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: 229
Latest Activity: on Saturday

Welcome!

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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Discussion Forum

White Cultural Pathologies

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on Saturday. 0 Replies

Review of Carl Hart's book "High Price"

Started by Luara. Last reply by Richard Goscicki Dec 27, 2013. 4 Replies

Buried alive - Kalief Browder

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara Dec 10, 2013. 4 Replies

Why the right hates government

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Sentient Biped Nov 25, 2013. 3 Replies

On "Race Denial". Are Races Real? Not Real?

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Sentient Biped Jun 10, 2013. 3 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Sentient Biped on November 14, 2013 at 5:03pm

Images of Slavery in Brazil. Late 1800s, a generation after emancipation  in the USA.   Article is from npr.org.

 Slaves at a coffee yard in a farm. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1882.

The video is long.  The images are compelling, moving, thought provoking, emotional, haunting.

Race slavery did not begin or end with race slavery in the Southeastern USA.  That was a major part of the picture, and there was "slavery by another name" afterwards.  But I find it informative to view slavery's history as more complex and international.  Earlier - Arab slave trade.  Later - Brazil was a last hold-out for race slavery of Africans.

 

 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 3, 2013 at 3:58pm
Daniel, as usual your words calm me and help me refocus. You are so correct ... everything you wrote is true.
"Talents and skills come in all ethnicities. When we deny opportunity, those talents are lost, and we all suffer the consequences."
When we think and act with honesty, and with discretion, we increase the probability of more talents becoming available and achieving better outcomes.
Comment by Sentient Biped on November 3, 2013 at 1:06pm

Don, I forget what i forgot.  I don't always remember what I remember, either.

Joan, I think there are still some generations to go, with good economy, well meaning people, and some righteousness, before we enter a state of racial harmony.  Humans are malleable, but populations are more challenging.    Think Bosnia, Sudan, Rwanda, Eritrea, and within the last lifetime, Cambodia, China, Russia, Germany.....   and the USA.  I think we need vigilance, memory, history, sociology, biology, and just plain trying to do good.  I think, which not everyone agrees, is ultimately we are all in this life together, we are all human, and what harms some harms all.  We also miss out when we exclude others.  Talents and skills come in all ethnicities.  When we deny opportunity, those talents are lost, and we all suffer the consequences.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 2, 2013 at 6:46pm

Reading this string evokes feelings of profound grief and anger and where does one take these emotions without becoming part of the outrageous masses? I focus on the problems that lead up to today's atrocities and it is not helping. It is like having cancer of remembering how one human being acts against another. In one video documentary I recently watched, the archeologist was in deep Africa going to an abandoned dig and her guides carried riffles in defense against rival tribes. African against African. Not unlike USA citizens against USA citizens. 

Getting rid of cancer involves pouring poison and shooting radiation into the body and changing life styles. Is that what it will take to kill the human cancers that destroy healthy ones? 

My rage against religion grows as I realize my rage turns me into an enemy of others. How does one turn rage into justice and peace? 

I had not heard of the Orangeburg Massacre; like Daniel, I Googled it and read the news reports and watched interviews of participants. That event occurred on February 8, 1968. My involvement occurred on April 4 or 5, 1968 when black men escorted me to safety from the riots. Bullets were coming from uniformed police officers, not the black residents of Anacostia. 

Feelings of shame and guilt of being a white person in a racist society does no one any good. Thought and action toward building bridges appears to be necessary; however, when I recognize the role of religion in all this chaos, I have no interest in bridge building with religious communities. Perhaps building bridges with others who feel as outraged as I can help.  

Comment by Donald R Barbera on November 2, 2013 at 6:28pm
You didn't. Entail it directly. I think it was an asides, but I can't see worth a damn and my memory is certainly suspect. So, I might be remembering, another memory, which I had forgotten to remember, thus it slipped my memory. Pokes that help?
Comment by Sentient Biped on November 2, 2013 at 8:59am
Don was that me? I must be having a senior moment. I dont recall that one!
Comment by Donald R Barbera on November 1, 2013 at 5:23am
Sentient, off the subject I noticed you are reading "Why Men Rape." Will you be reviewing it. I'd be interest to know what it's all about.
Comment by Sentient Biped on October 31, 2013 at 5:02pm

Natalie,

Sinti was a new term for me, so I looked it up.  Thank you for teaching me something.

 

Don, I'm in the midst of reading "Privilege, Power and Difference" by A.G. Johnson.  It's difficult reading for me, so I have to read a chapter at a time.   I understand the underlying concept, and appreciate it.  I have not read about the Orangeburg Massacre, but googled on that and add to my reading list.

 

I am always open to understanding more and learning more about the world I live in - in fact, am dedicated to expanding my knowledge about humanity. Racism is an underlying theme in more human conflict and atrocities than I can list.

Richard, the creation of the concept of "race",  and racial difference, is often listed as having been used to justify slavery and other oppressive actions. I'm not sure I accept that it begins there - even in biblical times, if not "race" per se, ethnic difference was used as justification for slavery, invasion, and genocide.  And many times, in many societies, around the world.  What was unique in American history was the centering of "race" on Africans and the African diaspora, then also on various Asian groups, and native American groups. 

Don, the longer I live, the more I appreciate the effects of not having bootstraps.  We need to do so much better, and there is still so much more that needs to change.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on October 31, 2013 at 2:23pm

You guys have already taken the words out of my mouth. I got up this morning to add: The incredible suffering of Jews, and Roma and Sinti in Europe were the direct result of Christianity. Heck, the Roma and Sinti even converted to Christianity, possibly out of the hope that it would make life better for them, but no such luck, sucka!

The fact that Christian oppression occurred in multiple places in the rest of the world just supports the fact that for most of its history, Christianity has been a plague on humanity. Islam is not faring so well, either -- at some point, the people of Europe who are having Islamic customs forced into their laws will rebel, but the ironic thing is that they will do it from the viewpoint of Christianity, not freedom.

I have no problem with followers of religion, or with cultures that have a religion attached (which is how I describe Judaism and Japaneseness, for example), but let them not impose THEIR way on everyone else.

Comment by Richard Goscicki on October 31, 2013 at 11:50am

I'm in the process of publishing a Kindle eBook on this very subject.  Shows very plausibly how religion engendered these ethnocentric attitudes.  I’ll place an ad on A/N when it’s ready.  It’s quite a feeling of accomplishment to team up with Barbara Walker.  She never ceases to amaze me. 

 

Here’s the excerpt from our book.  If anyone could delve into the motivations of the medieval mind, Professor Ruiz can.  He gives a pretty plausible account of how things got the way they are. 

 

Excerpt from Pot Stories and Atheist Essays by Richard Goscicki and Barbara G. Walker: 

 

I once heard a lecture by Professor Teofilo Ruiz of UCLA, an expert in medieval and early modern Spain.  I have to admit I was amused at the childlike logic of the Conquistadors as they landed in the mid-1500s on the shores of West Africa and began to ravage and plunder its land and people.  Their lust for gold was insatiable and they’d killed just about the all Taino tribesmen toiling in the mines under the lash. 

 

1)  The land belongs to God.

 

2)  These half-naked savages are obviously children of the devil.

 

3)  God would prefer that we own the land because we are righteous.

 

4)  If we enslave them, these subhumans will have a chance to return to God’s grace (so we’ll be doing them a favor.)     

 

See my essay on Haiti for the lowdown on what these invaders wrought on the New World paradise they named after the Inquisition sado/masochist, St. Dominic.  To think this bloodthirsty despot has a country and several new-world cities named after him! 

 

The 19th-century historian Henry Charles Lea stated, “That Dominic devoted the best years of his life to combating heresy there is no doubt, and as little that, when a heretic was deaf to argument or persuasion, he would cheerfully stand by the pyre and see him burned, like any other zealous missionary of the time.”  From The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, H.C. Lea, Book I, Chapter VI. 

 

 

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