I caught myself almost going into this rant on someone post and this really had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

 

So here's my question: Are we, as a nation, actually ridding ourselves of racism, or are we 'sweeping it under the rug' so to speak?

 

Now in my opinion I feel that we are right on track, if not ahead of schedule, in the process of ridding our nation of racism. This thought is based off of the fact that Africans have been enslaved by Europeans since the 1400s, meaning that Europeans had roughly 400 years of ingrained racism in their system before the slave trade ended in the United States and then another hundred years or so before African Americans took the stage to fight for serious equality. So after 500 years or so of European Americans considering themselves above the African Americans for us to have come as far as we have in the last 50 years to me is quite the achievement.

 

I'm definitely not trying to imply that we don't still have a ways to go, nor am I saying that we don't have to try anywhere near as hard to help our people in a time where all of the negative stereotypes of the African American is not only encouraged, but rewarded by the media.

 

So please share your thoughts with me.

 

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the issue if complicated by class / economic status here.

because of history most black folks are working class / poor and the system has tried to  ensure that it remains so. it has not been entirely successful as we know, but the damage has beeen done to both the black population and the white. the black population is having a intellectual, psychological and economic strugle . the economic struggle is possibly the easiest. i.e. given time, now that discrimination is no longer legal and increasingly seen as socially wrong, moving up the economic ladder will occur.

the big problem facing blacks is the obsolete outmoded  intellectual / psychological attitudes of a lot of the black masses; starting with religion (let go and let jesus  thinking). the bad attitude against intellectual developement  that was put into the minds of blacks and has been promuglated by parents to children but is part of the distorted  "black culture " that was developed under duress for 300years and is reenforced all over the media (both black and white media). this speaks to the image, external and self that has developed about the black population i.e. what is a black person, we have taken the image to heart  that we are at best  ball players, enteertainers and at worst thugs, criminals and fools.

these images are rewarded in the media  and so they proliferate.

of course in the white community these problems are viewed as a color specific issue, which reenforces the racist meme already in this society

the diffculty in the white community is that most white folks dont want their society / themselves to take responsibility for making the black community what it is so whites will say  things like "my parents did not own slaves" or this is the land of opportunity , "you just have to work hard  / have better morals" "my grand parents came over pennyless" etc. rationales  they use as a shield from the collective guil and ignorance of the average white person about blacks, who is benefiting from white skin advantage (sometimes knowingly and sometimes not).

so racism has not gone away, but mostly become institunilized such that white society does not need a kkk to keep most blacks down,  the mechanisims automaticly selects for non black attributes, including looks,  and or black short commings which are built into being black for a lot of blacks.

of course there is still plenty of covert racism,  note the recent ad for nivea lotion (i think) saying "get civilized" showing a dark skinned man with an afro before and a lighter colored man with very short- no hair after. (the whole hair thing is a socological study all on its own)

this color thing is all intertwined together, blacks need to get rid of the old mentality and white folks of good will need to work on white institutions especially media,a picture is worth a million words especially moving pictures! get hollywood to make positive films from black authors , stop the damn constant emphisizing black malfunctions. sure it is true but, tht kind of imagery intensifys the thinking. ps. please  someone give Tyler Perry a good talking to------with a 2x4

Yeah I definitely do have to agree with what you've said, but I do have one question. Here recently, actually starting from finally purchasing the third season of the boondocks and a little bit of hasty research. I've begun to notice a little bit of an issue with Tyler Perry. What exactly is the reason, or at least yours if there isn't a general one?

the problem with Perry is that he is pepetuating the sterotypes of what all Black women are

If you aare old enough to remember the aunt Jemima,caractures, the amos and andy debasing of black folks.

If there were dozens of films with black folks doing all sorts of heroic, vibrant, romantic stuff i would have no problem with a bit of lampooning, but under the circumstances now where there are few pictures of black folks on the screen at all,  and those few are almost always maladjusted,criminal, foolish.illiterate, etc. we do not need his vision of black women  / people being spewed everywhere, and reenforcing some negative behaviour we have developed. It is fairly well known that visulation is one of the techniques for developing  a personality, and what do you get with tyler perry????

the next quesstion that is usually asked is well why do black folks go to see this stuff?

I thinbk the answer is pretty simple, blacks are so starved for black images they will pay to see any thing.

I wonder if the money people that pay for these productions are thinking about the impact of this kind of stuff? perhaps they are glad to feed negative imagery to the black community? (and dont forget whites look at this dreck too!)

well of course they know how film impacts peoples perceptions and actions

everyone in the film industry knows  how d.w. griffiths "birth of a nation" affected people

they are also aware of the effects of propaganda films during the wars.

 

In regard to why we pay to go see this stuff, we can't forget the splash of religion that is thrown in as a "feel good" kind of thing.
YES, tis true

From, what I understand, the Tyler Perry issue has to do with the feminization of the Black male.  Critics have said they always make a Black man dress up as a woman.  Either to downgrade him, or shame him in some way.  Or, just make him fem.

 

However, I don't agree with the Tyler Perry issue.  I feel when it comes to acting, it's just a role.  Part of the job.  White males have done it, as well.  Mrs. Doubtfire, etc.

 

I understand that there may be more positive White male roles in Hollywood, but I believe Tyler Perry presents, positive male roles and negative male roles.   So, I really do not have an issue.  But I know plenty of males that do have an issue with his movies and him dressing as a woman.

some people have that as a issue(cross dressing) but folks i kno'w  are mad at the "blackface minstrel" portrayal of black women and community

Oh, ok, Thomas.  I can see some folks saying that.  I have heard the gripe among Black males.  Saying it's gay, fem, etc.  "Why a Black man gotta dress like a woman to make it in the movie industry?"  That's the kind of complaints I have heard.   Most of the Black females I know, loooove Tyler Perry Madeia (sp?) movies.

 

As far as racism being debased or swept under the rug...I think neither, as all things in life for the sake of survival, metamorphosis is needed. 

 

 

i understand your position and agree that under SOME circumstances You might have to change yourself, but there are other circumstances where integrity, and justice require you to hold fast to your position.
This non acceptance of those different than us usually holds sway over the folks who've never been anywhere else than their own neighborhood. But what happens when a coworker refused to answer a greeting in English because he thinks you should be talking to him in Spanish since your like complected?
I've been reading this thread with interest. Anyone who would deny, that past racism in the US was much more virulent in the form of white vs. black, would deny history. In addition, anyone who thinks that there has not been tremendous progress, denies reality. Today there are more people who value equality, hate racism, and take a sense of pride in being antiracist, than ever before. The fastest "ethnic" group is the bi-racial and poly-racial. That would not be true if those people who fall in love with each other, and marry, and have children, all thought in those old racist ways. In addition, a generation has come of age who does not remember first hand the most virulent racism in the US.

Not everyone ill agree with what they mean by "racism". Some is personal - the effects of racism on the person experiencing it. Some is more widespread.

There is an aspect of human nature that causes people to define "us" as having priority over "them" in resources, opportunities, rights, etc. This effect is greatest when resources are limited, or where ideologies clash, or where old grudges prevail. Where we draw the line between "us" and them moves all of the time. For example, current murders of hundreds of ethnic Pashtuns by ethnic Mohajirs in Karachi (race discussion group http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/conversationsonraceethnicityandcu... ). This is not white vs. black, it is people who, to us, look almost alike, have almost similar culture, and the same religion. But they wind up just as raped, just as dead, just as orphaned. Modern and semi-modern examples of "racism" abound. A dead Kurd looks a lot like a dead Turk. A dead Hutu looks a lot like a dead Tutsi. Serb/Croat/Bosnian. There are multiple examples of ethnic strife ongoing in Africa, with millions dying now. I would call these "racism" except that they are the same "race". I think it helps to know these examples, because it helps people understand that a lot of "race" is a way to reinforce "us/them" when so much that matters means we are all "us" = human beings. Compared to those places, the US is light-years ahead. But then look at the demonizing of immigrants as a "lightning rod" issue, and I wonder.

If we confine to the US, there are lots of racist people. That's defining "racist" as whites who demonize blacks, latins, asians. Depending on whose ox is getting gored, there are also lots of other people who I would define as racist but don't fall into the same grouping. How do you define a Chinese person who discriminates against black? Blacks who demonize Koreans? Hispanics who demonize blacks and vice versa? These all exist in large numbers. But we also drink out of the same fountains, use the same lunch counters, and sleep in the same beds together, sometimes. So it's not like it used to be.

Madison, I think there is tremendous reason for optimism. I would not say your mom is wrong, but her point of view, and that of people around her, is becoming incresingly dated. I hope it becomes even more so. The bad economy adds challenge to this and threatens progress. The most affected currently is the black man, but hispanics are also disproportionately affected. We need economic recovery, and we need it bad.

My 2 cents.

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