack of a reputable platform to make known our concerns. When we all can move beyond name calling and have respectful dialogue, which I believe was your aim, we can then come up with the answers that leave us with the only course of 'action'. I think you said it best; 'we could go point counterpoint' or we could find the areas of question offer the reasonable solutions and go from there.
  54. Rell Says:
    ok this has nothing to do with the post but it's Jack Bauer related...

  55. NEO, SOC Says:
    steve, james manning; dave miller & Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden: Thank you for your contributions. While I may have not agreed with everything you had added; your presentation was to me more respectful and contributing to the post.

    Wadena; as I Christian, I want to apologize for whatever fanatical believers that you may have encountered that could make you so angry towards us. On behalf of the whole Christian community, will you forgive us? I will admit that many of us have not represented Christ well.

    With that said: When you are ready to communicate save the harsh language; I'd be happy to talk and listen.
  56. Little Miss Chatterbox Says:
    Wadena: You completely proved my point. Since I don't agree with you on your liberal agenda you have labeled me as non-compassionate. You are very offensive in how you present your arguments and you will accomplish nothing by doing it in that manner.
  57. Wadena Says:
    Oh come now, Neo.....you think the Christians I have known were unusual?

    No, they were representative.

    On this very thread one said that invading Iraq was a Christian thing to do.

    And you are very wrong about Jesus.


    Jesus did encourage his disciples to go armed. Three swords among a group of about fifty, as I recall from the Bible.

    Self-defense, yes......brutally invading a poor and weak nation and perpetrating war crimes to steal oil and strengthen hegemony......no.

    And for you to say that I am angry at these Christians is wrong as well.....I feel sorry for them because--as hard as they try--their excuses for their unloving behavior always fail--and they know it.

    But they continue in their ways, not God's ways.

    I stand ready to forgive them (as does God) if they repent and begin to walk in love, compassion and justice as God commands.
  58. NEO, SOC Says:
    Okay, Wadena: Hold your views as to whatever is going on in Iraq. We all have a right to our own opinions. Are you familiar with the passage "All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial"?

    I bring this up because while I feel every member of our government needs to be accountable for their actions and decisions that affect this country; I struggle with the timing of those who express valid concerns about our presence in Iraq. It even rolls around to even the theme of these last two (2) blogs. While some have expressed strong feelings about the other side; we stagnated in bashing one another that a reasonable summarization has failed to be presented on what steps can we take. We all took part in it and it shows the lack of progress because we being emotive sometimes lack the common sense to move past our feelings and towards objective communication. Do you have a solution? If it can go without bashing conservatives; I'd love to hear it. And when I present my solutions I will disregard any sentiments that bash your views or any of my other opponents' view. I believe this was the purpose of this blog instead of the amazing diatribes we presented. Agree?
  59. Steve Says:
    To Neo:

    "I struggle with the timing of those who express valid concerns about our presence in Iraq..."

    Those same concerns were expressed before the war. They were just ignored.

    "Objective communication" about race and politics? You're kidding, right? There's no such thing. Real solutions? They come from what we do... not just what we believe, think, feel, or say. At the end of the day, anybody can think and feel whatever they want. It is what's done that makes the difference.

    In the case of racism, Euphemistically Speaking said it best:

    "Racism weakens us all, but its lopsided effect on Black people (and soon to be Arabs) is undeniable. It’s like weighing petty social ignorance against the power of bigotry that can determine employment, set the national/state/local political agendas, and control the media.

    Left-wing, Right-wing, neither group in the broad sense of these political classifications truly cares to contribute to a making the Black community stronger (though, maybe some want less poverty. maybe). They seem to be playing a game called: “who is the REAL racist”? Left-wing racists, or Right-wing racists? Not that it really matters to Black people which one wins that debate.

    Sorry for cutting and pasting so much of ES's words, but he (or she, sorry I don't know) said it best.

    Dem vs. Rep, Lib vs. Con, they are all distractions... at least they are to Black people. What has professing any of these designations really done to help Blacks? As a whole? Expressing a political point of view means about as much as giving the latest box office hit a thumbs up or thumbs down. It's for entertainment purposes, little more than that.

    That's why (short of the occassional Blog participation), I've chosen not to engage in discussions about race and racism anymore - unless those discussions directly affect my business. Then, the motivation is monetary, not social.

    If I DO as I should - contribute to my community, and serve as a resource to fight injustice - that will mean more and do more to make a difference than talking politics, or seeking some white (or other) person's understanding of how Blacks deal with and react to racism.

    Lastly, many confuse the idea of "bringing Blacks and Whites together" with correcting social injustice. This is not the same thing, by far. Blacks and Whites coming together is a social activity. Correcting social injustice is a political activity.
  60. NEO, SOC Says:
    Steve: Way too funny!
    "Objective communication" about race and politics? You're kidding, right? There's no such thing. Real solutions? They come from what we do... not just what we believe, think, feel, or say. At the end of the day, anybody can think and feel whatever they want. It is what's done that makes the difference.

    Is there any other productive kind of communication? How successful is subjective communication, to which many of us presented in this post. I agree, actions do speak louder than words. And we can't wash away to reality of unbalanced mentality; however, some can say; I am glad you acknowledge the disparity; now let's move forward without me beating you on the head about it.
  61. Steve Says:
    Neo, communication is always a good thing. Objective, subjective, whatever. As long as it's honest.

    But, for me, it serves as a frame of reference for what I have to do rather than try to reach any kind of consencus (sp?) regarding the issue at hand. If I happen to agree with James or Euphemistically Speaking but disagree with Little Miss Chatterbox, what makes more sense: Changing Little Miss Chatterbox's mind, or simply accepting her position and moving forward in spite of it?

    Even if I were to successfully change somebody's mind about a given issue, so what? If what I did (or what they did) didn't change as a result (ex: measures to better combat racism, more involvement in the Black community, etc.), then the value is limited to that of entertainment.

    I admire James' desire to have an open and honest dialogue. This doesn't happen often. Maybe we will gain a new insight into the subject matter, or confirm what we already knew, or both. The conversation is educational because it gives me a snapshot of what's on other people's minds. It provides a frame of reference.

    But if I don't get off my ass and do something behind the words, absolutely nothing will change - that's for sure.
  62. Revka Says:
    There are some commenters here who have reinforced my view of the left..
    Euphamistically speaking is beginning to influence me because he is making great points. I never thought about the media and how there is nothing about issues that effect A.A. it is like African American issues are left out. Great point. I will think about that one. Actually, Euph.. has caused me to think about a lot of stuff.

    I didn't blanket the war effort as a 'Christian thing to do'.. They do have freedom of worship now, by the way.. according to some military friends I know.

    The spread of Democracy is going to spread and free a lot of people in other countries who DON'T have the freedome to worship..(please don't say we are trying to make them like us, we aren't... they can have democracy done their own way).. That is one of the effects of freeing a country from a maniacle dictator.. We can only do one country at a time. We may not have to do any more countries if they rise up and take the govt. down themselves so they can be free.
    It was the 'right thing to do'.. To free an oppressed people... They DID have the freedom to worship under Sadaam.. But they didn't have the freedom to disagree with Sadaam.

    BUT.. I will get BACK TO THE POINT of the discussion, since Wadena brought the Iraq issue up first.

    Thanks to all who have enlightened me to some things I have been ignoring.. James, great job with this post!! over 62 responses, great!!
  63. NEO, SOC Says:
    Speaking of Iraq: Did anyone hear about the Iraqi woman in Kansas who got up screaming and praising George Bush for freeing her people? She condemned the leftist people who were coming out against him; she told Bush "I love you" and flowered him with many compliments and words of appreciation.

    Pretty sad that you didn't hear anything about it. But, what did the media report from his visit to Kansas? I guy asking him if he had seen BrokeBack Mountain! And we say the media is not recounting the challenges for black America? What about the media's failure to report the Iraqi Americans feeling towards to the war?
  64. Steve Says:
    I would bet Iraqis are just as divided as Americans when it comes to the war. Some support it, others hate it. And all have their reasons for feeling the way they do. It all depends on who you ask. I've heard it from both sides.
  65. James Manning Says:
    Wow, this post has a taken on a life of its own.

    Iraq: The only thing I will say is does the ends justify the means. If a coach verbally abusive, causes injuries because of his workouts and force students to miss class because of practice. Is that justified if his team wins the state championship? I doubt we would actually support invading another country if we knew the intelligence we had was shakey but the results could be ending the rule of a dictator. Heck, there are about 20 other countries with oppressive governments, how many of you support invading them when we're done with Iraq?

    Steve: I think you are on point about talking not leading to actions. At some point folks have to be willing to step over to the other side. That happened a few times, but then people went back to defending themselves. It's just the way it is.

    As for the media, they are garbage all around. I don't think there is a liberal bias or a conservative bias (excluding Fox News), but I just think they are incompetent. Black people have gotten a bad rap in the media. They take the actions of a small percentage of black people and turn it into a representation of all black people.

    Finally, I really don't care about bringng white and black people together. It is about correcting injustices. What the hell do I care if some white guy in Alabama hates black folks. But I do care if he were a racist white senator from Alabama working on a Civil Rights bill or voting on a crime bill. We cannot end racism, but what we can do is make it harder for those with racist views to practice them in the public sqaure.
  66. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    "Finally, I really don't care about bringng white and black people together."

    Amen. If black people get their shit together, everything else will take care of itself.
  67. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    Oh yeah, it looks like you have the makings of a runaway train here James, congrats!!

    Also, the Jack Bauer locator is awesome. 8-)
  68. James Manning Says:
    Rell, thanks for the hook up. Man, one of those locations is only a mile away from me. I need to see if I can be an extra on 24. Maybe I could be one of those cats that Jack kills.
  69. Bullfrog Says:
    That is a compelling point you bring up about whites and blacks getting along; it will probably never be a perfect relationship as you will have those who do not want to surrender their prejudice.

    In terms of Iraq, I am willing to acquiesce to the fact that the intelligence was faulty, but as we cannot go back in time, I think our goal should be to finish what we started and not leave Iraq hanging at such a critical time.

    Don't even get me started about the media. Every time a turn on the news, my wife rolls her eyes because she knows the yelling is about to start... I am not convinced that Fox isn't bias, but they do provide more than one side of an issue better than the rest.
  70. Revka Says:
    Here is a link to what I was talking about..
    I seriously think you should take a look at this and let me know what you think..
    I think this is one of the solutions among many.. You have to start in the mind, then actions need to follow..
  71. James Manning Says:
    Thanks, Rebe, I'll check it out.
  72. Diane S. Says:
    Damn. Wish I wasn't so late to this dance. I started to post Monday night (late - like actually really early Tuesday morning, but my eyes were getting to bleary to see the screen.

    James, I take the sheer number and fervency of posts here as further indication that you should start a magazine. Think Salon.com as a group blog with you as Editor in Chief...

    There's so much meat here, that I hardly know where to begin and I frankly do not have the time to respond to each post which either rubbed me in the right direction or stabbed me in the heart.

    A few things though:

    NeoSoc, you and I are going to have to agree to disagree (or not, your choice) about most political issues. For me I can just sigh and acknowledge we are not looking out of the same window.

    However, a lot of what you've said is horribly misogynistic (stupid black women who choose dead beat brothers to sleep with or they already knew that the brother had three kids from other women. I say in that instance the woman needs to be held accountable! Close your damn legs! Arse-holes!) and blatantly homophobic (brothers on the "lowdown"), and these things stand fearfully close to racism in my mind.

    See, you start with a group of people, label them "other" and then proceed to treat them as "less than". You create a second class of citizens who are somehow not entitled to the same treatment as everyone else. This is a dangerous thing to my mind, and I actually believe in the constitutional premise that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator by certain inalienable rights.

    May I submit to you that the brothers with no job, with 3 kids, etc. zip it up? Why is the fatherless child thing strictly a woman's problem?

    I expect you're probably lining up scripture to quote to me about the evils of homosexuality, but while you are doing that, look at the other sins (drunkenness, lying, disobedience to parents, fornication, adultery) listed in those same scriptures. When the Christian Right comes down on those sins with the same vehemence with which they have attacked the gay community, then - and only then - will I grant them the possibility that their attacks are truly scripturally based, and not just homophobia run riot under the guise of piousness.

    Someone (sorry forgot who) said, "What has the Democratic Party done for black people in the last 30 years?" Good question. I was going to just leave it at that, but in defense of my own party we have stood firm in support of affirmative action and against racial profiling. Yes, it's way too little. But tell me, what has the Republican Party done for black people in the last 30 years? For black people generally, not specifically. What I mean is don't just say Collin and Condi, because they are the exceptions and not the rule.

    To someone who quoted the Iraq death toll as 10,000, the actual American death toll in the War in Iraq stands (today, January 25th) at 2237, not 10,000. (source: icasualties.org) If your counting total fatalities (allied forces and Iraqis), your number is way, way, too low.

    Whoever it was that said the War in Iraq is Christianity in Action, man, we do not share the same understanding of Christianity. You really think Jesus was cheering us on as we flooded Fallujah with white phosphorus?

    There's a lot to be said for removing the beam from your own eye before you attempt to remove the mote from your brother's eye. Before we go "save" the world, we best get our house in order.

    Saddam Hussein was - by no stretch of the imagination - a nice guy. But who appointed us the world cops on nice guys? Wadena is right, we've actively supported hundreds of dictators worse than Saddam Hussein because it's been to our economic advantage to do so.

    Why not quit being so angry about racism? Because anger spurs change. One of the things I admire so ardently about Dr. King is that he took that anger and directed it at the sin (racism) without directing it at the sinner (white people). That's Christianity in action.

    Finally, Wadena said, I'd take a poor and messed up person who treats others with compassion over a middle-class movin' on up heartless bastard every time.

    Amen, and Amen, and Amen.

    Okay, enough of my prattling on. The real questions at hand:

    1. What are some of the stereotypes that you hold?

    That most people of color will assume I am the enemy until I prove - by my actions (and not by my rhetoric) - that I am not. I find this an understandable stance.

    That black women will hate me if I date a black man.

    That Hispanic men expect their women to wait on them hands and feet. (Completely racist. I cop to that. Just trying to be honest here.) This is more a suspision than an absolute belief - and has been fed largely by listening to white men enumerate the advantages of Hispanic women.

    That conservatives are all financially elitist, don't give a damn about equality, and are completely indifferent (or actively antagonistic) to the plight of the poor. Like Nicki, Dell is changing my mind on some of this.

    That black people are generally better musicians and athletes than white people. I don't know why this is true, but I do believe it to be true. (This is a stereotype, even if it's a complimentary one.)

    That Lewis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam hate white people. (Fire at will, man.)

    2. What are some of the stereotypes that people incorrectly associated you with?

    That because I'm white, I am a racist.

    Also that because I was raised with a certain amount of economic privilege that I know nothing about struggling to make ends meet.

    Yes, I was a little rich white girl. Then a lot of things changed. I now skim the edges of poverty and have most of my adult life. I can live for a month off the fumes of an old rag if I have to, and several months of my life, I've had too.

    And like most white folks have said, that I can't dance. And you're right. I can't.

    That because I am an evangelical Christian I subscribe to the Christian Right's agenda. I do not.

    3. Would you consider your perspective one that would align itself with facts?

    My perspective is under constant revision, and facts are still coming in. I try.

    4. What stereotypes did you hold that you now reject?

    Hold ever? Like in my whole life?

    When I was a tiny child, the only black people I was in contact with were servants. I thought that life was a white movie and everyone else was extras. (I got over this very quickly, like when I started school.)

    That people of other cultures, race, and ethnicity and I lived lives so completely different from my own that there was no use searching for common ground. (Another belief discarded very early on. Instead what I found is the richness to be mined from exposing yourself to other cultures.)

    That all Asian women are beautiful. (Some aren't.)
  73. NEO, SOC Says:
    Diane S: You misunderstood a lot I said; but I will address it later.
  74. Dave Miller Says:
    Thanks Diane S.

    You reminded me of one of those personal stereotypes that does really annoy me. Hard to believe that after a few days and 75 responses we are still getting to those answers to James' questions.

    So here it is. That since I am a Christian who does missionary work in another country, I must be, you choose, republican, right wing, closed minded, stupid, non thinking!

    I have actually been in churches and groups where I was asked if I was really a Christian because I voted democrat. Or was not the best friend of GW Bush.

    So thanks for the reminder.

    As for some of your other stuff, I could not agree with you more on the gay issue and churches. I know what the bible says. But here is my question. Why are our churches and people so vocal on this issue and almost silent on feeding the poor? Wasn't that important to Jesus? This type of view does not negate what the bible says about homosexuality, but the real question for me becomes why is so much effort spent on this issue when there are about 10 verses total addressing it in the bible as opposed to hundreds addressing our calling to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
  75. Wadena Says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  76. Anonymous Says:

    Dave great comment. But have to disagree with you on a few points. I am also a Christian but a conservative black man and about to change from a Democrat to either Independent or Republican. This comes after many years and going thru my own personal issues that have affected my decision. It does seem odd when you are Christian and folks expect you to be a Republican, you hit the nail on the head. On the flip side of that in my opinion more racism seems to come from more liberal white folks, they seem to me at least to have preconceived notions of black folks. You know we come in all different sizes shapes and of course opinions. Its funny how Howard Dean the head of the DNC didn’t have any black people working for him when he was the Governor in Vermont, but is quick to call the RNC out. Please don’t think I am in lock step with Bush and the crew because I am surely not! The future and advancement of black folks is not with the Democrats or liberals that much I do know. In addition what you said about Gays in the church I think you are wrong. Homosexuals are living immoral, but there are many in the church that are living immoral. As Christians we don’t have to like what it says but know that it is truth.
  77. James Manning Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    I don't the the Dean not hiring black people is a good argument. Were he the governor of New York or Illinois, there might be something there. But Vermont?

    As for Christians - we could do a new post on that one. I think the Christian Right is off the mark when it comes to race and to policies effecting Americans in general but black and poor people in particular.

    I read this somewhere and I think it is very true. The reason the Right focuses on gay issues and not other sins is because it is easier to point a finger at someone for their sins if you are sure that you do not partake in them.
  78. Anonymous Says:
    Face in the crowd,

    Thanks for responding James.
    I disagree with you on Dean, because contrary to popular believe there are more then enough qualified Black people in Vermont. I know because my sister has lived there for many years and yes there are Black people in Vermont, just not many.

    The Christian right is wrong on many issue. But we can’t blame them for making Black folks We can’t let them off the hook of course. I see on your latest post from Dell Gimes and it really addresses why we are behind the eight ball. It is so spot on. We are running a race and always coming from behind. I believe we will and can catch up! James we have no other choice. Young Black men and woman have to make better choices and stop wanting to be a rapper , nba star or video ho. They think that is the only way out of a bad situation. It comes back to the parent or parents. We have to stop having babies that we can not take care. I am old enough to remember when it was a shame to have a child out of wedlock and be pregnant in high school. So that is why I think liberals are bad and not really what Black people. Class is part of the issue with racism.

    As a Christian myself I don’t accept gay as being ok. I also don’t accept using drug beating your wife etc. Doesn’t mean I am perfect just trying to follow the GOOD LORD. The Christian right is also in Africa and all over the word trying to help people. They are places no one else is but it doesn’t get written about.
    As always great post and blog and thanks for letting me be a small part of it.
  79. Diane S. Says:
    @ Neo Soc

    I look forward to your response. Though I disagree with a lot of your ideas, I do find the internal logic behind them compelling. Also you fight fair. These things make you a good sparring partner, and I suspect I can learn a lot from you.
  80. NEO, SOC Says:
    Thank you for your patience all; I had programming that I had to finish up. James; I vote for your Magazine to be called 'Racial Rhetoric'. Or at least call the book you write from this blog with the same title.

    Diane; thanks for the compliment. Here goes:

    However, a lot of what you've said is horribly misogynistic (nice choice of words, to which I will use in the future).

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Now, If it came off that way; please forgive me. My mother would be pimp smacking me from the grave, if that is what I meant. Do the dead beat fathers go unscathed? Of course not! It's just how thought in time sometimes offers you one chance to say something and without someone like you coming behind to hold the individual accountable for what they say; the thought remains unchallenged (thank you). Both are culpable; but why should the sister knowingly put herself in a situation where she 'knows' that the brother is non-productive? That's like signing up for a job today that you know is closing tomorrow! Is that clearer?

    "blatantly homophobic (brothers on the 'lowdown'" Without it sounding too funny. I know gay people and have friends in the community as well as my brother being there. Do I have less respect for them than the adulterating ministers in this community? God forbid because He doesn't care for partiality (1 Timothy 5:21). But, to not speak out against this atrocity is far worse than the act itself. And I wasn't specifically speaking out against the homosexual movement; it was about the fact that these brothers are doing their thing and coming back to unsuspecting sisters and depositing a LIFE SENTENCE! It is the number one means of transmission in Africa and why aren't we hearing more about that pandemic than Bush-lied?

    "these things stand fearfully close to racism in my mind." Well, that is how you interpreted things; to which it was skewed but then again, I will be more forthcoming in being clearer in my future thoughts and dialogue. My racist tendencies are against racist people. I grew up in a black neighborhood in New York; but every school I was exposed to except one (3 month period during foster-care) was equally diversified. So, I was exposed to many races and cultures. So, racist at its truest sense, I am not and that even means against to the homosexual community. They are accountable for their actions just as much as I am! Period!

    See, you start with a group of people, label them "other" and then proceed to treat them as "less than". You create a second class of citizens who are somehow not entitled to the same treatment as everyone else. This is a dangerous thing to my mind, and I actually believe in the constitutional premise that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator by certain inalienable rights. I am not trying to create a second class citizen; but there is this pervasive 'second class mentality'. Come on now; if you're having enough problems making ends meet; why bring a child into the picture (if that is number 1 or number 5)? It's like the foolishness of creating insurmountable debt as if nothing will happen in the events of such madness (does anyone have a few thousand dollars I can borrow?).

    May I submit to you that the brothers with no job, with 3 kids, etc. zip it up? Why is the fatherless child thing strictly a woman's problem? I think I covered this earlier, but let me reiterate: Both are accountable. And personally; I think if you are on assistance programs; there should be greater accountability. Protected sex to prevent another child possibly being fatherless. Also, I vote for sterilizing a lot of these brothers who tap and run or at least castrate them! Period! But, the woman as a part in it as well.

    I expect you're probably lining up scripture to quote to me about the evils of homosexuality, but while you are doing that, look at the other sins (drunkenness, lying, disobedience to parents, fornication, adultery) listed in those same scriptures. When the Christian Right comes down on those sins with the same vehemence with which they have attacked the gay community, then - and only then - will I grant them the possibility that their attacks are truly scripturally based, and not just homophobia run riot under the guise of piousness. I address this earlier, too. But, let me further add: We did come out against Bill Clinton, and Jesse Jackson. You know what I got? They are just men doing what men do? I got this from not unbelievers but CHRISTIANS! Mind you, I don't justify at all what Jesse did; but is it possible Mrs. Jackson wasn't doing what she was supposed to be doing? That only God knows; but it was still wrong on his part! There are countless televangelists who I personally need to be imprisoned for their shadiness and visible corruption and pimping of the Gospel message; and it has not happened to my dismay. So, this brother can find passages where all our actions (including mine) that are a direct violation of God's law will merit His wrath.

    Someone (sorry forgot who) said, "What has the Democratic Party done for black people in the last 30 years?" Good question. I was going to just leave it at that, but in defense of my own party we have stood firm in support of affirmative action and against racial profiling. Yes, it's way too little. But tell me, what has the Republican Party done for black people in the last 30 years? For black people generally, not specifically. What I mean is don't just say Collin and Condi, because they are the exceptions and not the rule. That was me who said that. Now, I am not going down the Affirmative Action road today. But this is all I say: "Don't give undying support to any party without reviewing the facts. Weigh each according to the welfare of the populace. Which issue has greater emphasis on affect society?" To me, I am going with the Pro-Life; Biblical marriage issues because they ultimately affect our community as a whole and they run in tandem with my convictions and first and foremost: God's Word. I don't know if was this blog or another; but I expressed my disappointments with my party of choice and still have reservations in some of the current decisions being made. So, I am a 'republitarian' (smile).

    I could write more; but I need to get work done. Anymore questions; send them through. Thanks.
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