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: 230
Latest Activity: Jul 22

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

Evidence of a 13,000 year old race war

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Luara Jul 22. 1 Reply

Charles Koch racist with facade

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 9. 0 Replies

White Cultural Pathologies

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Dean Smith Apr 23. 1 Reply

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

The Guardian / World / Race Issues

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Comment by Jo Jerome on August 15, 2009 at 8:41pm
Would also like to toss out there a writing project bubbling near the surface of my little life: A great-grandfather of mine had a civil war adventure that is a summer blockbuster film just waiting to happen. Not at liberty to give details, but suffice to say he is (was) a Union soldier and had a specific story which is a take/angle/view of the Civil War I have rarely seen in media.

He was persuaded by his daughter to write out his experiences so she might turn it into a book but the book never got written. Despite my Mom's complaints that his notes are just a couple of pages of bullet points, turns out it's 20 pages of "As I lay in the fox hole gazing at the twinkling stars of the summer night sky... I felt a heaviness in my heart that would never be matched..." I mean damn! With minimal editing it's an award winning short story in and of itself!

Anyway, the story has a very human drama side to it. While we so often think of the Northerners as these heros seeking to free the slaves most of them were as racist as any southerner. Great-grandpa was somewhere in the middle but it's clear in his words that the experience woke him up to the very human plight of the slaves - taught him for the first time to see the 'darkies' as instead real people.

I bring this up because when I start fleshing the story out, it seems conversations like the ones on this group are just the kind of brain fodder I need to try and put myself in Great Grandpa's shoes, to put myself in the mindset of other players in the story. I think there remains a very real and still very current issue there about not even realizing just how much we dehumanize another until we come face to face with the world of the 'other,' until something happens that really puts us in their shoes for a time.
Comment by A Former Member on August 15, 2009 at 8:40pm
@ Mary: I saw bits of that when I was a child, too, and it made an impression on me at the time. We must be close to the same age.
Comment by Jo Jerome on August 15, 2009 at 8:31pm
Sounds sappy but one of the lifechanging moments for me as a child was when the series "Roots" came out. I was just turning 10; a good age to really learn about some of the harsher realities of slavery. It also affected me from another angle; I was emerging as a fan of film/television as narrative entertainment. "Roots" was the first time I really recognized the power and reach and social responsibility of good storytelling (and when LeVar Burton became this fangirl's first favorite actor).

It also cleared up a lot of mysteries for my child-mind about why people are so hung up over race in the first place. Watching the series, trying to immerse myself in the culture and the time, I'm thinking, "Wow - it's amazing we've come as far as we've had in just a few short generations."
Comment by A Former Member on August 15, 2009 at 7:50pm
@Daniel: I have not been to that museum in Dallas. Perhaps I should go soon. I looked through some of those images. Some really awful stuff. I did not read that report, but I am familiar with that issue. I did write a letter to my Senator in support of that act.
Comment by Sentient Biped on August 13, 2009 at 11:36am
Dallas,
There are many African American museums around the US, where these and more uplifting images can be found. In fact - you probably already know about the museum in Dallas. Doing a google image search on the topic of slavery brings forth 8,800,000 matches. Important lessons, to be sure. There is also modern slavery - according to this US government report in 2002, at least 700,000 and possibly up to 4 million human beings were bought and sold in the previous year. I don't have more recent statistics. Sometimes I think that the world would be better off without homo sapiens.
Comment by A Former Member on August 9, 2009 at 11:07pm

A white woman and her slave. I've never seen a photo like this before.
Comment by A Former Member on August 6, 2009 at 5:51pm
Daniel, I just had the chance to watch the video on albinos in Africa below. That is just horrible. Just horrible! Will humanity ever move beyond this?
Comment by Ralph Dumain on August 6, 2009 at 5:46pm
The video is good as far as it goes. It is addressed to the young and stupid, not my generation. I'm more used to the old and stupid, and I don't care much for the hiphop generation. In any case,, it's important to examine this contemporary culture of cynicism, vacuous playing with cultural codes, and irony devoid of substance. Crossover racial identification might have had its merits in the past, but it's become a parody of a parody, like everything else in American culture. If one wants to engage identity and friendship now, a much more critical approach is needed.
Comment by A Former Member on August 6, 2009 at 5:28pm
Some of you may be interested in this movie review I posted on Atheist Cinema: Pinky (1949)
Comment by Sentient Biped on July 25, 2009 at 8:24pm
Responding to Dallas' posting of a photo below, showing an albino Black man (I realize the contradiction in terms, but identity and melanin don't match here), here is a video regarding ambinism in S. Africa. (Sorry, embedding was turned off for this video).

1 in 4,000 people in subSarahan Africa is Albino. In addition to the medical consequences (skin cancers), superstition leads to murders of albinos.

 

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