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As we approach a significant benchmark in the celebration of the King holiday, its 20th Anniversary, we should pay special attention to what King really stood for and how he's been "commercialized" in his afterlife. Signed into law in November of 1983, the first official "legal" holiday (off day) was Monday, January 20, 1986. King tried to bring America together via the politics of moral suasion - adherence to not only what is right, but what is just, justice being the standard for all that is right (not the other way around). What some think is right isn't always just, but what is just is always right. King understood that - America didn't, and 38 years after his death, 20 years of celebrating the message of America's Prince of Peace, leader of the non-violent social revolution whose life ended so violently, we are still grappling with issues of social injustice and economic inequality. And we're still waiting to get to "the promised land" that King prophesized we would reach without him ("I might not get there with you..."). King forecasted that the resistance to social change in America might outlast his life span. But not even King could have forecasted that such resistance would outlast his legacy.

The legacy of King has become so twisted that more white Republican conservatives spout "I Have Dream" and "We Must Be Judged, Not By The Color of Our Skin But, By The Content of Our Character" than socially conscious African Americans seeking to realize the achievement of King's "Promised Land." King "reasoning" has become King "rhetoric" as hostile forces use King's name, likeness, intellect and legacy to shift the social construct toward race neutrality and away from social justice. By using "King-isms" to deflect the same arguments for racial and social equality King made in his last two books, Why We Can't Wait and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (two books I read during every King week to not get caught up in all the "dream talk"), America was able to stop King's revolution of conscience right in its tracks. They took our focus off achieving equality, or reaching a "promised land," and put it on celebrating a holiday - in rhetorical ways that suggest that they too believe in King's "dream" of a colorblind society. Yet, colorblindness has become a barrier to discussion about what made the King phenomenon: racial inequality and social injustice. The desire to be a "colorblind society" called a halt to the discourse on race in America. Without being able to talk about race, you can't talk about racial disparities, thus you can't address racial inequities. But, we all profess to believe in the doctrine of King. Not really.

King is taken no more seriously in death than he was taken when he was alive. Even today, only half of America takes the day off for the King holiday - a truer testament to what they really believe, and a more telling insight to what African Americans let others believe about how King shook the foundations of race discourse in this nation. We've all, both Blacks and Whites (and everything in between) become consciously ignorant about the King legacy and what it stood for.

King spent the last years of his life, as did Malcolm, constructing an intellectual basis through which future generations would interpret his mission and his messages. He was not ignorant to the fact that if he, himself, did not craft the meaning of his life and his work, it would be left to historical revisionists to tell and it would be a whole lot different than he intended. Great men understand that they can never leave it to history to tell their story - that they must tell their own story. When you read the two aforementioned books, you quickly recognize what King was doing. Both books are rare, and extremely hard to find - even in reprint - but you can find all kind of "dream" books that romanticize both King and his message. King didn't talk about any dreams in the last years of his life. He talked about realities, and the principal question of equality and social justice ever coming about in America because of the ignorance of the (black and white) masses and the stupidity of the racially twisted ideas of supremacist ideology in circles of power throughout the institutions and social systems of America. He recognized the danger in trying to bring about a revolution of conscience in America, and resigned himself to America not getting where it needed to be, a land honoring the promise of equality, before they got to him. But he had enough faith to believe that we, as a people, would get there - with or without him - if we believed, and continued to be faithful in the struggle for equality. Instead, we settled for a holiday, and time has almost stood still.

When you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything. There are no limits to the depths Black America has fallen, is falling, and will continue to fall, without the courage to fight for better than what America has given it. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best,
    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
The Promised Land still awaits our arrival...


http://blackcommentator.com/166/166_guest_samad_mlk_waiting_promised_land.html
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quote:
The legacy of King has become so twisted that more white Republican conservatives spout "I Have Dream" and "We Must Be Judged, Not By The Color of Our Skin But, By The Content of Our Character" than socially conscious African Americans seeking to realize the achievement of King's "Promised Land."


I am proud of Black Commentator. They made it to the second paragraph before they went on the attack.

CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER - huh?

Many who are involved in what THEY call "Civil Rights circa 2006" want everything BUT character to be the primary factor in JUDGEMENT.

We have no "civil rights movement" today. We have an IDEOLOGICALLY based agenda" that seeks to use countervailing forces of racial categorization to achieve a certain result. Of course as long as YOU agree with their methods you are fine. Point out the fact that they are making use of some of the very same tactics that are now illegal after years of their protests and you are likely to be attacked...certainly verbally attacked, maybe physically attacked.

I am not sure if the Black Commentator would know where the PRIMISED LAND is if it were to jump up and bite them on the behind. Their pages contained more discussion about their "ideological enemies" than what THEY actually stand for as an entity.
One day they will find that THE PROMISED LAND is free of their enemies but all of their management practices were established to have the people WORK AGAINST THE IMPOSITION BY THEIR ENEMIES. Now that they are alone in the PROMISED LAND they will need management practices that are INTERNALLY FOCUSED. They will need to get THE MASSES to move in a coordinated manner, creating a SYSTEM that is balanced but who's net produce is productive.

There is nothing on the pages of Black Commentator that I see as closely resembling the establishment of a settlement in "THE PROMISED LAND". I have viewed this outlet for no less than 3 years.
quote:
We have an IDEOLOGICALLY based agenda" that seeks to use countervailing forces of racial categorization to achieve a certain result. Of course as long as YOU agree with their methods you are fine.
As nicely as I can say it....... STFU, "WHITE BOY!!"


When you say things like this:
Point out the fact that they are making use of some of the very same tactics that are now illegal after years of their protests and you are likely to be attacked...certainly verbally attacked, maybe physically attacked.

Big Grin YOU MIGHT BE A WHITE BOY!


Seriously though, take that BS right up off my thread. You know, that WHITE BOY BS!! You know, like this WHITE BOY BS:
quote:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed for Blacks to receive preferencial treatment on the sole basis of their race. That's the epitome of racism...

Somehow, it seems that Black racism and discrimination is acceptable...

If Whites dare to question these blatant, hypocritical racial double-standards, they're immediately labled as racists, hatemongers, bigots etc.. Not just by Blacks, but by their own fellow Whites! Eek

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?p=2446081

So, CF? Any other Stormfront-like opinions of yours you want to share with us?
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quote:
One day they will find that THE PROMISED LAND is free of their enemies but all of their management practices were established to have the people WORK AGAINST THE IMPOSITION BY THEIR ENEMIES.


You keep saying that silly BS... Tell us, when will that One Day be? I'd like to mark it on my calendar. That or just have you concede that that's the most ridiculous and, for you, SELF-HATRED filled BS:
quote:
See? That's the type of SELF-HATRED I'm talking about.
Which one is it, CON-Feed? Will they STAY (and pull ladders, etc.) or will the GO (and leave Black people here in America on our merry, "dependent" own?

Just make up your mind what BS you think is going to work best and be done with it. That would be best 'cause this random, ignorant Anything You Can Think Of approach to BS ain't even good BS.
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Originally posted by Nmaginate:
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The Black Commentator amazes me on many occasions!

I'd have to say, they are the only Black Conservatives...

Confused HUH? Confused


Oh wait a minute, they AREN'T Black Conservatives? Confused

No wonder they so openly criticize the Republicans.

I always thought they were Black Conservatives because I once typed "Black Conservatives" into the search engine and their site was one of the first websites to be listed.

My bad. Red Face
quote:
Why We Can't Wait and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

thanks for mentioning these books - I haven't seen them over here.

quote:
The desire to be a "colorblind society" called a halt to the discourse on race in America. Without being able to talk about race, you can't talk about racial disparities, thus you can't address racial inequities.

can you expand/explain this a little more please?
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Art_Gurl, it's a (linked) commentary from the web-mag, The Black Commentator. The author is ANTHONY ASADULLAH SAMAD, an occasional contributer there.

As for the books, I can vouch for WHY WE CAN'T WAIT. I've had the occasion to re-read/review it over the last few years. Perhaps it would shed some light on how the "race" conversation was "called to a halt" because MLK's actual ideas don't mesh with those who love to profess a belief in a "colorblind society."

Perhaps you can tell me what you don't understand, what you're having difficulties with... then I can try to explain further.

The author was pretty straightforward. The "colorblind society" idea that prevails here in America amount to exactly what the author suggested: Not Talking About "RACE" At All. In fact, even when "race" is involved in situations or incidents, many of these "colorblind" people want to claim or deny that race is even a factor and, over and beyond all that, no ownership is taken for yesteryears Racist Gifts That Keep On Giving. By that I mean, any conversation about how "the present-day problems are the creation of or have unmistakeable component-causes from the racist past"... a conversation that says the past wrongs and imbalances have to be corrected/off-set... any conversation like that is off the table.

The idea that flows from that, the message that's sent, out loud and in all sorts of whispers, is that "We're As Equal As We Gone Be. We Can Be Equal From Here On Out" with special attention paid to how anyone would dare have a concept that might seek to off-set or counterbalance just the on-going racism. To hell with with that stuff from the longstanding [most] racist past. But what can you expect from a country who's symbol of Justice is one that is blind with scales that aren't balanced. Obviously, there is no intent to exact a balance.

Anyway... I said more than I intended and I have no idea if I've explained anything that would help you understand but maybe this can help you understand how "colorblindness" is conceptually flawed as a solution:
quote:
(6) Color-Blind Racism:
Color-blind racism is the type which most closely corresponds to what is commonly called 'unintentional racism.'... What is it that makes colorblindness a type of racism rather than merely a misguided form of action? I want to argue that colorblindness not only leads to undesirable outcomes (the disadvantaging of black people by ignoring or marginalizing their distinctive needs, experiences and identity), but may also involve racial injustice.

It is not a new idea (indeed it can be traced back to Aristotle) that there can be injustice in treating people the same when in relevant respects they are different, just as much as there can be in treating them differently when in relevant respects they are the same...

...Colorblindness falls down because it is based on an idealistic principle (that all people are equal) which may be valid sub specie aeternitatis but which fails to take account of the contingent facts of racial inequality and disadvantage in our present society. (139-55)

http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/Halstead.html
Thanks for the response and the quote - on the 'surface' the concept of being 'colourblind' can be taken as something positive (by me at least), as seeing beyond race and colour - not pre-judging or discriminating between people - but with closer scruntiny is, agreeably, more along the lines of....

"...that there can be injustice in treating people the same when in relevant respects they are different, just as much as there can be in treating them differently when in relevant respects they are the same..."

...Colorblindness falls down because it is based on an idealistic principle (that all people are equal) which may be valid sub specie aeternitatis [b]but which fails to take account of the contingent facts of racial inequality and disadvantage in our present society.


...so thanks for pointing out this, as it is something I admit I had previously failed to grasp.

Thinking 'aloud' here... I am still trying to understand 'how' the whole process of dialog did halt...? Granted, perhaps that is too large a question for just one answer!?

Obviously it was hijacked... but by who? Was it gradual or immediate, and was it 'universal' (education, the average people on the street) or confined to the media.

And what existing 'dialog' did this halt? Was that dialog confined to Activists, and Civil rights leaders, or more mainstream discussion?

The link is appreciated too. I will think on this some more.
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I am still trying to understand 'how' the whole process of dialog did halt...?
Seriously, you would have to tell me when an actual process of a Dialogue even began, in earnest. And that's the thing. In my thinking, an earnest attempt would require dealing with that one thing that caused us (you and I) some trouble earlier - WHITE SUPREMACY.

My view, when talking about Race RELATIONS, there has to be a real conversations about RELATIONSHIPS. Power Relationships. In short, there can be no dialogue when a Slave - Master Relationship, a "Superior-to-Subordinate" relationship is asserted/imposed.

There is little to talk about when the ultimate decisions are not mutual ones. And, frankly, the whole process of what you call "dialog" wasn't equal, mutual... None of that.

Anyway... here are a couple more commentaries that may be of some use:

Misreading the Dream

No Small Dreams: The Radical Evolution of MLK's Last Years


And, actually Art_Gurl, your questions about what happened to the "dialog" would be much more well placed if you posed it to White America(ns). Clearly, that ball has always been in their court... which is why the POWER RELATIONSHIPS are so important. I would think this forum is and remains living proof that Black people sure aren't ignoring issues and refusing to talk.

Also, I still have no idea of what your idea of a "dialog" is.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Seriously, you would have to tell me when an actual process of a Dialogue even began, in earnest. And that's the thing. In my thinking, an earnest attempt would require dealing with that one thing that caused us (you and I) some trouble earlier - WHITE SUPREMACY.

fair enough - I just took that if something had 'halted' then whatever it was had already begun. Keep in mind I have zilch experience and knowledge of a lot of US politics - local and national - just a rough 'outline', so things like Affirmative Action, or when Clinton asked in 1997 'to begin a great national conversation on race and conciliation' that I have a limited view - limited to access on information, limited in viewpoint as an outsider, and a white outsider to boot. I have to ask a lot of seeming basic questions to try to piece together not just events themselves, but the experience of those events, and their affect on everyday Americans, in this instance, African Americans.

quote:
My view, when talking about Race RELATIONS, there has to be a real conversations about RELATIONSHIPS. Power Relationships. In short, there can be no dialogue when a Slave - Master Relationship, a "Superior-to-Subordinate" relationship is asserted/imposed.

I understand this concept. Although can there be no meaningful dialog before that relationship is balanced/equal, that in fact leads up to that?

quote:
And, actually Art_Gurl, your questions about what happened to the "dialog" would be much more well placed if you posed it to White America(ns).

Fair comment. Are there any/man white Americans discussing issues like this? Keeping it on the agenda?

quote:
I would think this forum is and remains living proof that Black people sure aren't ignoring issues and refusing to talk.

Definitely. Perhaps some of it is also to do with the opportunity, or lack of creating opportunies, to talk. And is there a lack of willingness on both sides for black + white dialog? I don't know... just asking.

Which leads me to ask... When Saul Williams visited Sydney the other day, for half the program (ie. he ran 40mins over) he asked the 96% white audience to ask him questions about anything. So in between his poetry, different people asked him questions about various things including gender bias in hip-hop, why do people still use the nigger word, etc. The Americans in the audience (who granted were familiar with Saul) all asked music-based questions, whereas the white fairly young audience asked the political quesitons because they were genuinely interested and curious. There's a lot of hip-hop music here, and a black club scene, but it's tiny so there's not much opportunity to ask Africans or African Americans about their history in day-to-day conversation. The question is... I wondered whether a non-black American audience would ask those kinds of questions in the USA? Really, can anyone tell me?

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Also, I still have no idea of what your idea of a "dialog" is.

I'm not being facetious when I say I don't exactly know either. I'm not avoiding the dialog, it's more that I am dog-paddling trying to stay afloat, because I have limited knowledge and I don't want any discussion between myself and someone else to get hijacked either by semantics, or my lack of depth of knowledge. I am stuck on one edge of the abys... a skinny ledge of limited knowledge on one side, on the other side a genuine desire to know and somehow contribute, and below, a gaping chasm of things still to learn and comprehend.

I would think that's pretty obvious by the length of time it's taken for me to get my point across. Roll Eyes Wink

So to me, any dialog is a bit like fishing, I am throwing out the morsels of what I know but might not fully understand, hoping to catch the attention of someone/anyone who frankly, may have better things to do, but is willing to take my fragments and flesh them out enough to help me see the full picture. And I do want to see the full objective, picture.

Without the full picture, it's frustrating to have any dialog at all. But I can still take on board the concepts.
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Although can there be no meaningful dialog before that relationship is balanced/equal, that in fact leads up to that?
NO! It is exactly that unbalance relationship that leads to a stalled, halted or forsaken "dialogue."

Arguably, people could say Dr. King and Pres. Lydon Johnson started a "dialogue." For sure, a number of common folk or community leaders, mostly educators and religious leaders have had "dialogues." But hardly any thing that can be regarded as a serious "dialogue" where it counts, in the halls of power.

As for Clinton's deal, you can research and look for opinions about that "conversation". I started to mention it but since you did: What Impression Did You Have In Terms Of What It Set Out To Accomplish? Given this conversation you and I are having and my mention of Power Relationships, if that Clinton "Race Conversation" wasn't going to negogiate anything, wasn't going to produce something binding then is was of little, if any meaningful value. Why would you believe otherwise, since apparently you do?

Here's a few links on that:

What Happened to the National Race Dialogue?
An interview with Angela Oh (a president Advisory Board member)


Why Talk About Race: Welfare and Crime Demand More Than Feel-Good Chat

Not Enough Conversation?

Getting Beyond Racism

quote:
I wondered whether a non-black American audience would ask those kinds of questions in the USA? Really, can anyone tell me?
I take this to be something that amounts to, in my estimation the type of questions that ask, essentially, "What's It Like To Be Black?" Now that may be a rough interpretation but, first, yes; those are the same type of questions and about the extent of any such "dialogue." And that's the problem and reason why the imbalance is inherently problematic.

Again, going with my crude, rough translation that characterizes that line of questioning... Where are there White people subjecting (and I use that word purposely)... subjecting themselves to questioning about "What's It Like To Be White?" Where is the conversation about White History? If all things and people are equal, so should the questioning be equal. To be frank, there is a serious problem with that idea -- equating having a race "dialog" with asking Black people about "their history" and, essentially, "What Is It Like To Be Black?"

That accomplishes what? What does the Black person/people get out of that [unequal] exchange??
And, if or since that's an approach, a singular, One-Way Street approach (some) Whites have and, apparently, view that as an accomplishment (for whom?), then what really is the purpose of the dialogue in the first place? What are the basic expectations going in for both Blacks and Whites? And what comes from that type of approach?

quote:
So to me, any dialog is a bit like fishing, I am throwing out the morsels of what I know...
A Dialog isn't about "knowing" (whatever that refers to; "knowing" what??). It's about telling.

A Dialog is about an equal exchange and equal a la reciprocal telling. The talks are held, a Dialog is made by the telling of both sides of the story, so to speak. If there's some reason to talk about "What's It Like To Be Black?" then, likewise, there is a reason to talk about "What's It Like To Be White?" I don't think you understand that.

So, when it comes to something like Affirmative Action, instead of just talking about how they (certain Whites) feel like AA is "discrimination", in reverse or otherwise, some actual talk about why they would view it as such, especially with American History being what it is, and how exactly they feel they are or could be "discriminated" against should be talked about, at length. And even more than that, "What's It Like To Be White?" is a question about the life and thoughts of people who are so "discriminated" against in America or however it is they perceive the whole, entire experience.

Again, "Dialog" isn't about "knowing" per se (I mean, people should "know" what their experiences are and should be able to speak about them honestly and without pretense)... Dialog is about telling. TRUTH TELLING... and Telling On if even only talking about One's Self. One's own beliefs about one's self, first, foremost, primarily and perhaps only. The problem is this concept of a "race" conversation or dialog is how it becomes A Talk About Black People. Now, if you can't understand how something is seriously wrong with that concept, I don't know what I can say to help you.

As noted, Black folks don't have a problem coming to the table. And, in truth, the overall problem of "race" is a problem that resides with White people. So, it would seem to me, if there was/is an earnest attempt to have a Dialog then it is White people who should be fielding the bulk of the questions and doing the bulk of the talking - about themselves. Not Black people. Not what they think about AA. About what they think about themselves.

Instead, the whole process, the whole concept is inverted as if it is Black people who have "a problem" and a need to talk about. Otherwise, this idea about "knowing" something about Black people's history would not be an issue. It's not a dialog when you ask me about "my history." It is something else entirely. In the vain of a Conversation On Race, if any, that can only have a small space. IMO, it is Whites who have the biggest story to tell. And all I'm requiring is equal parts.

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Also, I still have no idea of what your idea of a "dialog" is.

I'm not being facetious when I say I don't exactly know either.
Then that necessitates an honest assessment. You have to figure out whatever it is your idea is and be honest enough to say whether its truly a dialog you seek or is it something else. A Black & White conversation about Black people, even a conversation about Black history, is not a dialog. It can be a conversation, perhaps even a welcomed and maybe even a productive, positive one... but it is not, cannot be a dialog.
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."---King

I like that. It should be on a wall someplace, or used in the opening of every African American church. After all, that is the place we be found in numbers on a frequent and regular basis.

I have used 'invincible ignorance' for years as an unknowing substitute for 'conscious stupidity'.

This strikes me as another way to say the controversial words, 'We are our own worst enemy.'

We refuse to speak. In spite of our loud responses to many things we refuse to speak pursuant to Dr. King's legacy.

Maybe we don't understand it any longer.

We have suffered almost four decades of misinterpretation.

We now argue, in Congress no less, that to demand equality under the law is not the thing to do.

Wouldn't Dr. King be surprised?

Mortified.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:

I wondered whether a non-black American audience would ask those kinds of questions in the USA? Really, can anyone tell me?


quote:
I take this to be something that amounts to, in my estimation the type of questions that ask, essentially, "What's It Like To Be Black?"

My question is do the general public white Americans take the opportunity to ask questions about race of any kind? This may not be 'dialog' but it's a way to begin to find out how other people think.

To ask what's it like to be black is a valid question for someone who isn't. It's an attempt to understand another viewpoint. It's a start... not a whole conversation.

quote:
Again, "Dialog" isn't about "knowing" per se (I mean, people should "know" what their experiences are and should be able to speak about them honestly and without pretense)... Dialog is about telling. TRUTH TELLING... and Telling On if even only talking about One's Self. One's own beliefs about one's self, first, foremost, primarily and perhaps only. The problem is this concept of a "race" conversation or dialog is how it becomes A Talk About Black People. Now, if you can't understand how something is seriously wrong with that concept, I don't know what I can say to help you.


I do understand the above. I see there being two sides to the process. Clarifying one's own beliefs certainly. And having the opportunity for white people to ask questions among themselves, and be asked questions, by African Americans.

Very few white people ever think about 'being white' and what that means... white privilege. Where does that discussion begin? With white people certainly. Who creates the opportunity to do that? Governments, media, celebrities, the average person on the street... I see it as everyone's responsibility. And for that to happen there also needs to be a giant leap in consciousness about 'being white'. I'm not sure if that discussion can be held separately or outside of mixed race discussions.

quote:
As noted, Black folks don't have a problem coming to the table. And, in truth, the overall problem of "race" is a problem that resides with White people. So, it would seem to me, if there was/is an earnest attempt to have a Dialog then it is White people who should be fielding the bulk of the questions and doing the bulk of the talking - about themselves.


Two questions please (for everyone):
1. What questions should white people be asking themselves?
2. What questions do African Americans want to ask white people?
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quote:
Dialog" isn't about "knowing", it's about telling.

I do understand the above.
Ummm... No, obviously, you don't. And this is exactly why:
"I see there being two sides to the process."

I'm going to be crude because you're working under the false assumption that Black people need to know something about White people. That's a rather curious idea especially when you say:
Very few white people ever think about 'being white' and what that means... white privilege.

Hmmm... Black people know White Privilege. What is it you think Black people stand to learn about White people they don't already know? Things that are relevant to what we're talking about.

AG, you can't talk about how you see the process while at the same time claiming you're not sure what you mean when you talk about a "Dialog." Seriously, think about that. And this too:
quote:
I see it as everyone's responsibility [to get white people to think about "being white" and what it means]. And for that to happen there also needs to be a giant leap in consciousness [for whites]. I'm not sure if that discussion can be held separately or outside of mixed race discussions.
Hmmm.... Just ask yourself, did it take mixed race discussions for Black to figure out what it's like to be Black in America? Think about what you're asking and what you're really saying this Dialog is about. What? Helping White people see White Privilege because they can't or won't do it by themselves?

Seriously... Think about that.

Seriously think about how you do have an idea about what you want the Dialog to be about and how the process you prefer is really all about focusing on helping Whites. That is unless you can articulate some actual benefits Blacks are suppose to get out of the process you keep referring to. The clearest articulated goal and purpose for this "Dialog" is White-centered.
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To ask what's it like to be black is a valid question for someone who isn't.
No, for an actual Dialog, an actual conversation worth anything when it comes to forwarding the Dialog referenced in the title-article... No. What's It's Like To Be Black IS NOT a valid, much less relevant question.

You need to know "What It's Like To Be Black" FOR WHAT? You see, instead of even you "thinking about what it's like to be White" and thinking and talking about White Privilege, you'd rather focus on something that's really immaterial to anything meaningful. The whole quest is meaningless unless you can speak to the purpose for wanting to know "What It's Like To Be Black" and how that is going to do anything in terms of effecting change.

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It's an attempt to understand another viewpoint.
You need to understand that viewpoint for what?

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It's a start... not a whole conversation.
Okay. What's the rest. Speak at length about what the rest is. So far you've only talked about "the start." The start of WHAT?

From Day One in the USA, e.g., Black people have been telling White people "What It's Like To Be Black." Obviously, that's has only gone so far. But, go ahead, talk about the rest of the process. Talk about the part of the process where Black people actually get something out of the process. So far, again, you've only mentioned what Whites stand to gain (knowledge/understanding of "What It's Like To Be Black") but, even though you say you see "two sides", you haven't offered anything tangible or meaningful in terms of what Blacks are suppose to get out of the process.

Now, since "very few White people ever even think about White Privilege and What It's Like To Be White", etc. what do White people even have to offer in such a conversation? Seriously, WHAT?

Seriously, you need to think about those things and be honest about what you know you mean when you say "Dialog". Get in touch with, identify and be honest about what you're saying - preferring.

quote:
Two questions please (for everyone):
1. What questions should white people be asking themselves?
2. What questions do African Americans want to ask white people?
#1: You should be coming up with the questions White people "should" be asking themselves. You and other White people. That's a start.

I mean, seriously, as discussed earlier, instead of properly directing your questions to White Americans about stalled, halted talks on Race, here you are on AA.org asking Black people what happened in a process that ultimately was all about what White people were willing to deal with. Being crude, you have a lot of things twisted. And I must reiterate that, on this very subject, there is nothing (little if anything) that Black people "want" to ask White people. So why do you assume there is?

There is NOTHING Black people "want" to ask White people about "What's It Like To Be White." That's pretty trivial and the least of Black people's concerns given THE CONTEXT of what the Dialog is for. That is unless you really have some other unexamined, unidentified reason (explicitly, that is) for this dialog.

You keep talking about the "start" but you're not thinking this process through to the end. Matter of fact, your idea, your pre-set idea about "two sides" structured the way you would have it - with no clear meaningful, relevant or significant benefit for Black people - doesn't lead to a full conversation, let alone a solution to anything. In fact, we're not having a Dialog now. For you this is not about an equal exchange:
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As for Clinton's deal, you can research and look for opinions about that "conversation". I started to mention it but since you did: What Impression Did You Have In Terms Of What It Set Out To Accomplish? Given this conversation you and I are having and my mention of Power Relationships, if that Clinton "Race Conversation" wasn't going to negogiate anything, wasn't going to produce something binding then is was of little, if any meaningful value. Why would you believe otherwise, since apparently you do?
There and elsewhere, besides saying how you want White people to get something out of the exchange, you have said nothing else about your expectations, what you feel a "Race Conversation" will accomplish and what's in it for Black people. You've been clear about how White people stand to gain. So, you can either be honest and say that, in your view, this is all about helping White people or really think about what it is you're claiming to be for and realistic (and honest) about what you're actually trying to get out of this for Whites first and foremost, apparently.
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Seriously think about how you do have an idea about what you want the Dialog to be about and how the process you prefer is really all about focusing on helping Whites. That is unless you can articulate some actual benefits Blacks are suppose to get out of the process you keep referring to. The clearest articulated goal and purpose for this "Dialog" is White-centered.

Only helping white people begin the as you call it "truth-telling".

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There and elsewhere, besides saying how you want White people to get something out of the exchange, you have said nothing else about your expectations, what you feel a "Race Conversation" will accomplish and what's in it for Black people.


The only thing I "want white people to get out of the dialog" is to listen to and understand what is needed for equal rights, equal opportunities for all people on the planet. In this instance I am talking about African Americans and white North Americans.

What do I want black people and white people to "get out of it"? An end the imbalance of "white priviledge" to create a truly inclusive human race.

You keep telling me this is not a dialog... or even a conversation, well those are my hopes and expectations.

I asked these two questions:
1. What questions should white people be asking themselves?

2. What questions do African Americans want to ask white people?
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There is NOTHING Black people "want" to ask White people about "What's It Like To Be White." That's pretty trivial"

right you've answered that question - and for everyone else it seems.

These are two of (many) my questions:
1. Why didn't they tell us [white people] the truth?
I am talking about the "telling" of Australia's and Europe's history, including the exploitation and occupation disguised as 'exploration', Australia's Stolen Generation. Especially institutionalized history as told in education and media pre-1980's.
There is value in knowing, and equal value in unlearning.

Jarrod Diamond said he spent the last 30 yrs trying to find out why there was so much inequality in the world. He found lots of answers mostly tied to colonialization and invasion. The question I want to ask is:
2. What made white people think they had the 'right' to invade other countries, plunder their natural resources, economic and natural wealth?
3. Was it/is just a white mindset to want to 'control things' to control and exploit everything - people and the environment?

Dialog isn't all about knowing Nmaginate but it certainly helps initiate dialog or conversation, a discussion, or musing or whatever it is you want to call it. If you are discussing a style of architecture, it helps to know a bit about the culture, climate, social needs and population.

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As for Clinton's deal... What Impression Did You Have In Terms Of What It Set Out To Accomplish?

I don't know the history of whether this 'dialog' had any benefit at all, which is why I mentioned it. What I hoped it might accomplish is to put black issues (community, political and social) on the agenda of government, whether that eventuate in changes in education, funding for health or business initiatives, whatever. Did it achieve anything positive or anything at all? The 'general mood' I get from posters is it didn't, but I don't have any specifics to understand why not. And yes I will follow up on those opinions online.

How can anyone get answers without asking questions?
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What do I want black people and white people to "get out of it"? An end the imbalance of "white priviledge" to create a truly inclusive human race.
A straight line is always the direct route. Why the detour?

Why would White people need to know "What It's Like To Be Black"... why would they need to "listen" to anything like that when you say the object is to End White Privilege?

A straight line...
Very few white people ever think about 'being white' and what that means... white privilege.

Okay. Why isn't White Privilege - i.e. White people taking it upon themselves to examine White Privilege - an INTRAracial Dialog you're trying to seek?

You're saying the problem is WHITE PRIVILEGE. What's so difficult about White folks having a Dialog amongst themselves and actually taking the time to think about What It's Like To Be White? Instead, for some odd reason, you want them to listen to What It's Like To Be Black. How does that accomplish your own declared goal?

quote:
The only thing I "want white people to get out of the dialog" is to listen to and understand what is needed for equal rights, equal opportunities for all people on the planet.
I don't recall asking you that. I do recall asking you:
What do you feel a "Race Conversation" will accomplish?

Unlike you, I don't assume White people are ignorant of what it takes to achieve "equal rights and opportunities." I don't assume White people are that dumb. There is a difference between being ignorant and just IGNORING what logic, common sense, intuition and every type of thing that indicates what it takes.

quote:
I asked these two questions:
1. What questions should white people be asking themselves?
You say you want an end to the White Privilege imbalance. That's pretty easy. Any and everything that explores, examines, interrogates and exposes White Privilege.

FYI, it is my opinion that White people are the ones best qualified to pose the type of questions to elicit the type of response and reflection and reACTION Whites should have. So why are you here asking Black folks questions you should be asking White folks?

What part of examining White Supremacy and White Privilege don't you understand? What is in in the make-up of White folks that makes you believe they won't or can't question themselves?

Like I said, I believe White people are uniquely and the most qualified to talk about and understand their own experience and, likewise, White Privilege. Now, in this Dialog, you tell me why that isn't so?

quote:
2. What questions do African Americans want to ask white people?

-you've answered that question - and for everyone else it seems.
No. I answered it for myself. If you wanted everybody else BUT ME then that's what you should have said. Honesty is crucial to Dialog.

quote:
1. Why didn't they tell us [white people] the truth?
2. What made white people think they had the 'right' to invade other countries, plunder their natural resources, economic and natural wealth?
3. Was it/is just a white mindset to want to 'control things' to control and exploit everything - people and the environment?
Are you asking White people that now? Apparently you're not asking White Americans anything.

quote:
Dialog isn't all about knowing Nmaginate but it certainly helps initiate dialog or conversation, a discussion, or musing or whatever it is you want to call it.
I asked you, plainly, simply:
What is your idea of a "dialog"?

You said: "I don't exactly know..."
So you can't put that on me.

quote:
What do I want black people and white people to "get out of it"?
That, too, is not what I asked you. I asked you what do Black people get out of this "Dialog" idea of yours which is basically convened to help White people. To help White people by having Black folks talk. You would have to ask "What Do Black People Want To Ask White People" if you had an idea of what Blacks stood to gain, to learn from the talks, themselves. What you keep describing, keep preferring is a ONE WAY STREET.

The only thing you could articulate on your own, unprovoked, was how White people could "Learn What It Is Like To Be Black" or something to that effect. What you did not articulate is how THE TALKING about "What It's Like To Be Black" was suppose to be of some benefit to Blacks. What do they(we) get out of the process? Realistically??

You said something about you see "two sides"... Well, what does knowing "What It's Like To Be White" do for Blacks? How does it educate or inform them(us) toward that end of ending White Privilege?

Where are the TWO SIDES?
How are you going to settle an IMBALANCE when the very process you talk about is steeped in an IMBALANCE?

Apparently, Black people have to do the bulk of the work. You don't require White people to to talk about "What It's Like To Be White" and that, not for Black folks sake per se, but for their own.

Nope. They're off the hook for that. You know, it's everybody's responsibility to get White folks to talk???

TWO SIDES?? Where? I see a One Way Street.
I almost hate to add to this already clear issue.

Almost.

Without simple cynicism, there is nothing to be gained by engaging in discussion to 'educate' European-Americans, or European America. Both are 'consciously ignorant', as in invincibly ignorant.

We do not owe such an effort to either African America, or America herself.

That ignorance, of the European American, is a cultured, and treasured perspective that successfully resisted all efforts to effect change.

That 'promised land' is not that of the 'American Dream', and we are still waiting precisely because we keep asking.

When you have to ask the answer is ALWAYS 'No.'

Our 'promised land' is parity in our society.

And...the parity parameter in the American society is ancestral nationality.

Color can never be a parity standard in a society which constructed dominance on the basis of color.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Well, ART_GURL, with JWC weighing in as EVERYONE (other than me) *lol*... It would seem that, in all your questions, with all the answers you're "looking" for, with all the answers you've gotten... Well, it's clear that you're just not listening.

quote:
There is nothing to be gained by engaging in discussion to 'educate' European-Americans, or European America. Both are 'consciously ignorant', as in invincibly ignorant.

We do not owe such an effort to either African America, or America herself.

That ignorance, of the European American, is a cultured, and treasured perspective that successfully resisted all efforts to effect change.

That 'promised land' is not that of the 'American Dream', and we are still waiting precisely because we keep asking.

When [we] ask [for a meaningful Dialogue, for actual meaningful change, etc., etc., etc. and God-forbid, equality/parity] the answer is ALWAYS 'No.'
So, AG? Are you listening?

You have been given information, rather freely I might add, about "what is needed for equal rights, equal opportunities..." But somehow, because of some pre-set idea you know you have ("two sides")... you're just not listening - responsibly.

You can't pretend, claim or feign ignorance and once you get information that doesn't fit your pre-set notions reject it because you feel like that information doesn't give you THE START YOU WANT. A start you want for your own selfish purposes. Neither can you convince someone else that what's actually in your clear interest, for your clear benefit (alone), is also in their benefit.

A STRAIGHT LINE, AG. Why not the straight line?

This whole entire conversation highlights how you both would rather not think about White Privilege et al and how you're trying to guard or save Whites, even White Americans, from having to think about White Privilege.

Note: The only thing you "want white people to get out of the dialog" is not to have to focus, directly, on White Privilege and White Supremacy. You'd rather they "listen and understand" something else entirely. Otherwise, you would be on a White American message board (or an Australian one) talking about, trying to learn about, asking questions about White Privilege.

Apparently, instead of reaching out in that way, you've "reached out" to AA.org and felt it necessary to listen to, ask questions about "What It's Like To Be Black" with the idea that it's "valid" which, I guess, means that somehow that actually is productive towards... understanding White Privilege??

This is about White Privilege, isn't it?

Have you ever seriously thought how you're going to get to a process where you(we) "End White Privilege (and Imbalances)" while not focusing on White Privilege at all?

quote:
The only thing I "want white people to get out of the dialog" is to listen to and understand what is needed for equal rights, equal opportunities for all people on the planet.
Think about that.

Not a mention of how Whites who you yourself say, hardly ever think about White Privilege, are suppose to confront it.
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Australians have a really big problem with their attitude toward the Aboriginal people. There was the whole era where their children were taken away (stolen generations) for dubious reasons and given to white people... and subsequently lost their rich heritage as an indigenous ethnicity.

How is that issue being worked on in Australia now?

...besides that, what about that John Howard leaning waaaaaaaaay far to the right politically.

I was just wondering since she is our resident Australian...
quote:
Apparently, instead of reaching out in that way, you've "reached out" to AA.org and felt it necessary to listen to, ask questions about "What It's Like To Be Black" with the idea that it's "valid" which, I guess, means that somehow that actually is productive towards... understanding White Privilege??


it's not that I'm not listening... quite the contrary.

I am thinking a lot about what it means to be white and white priviledge. And I do ask questions of myself and other white people. It's an ongoing process and I am doing the best I myself can. I am also thinking about what can bring an end to white 'attitude' and develop consciousness about being white as well as how to build bridges that lead to equal rights and equal opportunities for all.

I see all of that as quite a large thing to think about. Sorry if haven't gone from A-Z fast enough for ya, but it is a journey. Roll Eyes

My views on Black and White America have changed quite profoundly since I joined AA. So my reading here has been more beneficial than you know. I had not even heard the term 'white priviledge' before AA... so excuse me, but I've had a bit of a learning curve.

So yeah, I may have a heck of a way to go, but I'm determined to take the journey. There is value in the links and info people here suggest - I do need time to follow them up, digest them, think about them.

I also post here because I genuinely like the people here and am interested in everyone as an individual - not whether they are black or white or green or striped.
quote:
Originally posted by Isome:
Australians have a really big problem with their attitude towardthe Aboriginal people. There was the whole era where their children were taken away stolen generations for dubious reasons and given to white people... and subsequently lost their rich heritage as an indigenous ethnicity.

Quite right, but it is some Australians, not all Australians.
Perhaps the most important process that has been stalled is Reconciliation. A lot of Australians want our federal government to say 'Sorry' to the members of the Stolen Generation, and the indigenous population. There has been a century-long struggle for rights for Aborigines in Australia. What has it achieved? One thing is the right to vote. That it took until the late 1960s is outrageous.

Another issue is a treaty. Australia has no treaty with its indigenous citizens, whereas New Zealand, the USA and Canada does. The current government has promoted the idea of 'mutual obligation' involving what are called Shared Responsiblity Agreements with local communities. Whether that is 'enough' or whether there should be an over-riding, all-embracing agreement is open for debate right now.

I can't speak for all Australians, however speaking for myself and people I know, we want an honourable place for Indigenous Australians. A formal Constitution of the nation remains unresolved.

It is rarely up for discussion. And indigenous issues in general are low on the political agenda.

One of the few politicians in this country who has a holistic and inclusive grasp of government is Bob Brown, who I would love to see as our Prime Minister. Because he targets civil rights, and the environment, however, it's unlikely he will ever be in a position of such authority.

The fact is... more Australians care about having a low mortgage interest rate than anything else. That is what they vote for in John Howard.
Yes, John Howard is right wing. Our 'alternative' is no alternative. They maybe more to the left but they are a disorganized and out of touch bunch of hard men who can't even agree among themselves. To their credit they have some previous history of highlighting indigenous people but not currently.

A lot of energy has been spent on whether Australia should become a republic. Not many Australians identify with Britain anyway, so I doubt it would truly make any quantum change in how Australians see themselves, however while there is value in the Republic debate I am suspicious of the real aims of the debate itself and doubt they are in fact altruistic (I see it as a thinly disguised political power struggle for a political to become a President), it distracts everyday Australians from more important, and immediate needs, which are to direct people, skills, education and funding to indigenous Australians with a priority to regional and outback Australia.

What Australia needs politically is a new party with some younger future-looking members. With so much similarity between parties, I don't think there are strictly right and left wing parties here and both parties struggling with a crisis of belief.

It can be argued today's political climate requires thinking beyond left and right that includes a new humanism. The most vexing political issues here include: overconsumption, work-family balance, immigration and the environment. Indigenous issues should feature on this list but in reality in most Australians' minds they don't.

quote:
How is that issue being worked on in Australia now?

not well enough.
The other reason I while away so many ignorant moments on this site asking foolish questions is to help put indigenous issues here in Australia, in perspective. In my incredible 'ignorance' I actually believe that the more people read and ask questions - be they judged as stupid questions (how arrogant) or not - is to in some way help problem-solve issues in our indigenous community here and how. Yes I guess I could sit around worrying about whether I am too white or too ignorant or not conscious enough to do it but I'd rather make a start to do what I can.
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quote:
Originally posted by art_gurl:
The most vexing political issues here include: overconsumption, work-family balance, immigration and the environment.



Sounds just like the U.S.A. to me.


quote:
The other reason I while away so many ignorant moments on this site asking foolish questions is to help put indigenous issues here in Australia, in perspective. In my incredible 'ignorance' I actually believe that the more people read and ask questions - be they judged as stupid questions (how arrogant) or not - is to in some way help problem-solve issues in our indigenous community here and how. Yes I guess I could sit around worrying about whether I am too white or too ignorant or not conscious enough to do it but I'd rather make a start to do what I can.


appl tfro

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