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I've see empathic White folk try to experience the Black experience in many ways, but to a very large degree they, at best, was only able to get a taste, or glimps of the Black experience. When I read the following I realized, I doubt if they will every stop trying to be Black, or trying to learn, in a holistic if even academic way, the Black experince:


˜White privilege' keeps us from recognizing racism

By W. Evan Golder
September 2002

Last year, an African-American colleague and I went to rent a car for an out-of-state trip. "Go outside to Row E and take any car," said the agent. Outside, the first three cars all were bright red. We looked at them, then at each other, and laughed out loud. "Let's take the fourth one," we agreed, not wanting to attract any unnecessary police attention.

Another African-American colleague, who doesn't "sound black," tells of conducting telephone interviews before being invited to an out-of-town meeting"”then being dis-invited when he showed up and people could see him in living color. What's wrong with that picture?

Many of us who are white won't see anything wrong. We're protected by "white privilege," as Peggy McIntosh explains in "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." We don't think that racism affects us, she writes, because we don't see whiteness as a racial identity, but as morally neutral, normative, average, and also ideal.

The UCC has a hard-earned reputation of working against racism. Of course, we say, how could we do less? How could we consider another human being"”whether similar to or different from us"”as anything less than a child of God? Nevertheless, our daily lives"”and our church lives"”are increasingly lived apart from people who are different from us as our nation gradually loses gains previously made toward racial equality.

The difference between the ideal and the reality was brought home vividly to me during a UCC FaithWorks event in Indiana in the early '90s. Sitting in the front row of the auditorium photographing the evening session, as I faced forward I could see a rainbow array of God's people on the stage: persons of many different races. But when I turned around, I saw 3,000 white people. Our UCC demographics (91 percent white) favor the view I got when I turned around. But our faith calls us to work for the view I saw on the stage.

A new board game may help us see how racism works. It's called "Life As a Black Man." Each player is an 18-year-old black man trying to make it to "freedom" from one of four starting points: the ghetto, the military, a black university or the entertainment world. With each roll of the die, the player is subject to typical pitfalls that befall young black men. "You're pulled over by police for driving a new car, move back two spaces." "Your co-workers repeatedly tell you racist jokes, move back two spaces." "Department store security follows you and your friend around the store, move back two spaces." The game also offers moral choices, for example, to go to church at any time or to accept or reject crime as an option. How desperate would any of us be to feed our children before we would choose crime?

One point of the game is to help us do something we seldom do in real life, that is, experience the life of someone different. But racism isn't a game, and we still need to go out of our way to engage others who are different. Once, in a 98 percent-white state, I visited a tiny, vital rural UCC church with much racial/ethnic diversity. How did this happen? Because church leaders drove miles to welcome newcomers to the state"”and to their church.

"I try to teach our people about racism," one conference minister told me, "but do you know what I hear from our senior pastors? ˜We've done that already.'">

Well, we may have"”but not enough. We need to get back to work, because racism is still with us.

The Rev. W. Evan Golder is editor of the national edition of United Church News.


So the question is, do Whites need to experience Black life in order to respect it properly?


... its time for Prosperity

> > >

An African American Board Game Of Wealth & Success.

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To answer your question...
NO! Whites do not have to experience life as a Black person to respect us. If they were to do it (most of them) would be so shocked, I don't think most could take and would quickly change back to White.

I'm not trying to overstate our situation but I get so upset with the almost trivial way Whites like the author treat our experience. DWB and the other "inconveniences" are the least of our worries. Those issues when raised to the exclusion or without mention of the larger and deeper institutional problems that the history of racism in the country have reaped and heaped upon us.

Maybe it's me, but the language of those who "try to understand us" like this author is too soft, too naive, too disconnected from the root of what racism really is and how it impacts us as a people.

The whole emphasis is off-based if you ask me. It's all aimed at eliciting personal empathy and, really, over-personalizes it, taking away the impact of saying that racism (in one form or another) effects ALL 35 million or so African-Americans and other "minorities"... Especially lacking is the depth of the damage done by successive generations of gov't sactioned set-backs that not only underdeveloped our communities but conversely over-developed White communities by virtue of their monopoly over community building and sustaining resources.

I could go on but I would never stop... I'll just cite what's because my automatic Race Reference that speaks to how yesteryears brutally overt racism still systematically perpetuates itself in institutions and the very nature of how things are done that still holdfast to that structure eventhough Whites and Blacks are "friends" now. I didn't know that that was what eradicating racism was all about.

Race : The Power Of Illusion | PBS
Racism is hard to see when one is "white." When you are "white", you are more apt to think "that's the way it is supposed to be." Racism is hard to see when one is "black." When you are "black," you are more apt to think "that's the way it is supposed to be."

Is that paradox?

Racism is so deeply imbedded in our minds, and our society, many times, if not most times, one has difficulty seeing it. Racism that "pisses us off" is not,typically, the racism that represses us. The racism that is oppressive is a sinister, cloaked kind of evil. Sometimes it is cloaked in reason. And we are taught to be reasonable. If it is the law, it must be reasonable. Or at least, it isn't meant for ME.

Therefore, we see no racism in having the protection taken away for our right to vote. We can't see "how that will effect my life." After all, no one else has their right to vote protected. What's the problem. "That's the way it is supposed to be."

Racism that diminishes you is indeed "hard to see." Racism is blatant "pisses you off." But you can easily see it.

People of "good intent" haven't got the foggiest idea of the structure of racism. People being acted against haven't the foggiest idea that racism for you is racism for me.


Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

It is frequently the conclusion that even though an act is admittedly racism against people like me, it isn't going to change my life.

Therefore, the statement: "People being acted agains haven't the foggiest...."

The current example is the impending termination of the Voting Rights Act. We've ignored it for 21 years, basically because we don't see it harming us. This when clearly, the intent is to diminish our power in the political structure of our society.

Don't most agree? If not, why not?


Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
You know... you wear me out!

It is frequently the conclusion that even though an act is admittedly racism against people like me, it isn't going to change my life.

Who has made these "frequent conclusions"?

I'm sure that sentiment is implicit in those that will claim that an act isn't "racist" or "racially motivated". I find it hard to believe that many will say, candidly, that RACIST acts won't "change your life". Could you provide statements that say just that?

My confusion was more on what you meant by "racism for you is racism for me".

I couldn't understand what the hell you are saying... which is not anything new. What the HELL do that mean? "racism for you is racism for me". What?

What??? Confused

What does that have to do with those (unsubstantiated) "frequent conclusions"?

Exercise can be good.

I don't have a documentation for "frequently concluded." Not that I can't provide "names and places," but that it would not add anything to the discussion. That was/is my choice.

"Racism for you is racism for me" refers to the conclusion that recognizes racism, but concludes that the act/decision will not change/affect/effect the life of the observer.

I find it interesting that you find more concern in the minutia of the post, and take no issue with, or make no note, of that essentially 30 million of us accept the termination of the protection of our right to vote.

That's an interesting selection of values. I know you and I have discussed the fact. But to ignore it completely is an interesting intellectual choice.


Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

Love is good too.

BUT, You still ignored the question? That is precisely the point of the post. You discussion racism. You yell about racism. You decry it when you see.

But, in an instance when can clearly do something about it -- you keep yelling and decrying.

C,mon Nmaginate. At least acknowledge that what's you're doing. It is said (oops! sorry no documentatin.) acknowledgement is an earlier step to recovery from habitual behavior.

That was a needle.

We do agree you know. You're just holding back. I think it's because it's new territory.

By the way, Love is why the board is so successful. It's got to be among the best out there, and I don't even bother to look.


Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

The problem is:
I try to read what you write in your post then can't understand what you're saying because what you say so many times doesn't make any sense. When I ask you for clarification you never seem to know how to stay on the point and explain what it is you meant.

There are very few people that I ever have that problem with. And it's not a matter of whether I agree with you or not. I can't even understand your point (here) to even know whether I do or not. In other words, you write something UNINTELLIGIBLE - as in an awkward statement where there is no clearly communicated meaning (except to you) - then try to act like I'm suppose to understand what you're saying.

The bad part is that it's not occasional. It's all too frequent.

As for you SGT!

Glad you're back! When you learn how to "play right" then maybe someone will give you a tissue!

If you're soooooooo banned, what are you doing posting here now?

Take you crying for sympathy azz on! Quit projecting the fact that you want somebody to pack your silly azz on the back on MBM and other people here.

Anytime you're ready -
YOU and I can talk about anything you want!

We can take it to the "Q" - "?" forum - so nothing will be censored. You see, I'm the one who could care less about decorum and your "different views" and how you express them with you antagonistic azz!

Anything you say I can say better!!
I can say anything better than YOU! Razz

Little whinin' azz biitch!
"Hey ya'll, MBM censored me! That's not fair!"

Boo - f-ckin' - whooo! Frown
Well unlike the board you came from Sgt, you haven't been locked off this site yet, so don't complain.
As far as racism goes in America, which I am assuming this question is being framed in reference to, there are two sides to every story.
Yes, racism is hard to see from the view point of the people who feel that since they gave you your rights to vote, your citizenship,a few of your basic human rights they did you a favor. They insist on being blind to the slights and everyday attitudes that they harbor and practice as passed down by their parents and grandparents. They also insist on being blind to the last 500 years. They chose to live in that dark place called "isolationism". But that's their problems not ours.
On the other hand no, racism is not hard to see from the view point of the recipients of racism. It manifests in a distrust of President Bush and his administration, it manifests in sympathy for others who share the same plight at the hand of a different group of whites and it manifests in the everyday frustrations of people across the country who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, and other stress related ailments.
People chose not to see these things sometimes and they're right in front of their faces. However, you can't choose for those folks you must choose for yourself.

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society
Malcolm X, 1965

You keep saying that lame junk:
"Racism is in the eye of the beholder"

So I guess you are saying it's a legitimate "beholding" whenever Blacks who frequently "behold" racism. You know... the types you say that see racism around every corner.

They must be right then huh? In their eyes at least so who are you to say that those who perceive racism like the Metco incident we've discuss on this board are "beholding" something that isn't there.

That wasn't your position then. Stand by your philosophy.

So when I say Rush is racist, I'm right... right?
When I say America is a racist country, I'm right... right?

That's what I behold! So I'm right! I knew it!

(See that's the problem with denialist. They can't form logical arguments so they'll latch on to anything that sounds good no matter how it contradicts the very things they say they believe in.)
Sgt., Although I haven't read this entire thread, I must respond to your last post. I am one of those that believes that institutional racism exist and that doubts the existence of WMD.

The disconnect in your "argument?", is being a Black man that has worked in the Civil Rights field, I can point to evidence of institutional racism, in the form of both documented academic research and (personal) anecdotal; and if (when) challenged to put forth the evidence, I can do so without backstepping, quibbling over semantics, or apologizing for erroneous information provided by "trusted" third parties.

On the other hand, the Administration shouted about undeniable evidence of WMD's, then spoke of highly reliable evidence of WMD's. Now that the "undeniable" and "highly reliable" evidence turns out to have been fraudulent, they now claim that they know of the existence of WMD's.

So the difference is one is readily supportable, the other we just have to trust that things are the way they say things are.
We're all one RACE; it's "AFRICANCISM" that has the U.S. all in a flux. We've done the work we were forced here to do, but we're fun to "beat-up" on, bully and name-call, because WE CAN'T BLEND IN WITH THE EUROPEAN, BECAUSE THE MELANIN IS TOO DEEP AND THE HAIR'S TOO WOOLY, according to their pale, straight-haired STANDARDS. We can't LIVE THE LIE, as well as OTHERS, but believe me, MILLIONS HAVE CROSSED THE LINE, and they CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE, because THEY LOOK LIKE THEM and we all KNOW WHY. Someone stated, the AFRICAN can RECOGNIZE HIS OWN. There have been many EUROPEANS who have been worshipped in this country whose AFRICANNESS has looked RIGHT BACK AT ME AND YOU TOO!!!!! The INSANITY of it ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!! broscream

[This message was edited by Norland on October 15, 2003 at 03:57 AM.]
There is a local problem trying to reach resolution. A prominent person was stopped, while driving, on suspicion of having committed a felony. It was the local police of his municipality. They had him exit the vehicle. Only on his challenge did they realize what they had done. The person concluded he was stopped because his arm was out the window, the police saw it, and stopped him. The person is "black." The person being sought is "black." Case closed.

In seeking a "soft" resolution to the whole thing, the person pointed out that the area has "...heartless things going on when it comes to residents of color."

A resident wrote "Letters to the Editor" to take exception with the person's invitation to "walk in his shoes." Exception was also taken with the person alluding to race relations in the area. The resident advised, "Dr. Xxxxx, you mentioned racism of decades ago --- it isn't the same. The racism of today is against any color."

You can't make up stuff like this.


Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

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