Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

Beliefs about race and ethnicity influence our cultures, politics, and relationships.  What is race?  What is ethnicity?  This group explores those concepts.

Location: Global
Members: 231
Latest Activity: yesterday

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Racism and the effects of ethnocentrism are alive and well in the 21st century.  Racism and humanism are incompatible by definition. 

 File:BlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg

The most human, and humane, thing that we can do is acknowledge and support the humanity of people who are different from ourselves.  Curiosity about what makes us human, by necessity, includes curiosity about our human ethnic heritage.

 

We are incredibly enriched by immersing ourselves in a diverse world.  We are intellectually and emotionally impoverished when we exclude others who are not our mirror image.

 

This discussion group includes many topics about race and ethnicity.  Feel free to comment to new threads, or resurrect old threads, if any spark your interest.

 

My 2 cents. Sentient Biped.

 

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Comment by Daniel W on August 31, 2011 at 9:56pm

It's amazing how abysmally stupid some people can be.   Glen Beck....  I would ignore him entirely, but it's important to know there are people like him out there.

 

Then there's Rush Limbaugh, "Melanin is thicker than water".
Comment by Daniel W on August 30, 2011 at 11:53am

I don't know what bothers me more.  The performance or the audience.

 

Katt Williams' antiMexican rant.

 

 

 

 

Comment by Natalie A Sera on August 25, 2011 at 10:58am

Thomas, I'm not sure I understand YOUR idea. First off, being taken into slavery and having your land stolen from you and being decimated is not unique to the blacks and Native Americans -- the Jews had their land stolen from them, were decimated and were hauled off into slavery by the Romans 2000 years -- that was the first Holocaust. Hitler was only the second. But I don't feel like the Romans or Italians owe me a living, nor do I feel that the Germans owe me anything, because I, personally, was not affected by those disasters (and I'm only citing the ones I know about -- countless others have occurred). I'm also in favor our government helping the poor, homeless, medically needy and anyone else who is having a hard time, but my beliefs are based on their fundamental humanity, not on what their ancestry is. I don't think an affluent black deserves a scholarship to college more than a dirt-poor white, just because of ancestry. Not even if the white's ancestors were slave owners, because neither one of those kids experienced it personally. On the other hand I felt it entirely appropriate to pay reparations to the survivors of the Japanese internment camps during WWII, because THEY were the ones who suffered. No payments went to their descendants.

So what I am saying is, let's help people on the basis of need, not ancestry. If there happen to be more needy black or Native American folks, then let's help them, but remember why we are helping them -- because they need it NOW, and not because of their ancestry.

Comment by thomas smith on August 25, 2011 at 6:36am

Natlie Sera, i am not sure i quite understand your idea.

not to say that other groups did not suffer but, american indians were mostly eliminated and their continent stolen.

the Africans were not only enslaved but the constitution and federal / local /laws declared them not humans., these are the only 2 groups that did not come here voluntarly, everyone else could of turned around and went back home so i think that is the  big difference

Comment by thomas smith on August 25, 2011 at 6:26am

to an extent i think you are corrrect, even though the european "explorers" always commented that the native peoples, from the pacific to the americas almost always  welcomed strangers.

i suspect that the cherokee thing is a mixture of resource allocation and learned attitude.

Comment by Daniel W on August 24, 2011 at 6:54pm
It kind of goes to the idea that humans are "tribal", meaning that for many people the world is divided between "people like me" and "other". Many people are able to take the larger view, that we are all human and we all have qualities and needs and frailties and skills and contributions and flaws in common, so time to get over the "tribal" thing. But, my worry is that the need for people to scapegoat, and competition for resources, and need to divide might be stronger than the need for humanity to be treated as human, and the opportunities for enjoying life on crossing "boundaries". Personally, I'm all for the "crossing boundaries". The Cherokees throwing out the descendents of former slaves of Cherokees is probably a competition for resources thing. It seems to me it is really wrong - "We will take you as slaves, but you will not be one of us".
Comment by Natalie A Sera on August 24, 2011 at 1:33pm
SB, it always angers me when the "approved minorities" claim that they can't possibly be bigoted because they are the objects of bigotry, so only "whites" can be bigoted. Hey, ALL of us are a minority of one -- each of us is unique in some way, and EVERYONE can be the object of bigotry. Personally, I'd like to stop identifying people by whether they're a member of an approved minority (the big 4 -- Black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American) because there are PLENTY enough non-approved minorities to go around. Let's start looking at people as human, and try determining what their individual needs are, rather than going by their appearance!
Comment by Daniel W on August 24, 2011 at 9:10am
Cherokee nation expells Freedman slave descendants.

http://news.yahoo.com/second-largest-u-indian-tribe-expels-slave-de...

The Cherokee nation "formally booted from membership thousands of descendants of black slaves who were brought to Oklahoma more than 170 years ago by Native American owners.

Removal from the membership rolls means the Freedmen will no longer be eligible for free health care and other benefits such as education concessions."

Lets all hold hands and sing kumbaya now.
Comment by Daniel W on August 21, 2011 at 9:55pm
Ta-Nehisi Coates on "The Negro Work Ethic".  My only disappointment in this article is that it is not longer.  Well, that and the comments, while much more thoughtful than most internet comments, don't seem so related to the article as to labor politics. quoting Fanny Kemble, "  in designating hard work "slave labor" and thus a marker of slavery, the slave society degrades labor, itself, and thus retards the growth of the country. Racist anti-slavery folks, who had no sympathy for blacks, often made this case.  Coats states that he doesn't buy this argument but doesn't spend much print talking about why.  As a society now, are there similarities to how immigrant labor is used, and how that influences the underground economy in places where such labor is used in a slave-like way but without the investment that actually owning slaves requires?
Comment by Daniel W on August 5, 2011 at 12:07am
You are right Eddie.  This death toll is greater than the recent Tsunami in Japan.  People wouldn't quit talking about the tsunami.  The 29,000 figure here is just kids, too.  Not including adults.  I keep thinking that as a people we are better than this.  But we are not.
 

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