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[P]
Not Allowed to be Colourblind

By fluffy bunny in Culture
Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 03:53:39 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I have recently returned from South Africa where I spent a far too short period of three weeks. When I arrived my friend was there to greet me. We walked out of the airport, tied the luggage to the car roof and then went to leave. The car wouldn't start, it needed to be pushed. I was about to offer to push when my friend swore, opened the door, and called to a bunch of men standing nearby. He then ordered (I have no other word for it) them to push his car with such arrogance that I was speechless and embarrassed. Needless to say, he was white and the others were black.


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I stayed in Capetown with a brother and sister I had met working in a hotel in the UK. They had kindly extended an offer of hospitality, and, wanting desperately to begin travelling and wanting to continue the new friendship, I accepted. I was blissfully ignorant about South Africa. I had no idea of even where I was going, having to look up South Africa on the world map! Until recently I, shamefully, was unaware that South Africans often spoke English as their first language. The S. Africans that I had previously encountered had spoke with such strong accents and differing grammar that I truly believed that Afrikaans was their first language. It was only last autumn that I discovered that there are eleven official languages, of which English is arguably the most important. So, I set off from Heathrow with very few pre-conceptions.

The attitudes I encountered in Capetown were therefore very disconcerting. I had met other white South Africans who had tried to explain the situation, but had not really been involved in the discussions as I had nothing to contribute and I truly never imagined going there. Therefore, I was not prepared for the nonchalance of the arrogance, and for the intensity of the not-so-underlying tension.

White South Africans have all the wealth. They live in the good areas (in Capetown these are the ones with better micro-climates) have good, often private education, and inevitably procure the better "white collar" jobs. It is a generally held attitude that a rich black man must be living off ill-gotten gains. Blacks cover the lower scale of the job market. They are cashiers, parking attendants, and servants. I use this word deliberately. The only blacks I encountered and had any sort of conversation with during my entire stay were maids or the children of the maids.

It was unbelievable. The words "master" and "madam" abounded in my hosts' house. I have to confess I found it difficult to deal with, especially the cheery patronising attitude of the white "master" to his obsequious and deferential maid. Don't get me wrong, the family I stayed with was friendly, hospitable, warm and kind. They cared for the maid and were worried for her future as they were soon moving. They explained how they had set up pension funds for both the maid and the gardener, and some sort of affection was evident on both sides. But it still made me uncomfortable.

I went to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. I have to confess that I did not go for that reason, but because of a play called "The Island" that I had studied at school and subsequently seen in London's Royal National Theatre. The grandmother of my friend was staying and was curious to know what Sarah (another guest) and I would do that day. On hearing our plans she blanched (she did!!) and said, "It's all lies you know. He was a terrorist and killed people." Fair enough. The latter is true. But the fact that she refused to accept the regime's role was mind-blowing. Another woman, the mother of a young man I met out there, said that she might go but only to hear what was been told. Even the young South Africans were not enthused to hear of our tour of the island, and quickly, very quickly, changed the subject.

Perhaps they feared our censure and disapproval. Perhaps they felt guilty. Perhaps they did not truly care about the black situation; after all, this is a youth that is automatically of a higher class simply by virtue of their colour. To be fair, I think it was a mixture of all three. Young white S. Africans are living in a precarious world. Although the whites still have economic advantages, the present "Freedom" government is trying to amend the situation. Some of their measures are now unfair to whites. I talked to many people my age who were fearful of the lack of opportunities now available for whites in education and the work force. Many wealthy and influential white families are leaving to settle in other, more stable countries, most notably England.

The truth is that in order for stability to occur, some sort of equality needs to be attained. The sad truth is that for equality, some whites will have to take a step down the class ladder. The process will not be easy. White people were bemused at the idea of me, their apparent peer, having worked at the check-out at Woolworths! Also - as I dealt with a very rude maid, as I heard gunshots and saw the wounds of a white man whose family was robbed at gunpoint, as I talked to a girl my age who had awoken to find a black man in her room threatening rape, as I noted the amount of blacks needed to do what I considered a one-person job, as I was continually pestered and grabbed at by street kids wanting money for their next high - I realised that equality is more than just economic, and dangerously arrogant attitudes are easy to fall into yet not so easy to forget.

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Not Allowed to be Colourblind | 188 comments (184 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Very Interesting... (2.33 / 9) (#3)
by brainrain on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 01:58:03 PM EST

I think it's interesting that here in America we have our "blinders" on, preventing us to see racial discrimination, starvation, disease, terrorism, plagues, floods, famines, AIDs, etc. In other countries to the proprotion that they really are. It's quite sad.

--
Kleptotherapy - Helping those who help themselves
What is really sad (4.66 / 3) (#11)
by farl on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 03:58:43 PM EST

... is that people tend not to see these things in their own countries, but are more than happy to point them out in others. Having blinkers on not only focuses your attention into a tunnel towards another country, it also stops you from seeing the crap you live in.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
[ Parent ]
Agreed (none / 0) (#15)
by brainrain on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 05:19:02 PM EST

I agree! The same goes for us here in the U.S. The amount of homeless/starving/destitute people is incredible. I know, I drive by some of their houses every day.

--
Kleptotherapy - Helping those who help themselves
[ Parent ]
What is REALLY sad! (none / 0) (#23)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:07:20 PM EST

I'm sure that you feel real good about yourself as you drive by the homes of the 'homeless' and 'destitute' every day. You feel sorry for the poor wretches and go about your business. You'll throw a bum a quarter and feel like you are a good guy.

How can you say that noone is pointing out the racial and other injustices in the United States? Despite the best efforts of poverty pimps like Jesse Jackson, things are getting better in this country. Blacks and hispanics are getting better access to education and the upper reaches of the workfore. Women have gone from a completely unemployable and ignored segment of society sixty years ago to positions of respect and authority.

Turn on the news. At least 15 minutes of a one hour newscast is examining some sort of racial injustice, people without healthcare, etc.
Pick up the newspaper and you will find americans of all races fighting for greater justice and striving for success and happiness.




[ Parent ]
Not blinders, blindfolds (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by trippingbridge on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 04:24:43 PM EST

   I think that, especially in the US, it's not a matter of choosing not to see, but of not having the opportunity to see in the first place.
   We depend on the media to let us know when we should be aware of an issue. But the media has gotten to the point of not informaing us of what is really newsworth and important --and reporting that news impartially-- and instead pandering to what garners ratings with a biased view.
   With the advent of the 24 hour news network and especially the Internet, follow-ups and indepth reports are in short supply.
   Finally, international coverage in the US has been, frankly, disgustingly pathetic in the past decade (as far back as I can really comment on.
--
trippin'
Do not mistake understanding for realization,
nor realization for liberation.
[ Parent ]
It's insanely complicated. (3.80 / 10) (#4)
by spaceghoti on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 01:58:18 PM EST

The Office Assistant for my department was born and bred in South Africa (I'm not sure which part), and she has the classic white South African attitudes toward race relations in that country. She once informed me that the whole situation came down to blacks being ungrateful and incompetent about the whole situation. She freely admitted that whites hold the majority of wealth and authority in the country, but claimed that they also pay all of the taxes (blacks apparently pay none at all), offer generous education and employment opportunities and the like. The tradeoff was that the whites get to make the decisions, since they're the ones doing all the work. Since the political and social upheaval everyone is considered to be in bad shape, and she has a sister who has been trying to sell off valuable property for well over seven years without success.

Bear in mind that this is one of the sweetest ladies I have had the fortune of meeting. She have a mean bone in her body that I can tell, and has raised a large family with remarkable success. She has at least two grandchildren that I can tell, but you'd never know it by looking at her. And yet...

I took her statements with a grain of salt, just as I approach this article. Reality really is defined as a matter of opinion. I don't doubt the opinions or observations of either individual, but it does help to outline just how twisted and complicated the situation has become. I will make no judgements in this case, but I will confess to a shudder when I think about how people justify attitudes and behavior toward their fellow man.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

Spitting Image... (2.60 / 10) (#7)
by jd on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 02:48:46 PM EST

Did an all-too-accurate satirical song "I've Never Met A Nice South African", and many scenes from "Cry Freedom" echo through my mind still.

I hesitate to point fingers, though, because (to be blunt), it was Europeans who created the fiasco in the first place. This thing has gone on for so long, and been so ingrained, that South Africa has become a nation of actors, all following the same old scripts.

You can't blame anyone for following the only life they know. But you =CAN= rightly blame those individuals and nations who =DID= and =DO= know better, but won't assist South Africa out of the hell-hole it has dug itself into.

But more important than blame -- what can be done to burn out the mental sickness of the power-over model?

IMHO, better education is a must. Without it, nobody's going to learn a damn thing. Greater, non-proprietary resources are needed, too. Resources that CANNOT be controlled by a central group, no matter how much power they believe they have.

Once people have knowledge, and a heirarchical power system is rendered ineffective, THEN South Africa can be free.

Blaming those who didn't help (1.50 / 4) (#16)
by commandant on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 05:31:25 PM EST

Excuse me?

    But you =CAN= rightly blame those individuals and nations who =DID= and =DO= know better, but won't assist South Africa out of the hell-hole it has dug itself into.

Blame those who didn't help dig them out of their own hell hole? It's not my fault that Europeans are rich, and that blacks are poor. I've lived in the United States all my life. I haven't had anything to do with South Africa. Now you expect countries like the US to spend *my* tax dollars to fix a country which made its own mistakes?

You even admit, in the last line, that South Africa got itself into this mess. It is no the responsibility of foreign countries to help them out.

From what the poster described, and I will be the first to admit that I know nothing of South Africa, blacks aren't enslaved there. They are just poor. And while in a perfect world everybody would be wealthy, it is not unfair that blacks are poor down there, nor is it anybody's fault. Europeans brought European-style commerce, and with it, wealth. This is not a case of oppression by the whites: look at other African countries without significant white settlements, and they are all poor. Europeans brought their own wealth, they didn't take it away from Africans.

With money comes power, which is why the blacks are dominated by whites. It is not a color issue. In America, where racial oppression has been over for some time now, we see everybody being dominated by the next class up, regardless of color. This is the way economic control works.

Even if blacks were enslaved, I don't think it is anybody's place to try to "help" South Africa. There is no worse moral crime than enforcing one's beliefs on somebody else. Much like the US did, South Africa must pull itself up by its bootstraps if it is to gain economic equality across racial lines.

[ Parent ]

Here is the problem exactly (4.33 / 3) (#20)
by farl on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 06:45:57 PM EST

Your comment summarizes the problem exactly. It is blindness like this and hate against other coutrnies (and yes i do mean hate) that you exhibit that help perpetuate the problem. We live in a global economy. SANCTIONS were imposed by the USA and other countries to help beat SA into submission. Admittedly it was a good thing to force the political situation towards reform, but it fucked the country financially.

Try be human and not a NIMBYite.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
[ Parent ]
Wake Up! (4.66 / 6) (#21)
by neetij on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 06:58:49 PM EST

I'm a student in the US. I've been in this country for less than two years. It was quite apparent to me that there is a strong racial undertone running through society in the first semester. On a trip to San Francisco I was warned by more than one person to stay clear of certain areas because they were "black" neighbourhoods; consequently dangerous regions. America hasn't gotten rid racial oppresion. Its just been spun around and repackaged. It still exists.

In my own university (with one of the largest freshman intake in the country), since January, there have been two attacks on blacks alone. One incident occured on a major street. One of the people hurt was a Professor. I won't even start on the discrimination purported towards people of other races and ethinicity.

Even if blacks, or any other persons, are not enslaved physically, it is the stereotypes and the stigmas that lead to discrimination. You cannot stand back and say "It's not my problem because it doesn't affect me." South Africa is doing much to overcome the ghosts of the Aparthied regime, but it needs help. If you dont want the government wasting your taxes on helping a reborn nation grow and prosper then i guess you believe its ok to spend your tax dollars attacking a country because it follows a different political agenda than democracy.

I don't know where you've been living all your life but you need to get a new perspective because racial discrimination is very much alive and kicking in the US.

[ Parent ]

I have to disagree somewhat with both of you... (4.87 / 8) (#32)
by theboz on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 10:15:56 PM EST

On a trip to San Francisco I was warned by more than one person to stay clear of certain areas because they were "black" neighbourhoods; consequently dangerous regions.

I wasn't there to here how the person said it, but I doubt you would have felt any better were you black, and your friend said, "Don't go down that street. There's a bunch of white cops there." There are reasons that this types of statements can be heeded. First, in the statement of being a black neighborhood, it is the unfortunate reality in the U.S. that most people think of a ghetto. Just like if you think of a trailer park, you think of dirty white trash rednecks that watch Jerry Springer. I have noticed that the best places to be are generally mixed neighborhoods. In the housing development my parents live in, there are people of various nationalities and tones of skin. However, there isn't a lot of racism there, and for the most part the blacks and whites get along. If anyone doesn't like each other, it's usually the parents. The boys will be out playing football or basketball with each other without problems. I think the problem here is that your friend was giving valid advice, but could have been worded better to say that it was a poor neighborhood, with the possibility of racist black people there that might rob you for being white. By the way, that is the unfortunate thing about realizing all people are equal. Anyone can be a racist. Stupidity knows no boundaries, whether ethnic, genetic, or political.

In my own university (with one of the largest freshman intake in the country), since January, there have been two attacks on blacks alone.

I am assuming you mean that they were attacked for being black and that you have evidence of this. Otherwise, ust because a menber of a minority got beat up doesn't mean it is racism. White people get beat up plenty of times too. I think most fights tend to be about stupid things, but racism is not high on that list of what I have seen start fights.

I won't even start on the discrimination purported towards people of other races and ethinicity.

You're in college. Most of the people there are even more whiny than I am. I think there is probably a lot less "discrimination" against minorities on a college campus than you would think. Now, people probably are afraid of someone who tries to make a victim of themselves all the time. If I didn't take exams and say I got a failing grade because my professor is racist against whites I would be considered an idiot. Most professors that I have known, with notable exceptions like Maya Angelou, are not racist. They tend to despise their students equally, and the ones with loud mouths even more. Also, the word descrimination should not be used. It insinuated that the minority group is somehow inferior to the majority. I don't think anyone is superior from the color of their skin, so I don't like to use that word.

Even if blacks, or any other persons, are not enslaved physically, it is the stereotypes and the stigmas that lead to discrimination.

I am glad you put the "or any other persons" in there. There are a lot of people that suffer from being stereotyped badly. A big one that suprises me is how Mexicans have a reputation of being lazy. The laziest Mexican I have ever known would outwork 10 Americans easily. And, I'm not talking about some stupid job like picking oranges, I'm talking about Java development, computer animation, etc. The work ethic of the latin culture is amazing. I wish the culture of the U.S. was one that encouraged us to work hard.

If you dont want the government wasting your taxes on helping a reborn nation grow and prosper then i guess you believe its ok to spend your tax dollars attacking a country because it follows a different political agenda than democracy.

I think both are wrong. I do think it is ok for the U.S. to help when there is clear oppression. I don't think the U.S. should have a part in forming governments or being enemies with a country for being a monarchy or socialist country. I just don't think people should *expect* us to help all the time. As you stated yourself, "racial discrimination is very much alive and kicking in the US" so let's work on fixing the problems here before we do in South Africa. At the very least, they would have a good example to follow rather than the people with the stigmatisms leading the completely blind.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Steriotypes? (4.00 / 2) (#50)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:52:42 AM EST

There are a lot of people that suffer from being stereotyped badly.

I suppose.

A big one that suprises me is how Mexicans have a reputation of being lazy.

Valid point.

The laziest Mexican I have ever known would outwork 10 Americans easily.

Ah, I love it when people contradict themselves in one or two sentances... or maybe that was the joke :P
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
My sense of humor (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by theboz on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:59:47 PM EST

The laziest Mexican I have ever known would outwork 10 Americans easily.

Ah, I love it when people contradict themselves in one or two sentances... or maybe that was the joke :P

Yes...it was...kinda. Not so much as a joke like, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" but like to show the irony of unfounded crap. I think that statement covered invalid statistics people use to show things (e.g. 1 Mexican outperforms 10 Americans; A black man has a 75% greater chance to go to jail than a white man.), it makes fun of stereotypes (self explanatory), it makes fun of racists in general (because there is no real difference in the people, and that implies that there are not latin people from the U.S.), it makes fun of myself (being a U.S. citizen), and it also irritates those that get mad when people from the U.S. call themselves American, when it is true that Mexicans are Americans as well...just from a different country than the U.S.

So now it's known...I often try to entertain myself within my posts. Most of them are easier to detect than that, but you will often find a subtle bit of a sarcastic or humorous statement in every post I make. Even if I'm the only one who gets it. I just try to entertain myself when I post here. Are you wondering what I find amusing about this post? I won't tell you.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

shem ma? (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:47:29 AM EST

There is no worse moral crime than enforcing one's beliefs on somebody else

Hrm, I don't remember where I heard it, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Wrong? (none / 0) (#84)
by spaceghoti on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:42:54 AM EST

Wrong as in misquoted, or wrong in the quote's intent? As to the former, I couldn't say. As to the latter, I agree 100% with the quote.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
oh for god's sake (4.00 / 2) (#54)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:48:18 AM EST

I've lived in the United States all my life. I haven't had anything to do with South Africa. Now you expect countries like the US to spend *my* tax dollars to fix a country which made its own mistakes?

South Africa is the way it is because it suited the USA to have a big well-armed capitalist power in the secondary theatre of the Cold War, and to ensure that the Russians didn't have access to the gold and uranium reserves in the region. Of course the US is partly to blame; it's the global imperial power, how could it not be?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Re: Blaming those who didn't help (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by isenguard on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:55:03 AM EST

Europeans brought their own wealth, they didn't take it away from Africans.

All I can say to this is that you should read some history. With probably the sole exception of the missionaries, the whole point of Europeans going to Africa was to obtain wealth through use of the land and other natural resources (e.g. mining).

In America, where racial oppression has been over for some time now, we see everybody being dominated by the next class up, regardless of color.

You will have a hard time persuading people that racial oppression is absent from American society. It's an unfortunate facet of US culture that Americans seem to believe that they've got things sorted when they haven't.

The problem is that ending legalised discrimination doesn't suddenly remove the economoic and social effects of generations of oppression - the economic and social oppression continues. I don't claim to know how to solve this problem, but it is easy to see that the problem has not been solved in either South Africa or the USA.



--
Lyndon Drake
[ Parent ]
I would have liked to see more history, but... (2.91 / 12) (#8)
by weirdling on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 03:34:43 PM EST

I seem to remember being taken aside and explained that the whites in South Africa were, indeed, the first ones there, as the blacks moved out temporarily due to a plague and came back to find whites there.
I don't like partiality anywhere, but I also don't think it is the business of the US or anyone to force our political system on others. We have done this with disastrous results way too often in the past.
In any part of Africa except North Africa, white people are treated in a greater or lesser degree the same: either with extreme deference, or hunted down and killed. Normally, they are treated one way for a while, then another. This is true of most of the third world. The reasons are complex, but the simplest cause is that white people set themselves up this way, by being emissaries of a new, better way, essentially making themselves seem better. This is what happens any time one tries to ennoble the savages.
This kind of behavior is institutionalised in South Africa because the white population is rather permanent there, whereas in the rest of Africa, they come and go, and their wealth is normally external to Africa, so there is no need for them to use law to protect it.
One of the things that always bothered me about what I hear in the US about South Africa is that it is so US-centric. In most of the world, the elite-worker distinction is sacrosanct and accepted. The West and the US are the exception, not the norm.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we cannot force our form of government on them and they must work it out. Compared to how the bourgeois treated the French royalty in the French revolution, this is a pretty tame upheaval.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
Point of fact (4.50 / 4) (#12)
by farl on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 04:00:35 PM EST

Blacks were in South Africa first. Zulu migrations forced Xhosa tribes to flee from the then superior military might of the Zulus. They traveled from Central Africa down the east coast of Africa all the way round.

Also, The Khoi-San people (bushmen) lived in South Africa LONG before all of the above even happened.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
[ Parent ]
Are you kidding? (4.00 / 5) (#31)
by RandomPeon on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 09:43:07 PM EST

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we cannot force our form of government on them and they must work it out. Compared to how the bourgeois treated the French royalty in the French revolution, this is a pretty tame upheaval.

Quit watching Star Trek and reciting the prime directive. Quit listening to "post-liberal" advocates of "respecting culture". You need to live in reality.

Imagine if the United States had said in WWI and WWII that the Europe just "needed to work it out". We can't enforce our form of government on them - if the result of their conflict is a fascist continent-state led by authoritarian leaders, so be it.

In most of the world, the elite-worker distinction is sacrosanct and accepted. The West and the US are the exception, not the norm.

Of course, the workers accept their inferior social status and lack of opportunity. That's why they have authoritarian governments and death squads and secret police and a non-existent legal system - because the oppressed people want to stay that way. And the master-slave distinction was "accepted and sacrosant" in the South for two centuries. Obviously, the reason the South has such a low relative standard of living is because their traditional way of was upset by the Civil War. Do you actually believe this?

The reason there are strong class distinctions is because those distinctions are backed up by institutional force. I highly doubt that if you asked a person from a lower social class whether he would prefer to continue in his current state of affairs or trade places with someone in higher social class he/she would reply, "Well, I accept my current station and consider it sacrosant". Ambition is inherent to human beings; nobody wants to be downtrodden. Anyone with the total lack of desire for a better life would have been selected against thousands(if not millions) of years ago.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry... (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by genisis on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 01:09:27 AM EST

You give the Us way too much credit...
Our dear old president of the time signed the Atlantic charter way before we entered the war so that hje would be prepared to fight imediatly. The only reason we did not immediatly enter the war was because the congress of the time was filled with people who hated the president and would do nothing for him. So he though of an ingenious plan...
Get Japan to attack us. SO he set up two fleets in the pacific. The old fleet in the phillipines and the new fleet in Hawaii. he expected them to atack the fleet in the phillipines, but was he wrong...
Why did we join on the side of the "allies" you ask...because of capitalism intrest. We had sold a lot more to these countries than to the axis powers... And we waned them to pay us back. It has been shows that 30+% of the people supported germany. Our dear ford, was a fascist semite...
And the dear atomic bamb droppings... Why did we do that? TO scare Russia, our ally. 3 months before they had prommised to invade Japan after the fighting in europe had stopped. The expected date, Augest 8, 1945. SO we moved the dropping forward so that we could scare them into submission.
The US also allied the germans to lose countless millions of the people after promising to attack the germans for years...
Stalin offered the US an anti-nazi pact two times, in 34 and 37, each time to be turned down...

[ Parent ]
A question of morality (1.00 / 1) (#102)
by weirdling on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:34:14 PM EST

To you it is a moral imperative to help others, whether they want it or not. To me, it is not. I, personally, do not believe America had any right getting into WWI. In WWII, there was right; we were attacked, but not by the Germans. In none of these were our interests specifically challenged.
The problem with the aid you suggest is that we do not sufficiently understand the problems and we have an absolutely horrid track record. This is something few Americans or Europeans learn about their meddling in the third world and how remarkably inneffective it was. The former USSR was much better at it.
You are quite right; the south did suffer a reduction of standard of living caused by the Civil war. I think your point, though, is that the Civil War was fought as a moral imperative and thus the south deserved that reduction. The Civil War was, of course, not fought as a moral imperative, rather to keep the union together. It never really was about slavery, or why was Maryland specifically exempted, along with all other Northern states, from the emancipation proclamation?
Any place where class distinctions exist it is because the lower class is willing to be ruled. This is a fact of life. The lower class almost always outnumbers the upper class, and if annoyed enough, have demonstrated themselves very able to destroy the upper class. Any intervention by the US is going to remove from them a valuable lesson that we had to fight to learn: freedom isn't free; there is a huge cost associated with it. People die for it. We have to be constantly vigilant to maintain it. These things are not taught when America knocks over a dictator, and so, voila, a new dictator of the same variety of pond scum takes his place.
I think your reference to evolution particularly apt, but, unfortunately, it indicates that places where people do not put up with this sort of thing are superior, and, by removing the need to fight tyranny from the third world, we may be making them more susceptible to it genetically.
A few notes on Hitler, though. Hitler was manifestly mad. He was one of the monomaniacs that has plagued European history. It is possible that without US intervention, he could have taken and held all of Europe. It is likely, though, that he would have been able to hold it for only a very short time, likely only until his death, when his chronies began the fight for power and the resultant chaos would have rendered it very easy for any country that wanted to to slip the yoke. And, Hitler made a vast armada of enemies.
It is interesting to me to note that an awful lot of what people view of history is heavily spun by the various political factions that control it.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:43:16 AM EST

I seem to remember being taken aside and explained that the whites in South Africa were, indeed, the first ones there, as the blacks moved out temporarily due to a plague and came back to find whites there.

Do you know how fucking big (spacialy) south africa is? Well, it's pretty damn big. Bigger then france or the UK or germany or japan, I find the idea that the whole place could have been, or would have been, evacuated silly. Who exactly 'took you aside' and told you this?

Also, your statement about black people in africa is silly, there are some stable contries their. I've presonaly ICQ'd with a white person who's family had lived in zimbabwe for decades.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Nice try.. (3.50 / 2) (#57)
by thePositron on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:06:34 AM EST

Nice try at revisionist history. I am not buying it though. Whites the first in Africa? Whites presenting a better way of life and being resented for it? What history books do you read or should i say what person took you aside and told you this bit of history?


[ Parent ]
I was a missionary's kid (4.00 / 2) (#100)
by weirdling on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:22:27 PM EST

The statement about whites being the first into South Africa was given me by a South African, so I was willing to doubt it.
The way white people are treated in Africa and much of the rest of the third world is very much true. Some countries are worse; some are better. In all cases, it is the white man who has set himself up to be in the position of superior, largely through the efforts of missionaries showing a better life.
Whether that life is better or not is up to some debate, but they are certainly resented for it.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
No offense but... (2.90 / 22) (#9)
by Speare on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 03:36:27 PM EST

Really, this is no flame.

You and your friend seemed to be fairly in tune with each other, despite your attempt at distancing yourself from him.

Your white friend is blinded by his racial prejudices, while you have wallowed in your own ignorance and apathy as well.

You didn't know where South Africa was? Hm, on the south end of Africa, perhaps. There's only seven continents and Africa's one of them. You didn't know they spoke English there, and were surprised to see blacks and whites had a little friction.

I'm encouraged at least that you (1) looked it up before you went, (2) noticed cultural differences and nuances enough to express them, and (3) found it a powerful enough experience to share with us.

I sure hope your friend can learn some racial tolerance, or more accurately, the notions of equality that America is still working to establish. I also hope you crack open a world map or newspaper a little more often in the future. It sounds like you won't be disappointed in the chance to learn more.


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
Dangerous Assumptions (4.35 / 20) (#10)
by farl on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 03:54:44 PM EST

As a white Capetonian, having grown up there until i was 18, and then moved out to the USA, I can happily say you are correct in some respects. In most other respects you are very VERY wrong.

Yes persecution does exist. Yes racism does exist. Yes there are poor street kids. Yes there is a poor black lower class.

But please be very aware: YES there are poor white/indian/other classes. YES there are white streetkids too. YES white people are discriminated against. YES there is reverse-racism now.

What you met was unfortanately a really bad example of South Africa. I really hope it will not ruin your appreciation for our fine country. Cape Town is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful cities in the world. The Garden Route and most of the coast is likewise spectacular.

And from my 8 years of living in the USA now, there is no difference here in attitudes that there are in South Africa (or from my travels, the same attitudes that exist in England and just about anywhere I have been). I think it is very unfortunate you met the wrong type of person.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
One not so minor point (4.50 / 16) (#14)
by onyxruby on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 04:58:30 PM EST

There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple. The reverse of discriminitation is acceptance, and not what you meant. Otherwise, good informative comment.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Same in the US (4.65 / 20) (#17)
by rusty on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 05:37:12 PM EST

Personal history:

I grew up in Massachusetts. There basically aren't any black people in MA. There are a few, but New England as a whole is far more white than the rest of the US. So I didn't really have any idea what the actual state of race relations in this country was -- the few blacks in MA didn't seem to be treated any different than whites, so we figured the era of the black underclass was more or less over. When we heard about "racial unrest", the first image that came to mind was the Irish fighting the gays in Southie.

I went off to Virginia for college, Williamsburg, in Southeast VA. The first year was a real eye-opener for me. Go into any convenience store, any place with a janitor, any establishment that employed "servants" or menial laborers of any kind, and without exception they were all black. Some of the managers were black too, but many of them were white. Virtually without exception, *all* of the menial jobs were held by blacks.

After college, I moved to DC, where the same was true. I believe DC is majority black now, so obviously most of the jobs will be held by blacks. But seeing a white face in a "service" job was so rare that I honestly can't think of any time it happened. The extent to which I had simply grown accustomed to this was brought home when I went out to Minneapolis for a few days. Sitting in a streetside restaurant, I saw a guy walking by, picking up trash on the sidewalk. I watched him for ten or fifteen minutes before it finally hit me why he had attracted my attention; he was white. It had been more than four years since I had seen a white face doing something like picking up trash.

While the attitudes of the people are probably somewhat different, since it's been a lot longer since the US had explicitly sanctioned discrimination, the actual division of labor remains the same here as it is in South Africa. We may not be so open about it, ordering any blacks who may be nearby to push our car would probably be unthinkable to most Americans. But the evidence remains in any place in the US with a significant black population.

So, Americans, before we look down on South Africa, we better take a hard look at ourselves. Did we get it right? I'd say not. After 150 years, there is still a very deep racial divide in this country, and it's probably even harder to fight now than it was during Jim Crow. Inequality is still very much with us, but it's not encoded in law. It's embedded in the cycle of poor underfunded education, low-paying jobs, and poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods where the majority of blacks in the US are still trapped. I hope that South Africa looks at the US, and examines how badly we've screwed up race relations in this country, when it decides how to go about dismantling apartheid where it counts, in the hearts of the people.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

God save us from the do-gooders (2.07 / 14) (#38)
by ubu on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:57:12 AM EST

Race relations are the eternal scab on humanity, the one we'll never stop picking. There will never actually be racial equality because every five fucking minutes some self-righteous prig has to stand up and start shouting about how race relations in this or that country are a damned disgrace.

We're so proud; you're so fucking sensitive. Now can we all get back to not giving a shit what color people are? I thought that was the whole idea.

Yes, I singled you out, Rusty. If you want to complain about how I'm such a pain in your ass just send me email and spare the forum.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
God save us from.. (2.33 / 3) (#56)
by thePositron on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 05:59:12 AM EST

Those who wish to squelch reasonable discourse with irrational vitriol.


[ Parent ]
Shut up and sit down (1.55 / 9) (#81)
by ubu on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:54:36 AM EST

"Reasonable discourse"? If you just wanted to flatter yourself, why did you respond to my comment? Oops, you wanted to call me a "troll", too. Good job, man.

Because Heaven knows if you guys weren't here to go on and on and on about race relations, it would never get done! For Pete's sake, some really important things have been said here, today! And you guys obviously know -- if not everything -- at least the fundaments of race, culture, human sociology, and immigration politics.

Here, I'll be serious just for you: for Christ's sake just up about race relations. Just shut up. Instead, imagine you're black and you're watching TV. And everybody's talking about minority problems. And everybody's talking about black-on-black crime. And all the bad guys on Cops and "Arrest & Trial" are black. And, as they say in Traffic, all the white people coming from the suburbs walk up to the first black person they see, asking for drugs.

Maybe you'd start to realize what a bunch of blathering assholes you are. You're like the big fat fucking rich white lady at a party who won't shut up about her stupid stories. Who doesn't realize that in all her effort to be "gracious" and "diplomatic" she sounds like a yammering fuckhole. So just Shut The Fuck Up About Race Relations -- you're a disgrace.

That's especially for you, Rusty. You grew up in New England with only a few token blacks, never understood racism until you saw it! How naive and innocent and charming! Apparently, you felt it was your righteous responsibility to be outraged and offended when you met the people who actually live with racial difficulties every day, and who heroically manage to get by without your indignation.

All over the world, same story, worse story. But here in America we'd be remiss if we didn't make things worse by complaining and hurling "Racist!" around willy nilly? Great idea, Rusty. You're such a Holy Crusader, why don't you go to the Middle East with a P.A. system and call all the fuckin' Israelis and Palestinians racists, too. That'll shape the motherfuckers right up.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Happy to oblige you.. (2.25 / 4) (#106)
by thePositron on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:24:01 PM EST

I am happy to oblige you with a few sentences. I am also glad to see that you chose to write several paragraphs in order to curse the person who instituted the forum in which you spew forth your your irrational vitriol.
I hope that you don't think that writing several paragraphs of well thought out resentment is going to prevent people from speaking their minds about race relations.
And before you blast me about taking a stand on this I have to mention that this is an area I have worked on my WHOLE life. I have even faced DEATH and for talking about it because people like you want people to shut up, sit down and put their head in the sand.


[ Parent ]
I don't oblige you in any way shape or form (3.75 / 4) (#113)
by ubu on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:46:24 PM EST

I thought that working one's WHOLE LIFE was the entire point of not being a racist. The rest of us beknighted non-racist regular people have been working our WHOLE LIVES as well. Not by "putting our heads in the sand"... but by being the vast majority of the population that treats people decently and doesn't exploit race relations for personal aggrandizement, political advantage, or economic benefit.

I should point out that I've been listening my WHOLE LIFE to people like you who insist that because I'm a white American I'm automatically a part of the problem, unless I stand up and proclaim as loudly as I can that I'm not. It's the race-related version of the old feudal requirement that vassals regularly proclaim their devotion and obligation to their liege. I, for one, am sick of being assumed guilty until proven innocent.

I'm not a racist. That fulfills my obligation. My adopted brother and sister are native Vietnamese. Sometimes I get funny looks at restaurants when I go out to eat with them, sometimes from Asians. Who knows what they're thinking? Who really cares? But, maybe you think I should stand up in the middle of the restaurant and shout about how much better I am than everybody else, yes? Maybe I should get a really super-duper award?

Now I'd like to get back to flatly ignoring race politics, to the best of my ability, the same way I flatly ignore white identity politics, the Ku Klux Klan, Holocaust denial and/or remembrance, and other idiotic, self-serving sociopolitical crap. All of which would be easy, except for all the loudmouthed bigots of every stripe who insist on making their stupid issue a public nuisance.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
It's your choice.. (2.00 / 1) (#148)
by thePositron on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 05:35:49 PM EST

Look, I am not saying that you are a racist or that I am any better then you. My initial response to your post was to keep the dialogue alive. Just because you choose to ignore racial politics does not mean that the rest of us
are going to. It is obviously your choice to ignore it. If that is what you wish to do then go for it. I choose to face the problem of racism head on even if that mans risking my life, which unfrotunately it has. If someone I know is being racist either if it is in a subtle manner or in blatant manner I choose to confront it. If my society and government has racist undercurrents I will continue to illuminate those influences until they dissappear. I don't believe ignoring problems solves problems. I happen to be a racially mixed person so it is in my best interest to discuss these issues, whether you like or not.
Go ahead ignore it, I really don't care it, doesn't mean it will go away automagically.

[ Parent ]
Whatever (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by ubu on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 08:36:17 PM EST

Great. I seriously applaud your efforts to change peoples' minds. Persuasion is a wonderful thing.

Coercion, however, is not a wonderful thing. Racial politics are disgusting, as Jesse Jackson has so wonderfully demonstrated over the last few decades.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Speaking of coercion.. (none / 0) (#152)
by thePositron on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 09:39:25 PM EST

A quote extracted from one of your posts says it all

"So just Shut The Fuck Up About Race Relations -- you're a disgrace. " -- ubu



[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#154)
by ubu on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 01:09:49 AM EST

And Merriam-Webster says the rest:

coerce: 1 : to restrain or dominate by force

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Peace... (none / 0) (#162)
by thePositron on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 04:16:32 PM EST

So how have you been coerced? You are the one who chose to read the article and the subsequent postings. Where is the coercion? Your words could be looked at as a forceful use of language meant to discourage further discourse. As if language cannot be used as a tool of coercion? People discussing race relations and politics in a public forum that has a topic that deals with race relations is in no way coercive to you. If you don't want to deal with or discuss these issues then ignore the posts and the articles, or turn off the TV or radio. Why are you posting here If you have chosen to ignore the issues and the politics surrounding them? It's your perogative to ignore it but others will still talk about it and take action when necessary. If you attempt to stop me or others from discussing these things in word or deed, then it is you who are being coercive not I. Finally in the hopes of ending this thread peacefully:

Peace to you and yours ubu, I hope that there is no ill will between us.

"So just Shut The Fuck Up About Race Relations -- you're a disgrace. " -- ubu



[ Parent ]
[subject here] (none / 0) (#163)
by ubu on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 05:42:47 PM EST

Sitting in my chair, here, I can't stop you from talking about Race, and I'm not getting up. So relax, Wordsmith, I'm neither coercive nor am I using "coercive language" (language that exerts physical force? Isn't that nonsensical?) to stop you.

I just wish you would -- as I said -- shut up about it. The skinhead yelling hateful things is no worse than the race-baiters on the left. I'm sick of it, I wish it would go away, and I don't want to face the aftermath of race politics run amok. I end up paying for the consequences of what you say, so my admonition to you is this: better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
response (none / 0) (#164)
by thePositron on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 06:46:20 PM EST

If you wish to ignore these issues and that racial issues would just magically go away why did you read an article and post a response to it if you wish to ignore it?

As for the definition of the word coercion it is force that can be applied through physical or moral pressure. In other words yes, a person can be coerced by words otherwise the legal term duress would not be applicable in contract law. BTW, I am proud that a skinhead tried killing me for standing up to him and his gang's racial bs. So, continue to quote me on that if you wish. You can wish all you want that people will stop discussing race but until race is no longer an issue in our society, you will never stop people from discussing it. Like I said before if you do not like it CHOOSE to discuss something else. This is my last response to this thread. Ubu I hope that you are blessed with peace and that there is no ill will between you and me.

5 entries found.

co·er·cion (k-űrzhn, -shn) n. The act or practice of coercing. Power or ability to coerce.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- co·ercion·ary (-zh-nr, -sh-) adj. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pronunciation Key Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1996, 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

coercion \Co*er"cion\, n. [L. coercio, fr. coercere. See Coerce.] 1. The act or process of coercing. 2. (Law) The application to another of either physical or moral force. When the force is physical, and cannot be resisted, then the act produced by it is a nullity, so far as concerns the party coerced. When the force is moral, then the act, though voidable, is imputable to the party doing it, unless he be so paralyzed by terror as to act convulsively. At the same time coercion is not negatived by the fact of submission under force. ``Coactus volui'' (I consented under compulsion) is the condition of mind which, when there is volition forced by coercion, annuls the result of such coercion. --Wharton. Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

coercion n 1: the act of compelling by force of authority 2: using force to cause something: "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn`t have to use coercion" [syn: compulsion] Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

"So just Shut The Fuck Up About Race Relations -- you're a disgrace. " -- ubu



[ Parent ]
I do believe he's angry (2.80 / 5) (#114)
by rusty on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:02:05 PM EST

That's especially for you, Rusty. You grew up in New England with only a few token blacks, never understood racism until you saw it! How naive and innocent and charming! Apparently, you felt it was your righteous responsibility to be outraged and offended when you met the people who actually live with racial difficulties every day, and who heroically manage to get by without your indignation.

I wasn't outraged and offended. I was shown a small part of my ignorance. I don't care if you approve of me noticing something or not, I think I'm less ignorant now than I was before leaving New England, and that that's a good thing.

You are the one who claimed I'm some kind of racial crusader. You assume that I think I have some magic answer. I don't. I don't know what it's like to be black in America. I don't know what it's like to be anyone but myself, a privileged white boy from the north. I didn't hurl "Racist" around at anyone. I said, as you would have noted if you had bothered to read my comment, that the existence of a perpetual underclass of blacks in the US is a fact. It is, furthermore, a fact that a hell of a lot of americans want to deny. We look at south africa, and ask how they can treat blacks so badly, but how many of us look at this country?

I'm also so glad you managed to bring Israel and Palestine into this. Again, your standard trick of telling me what I believe. If we didn't have you around, I'd never know what I actually think, huh?

Well. I'd accuse you of trolling, but honestly, I don't think you're smart enough. No, this one has the stamp of "True Believer" all over it. You're that hyper-frustrated intellectual, who has all the answers to the world's problems, but can't get anyone to listen. Bullied by the big kids in school, always picked last in gym class. And now look, you're reduced to flaming people on a website. Get out of the house, man. See a counsellor, go to a bar. There's a whole world out there, a whole lot of people who are *doing* things, not just hiding behind a pseudonym and trying to drag others down into their own self-hatred.

Get some help.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

*laugh* (1.25 / 4) (#115)
by ubu on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:12:21 PM EST

You are the one who claimed I'm some kind of racial crusader.

Who are you talking to here? And what are you talking about?

So, Americans, before we look down on South Africa, we better take a hard look at ourselves. Did we get it right? I'd say not.

Well. I'd accuse you of trolling, but honestly, I don't think you're smart enough. No, this one has the stamp of "True Believer" all over it. You're that hyper-frustrated intellectual, who has all the answers to the world's problems, but can't get anyone to listen. Bullied by the big kids in school, always picked last in gym class. And now look, you're reduced to flaming people on a website.

Bah, you're smarter than this, Rusty. The ad hominem psychoanalysis? Did you cut-and-paste this out of USENET?

There's a whole world out there, a whole lot of people who are *doing* things, not just hiding behind a pseudonym and trying to drag others down into their own self-hatred.

Right. And anyway there was the matter at hand, the whole racism thing. Thank God, at least, we stopped talking about that. Carry on, then. :-)

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Yankees Make Me Ill... (3.00 / 8) (#105)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 04:37:20 PM EST

You Yankees have always upset me with the way in which you imagine the South to be full of racists. We have no more bigots than do you. The difference is that our underclass has different coloured skin, while yours has different-sounding names, names like O'Malley, Prziewski, Scarlotti or Talreja.

It's not that we force blacks into menial positions--it's that the vast majority of blacks are lower-class and hence hold lower-class jobs. In the North the lower-class tends to be whiter. Our slaveowners owned black slaves for the fields; your slaveowners hired white slaves for the factories. Our slaves were freed; yours think they are free.

It's my opinion that the vast majority of race problems are really class problems. Many people, I think, would not care so much that their son married a black woman as they would that their son married a laundress. What made things worse is that people saw the existence of a black underclass and drew the false conclusion that blacks were somehow inherently inferior. This led to some of the more virulent forms of racism, such as segregation right down to different entrances, water fountains and bathrooms for blacks. on the other hand, how many houses have tradesman's entrances and how many corporations have an executive washroom, employee washrooms and public washrooms?

The South recognises the problems it has had with racism. We have for the most part conquered them. The upper and middle classes don't care about race. The lower class of whites still do to an extent--they like to differentiate themselves from their fellow low-class brethren--but even that is changing.

The North, meanwhile, is still the hotbed of bigotry that it has ever been. I have relatives with Irish names who have been discriminated against--and that is a prejudice one would think dead a century! I have known Catholics who have reported similar problems, even when they have been otherwise socially well-off. But in the midst of it the Yankees snear down their noses at an imagined bigotry in the South.

I grew up outside Norfolk, Virginia. I went to college in Texas. I live in Colorado. In the South I saw black people in every walk of life, from the highest to the lowest. In my visits to New England and in my time in Colorado I have gone days without seeing a black person, and those I have seen have tended to be lower-class. In which area are they prospering more?

[ Parent ]

Thank you. (3.50 / 4) (#108)
by DavidTC on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:57:33 PM EST

I too live in the South, in Marietta GA, and I see black people riding the bus every day. I also see them driving expensive cars. I see white people working at Blockbuster, I see black people working at Koger, I see hispanics working at, of all places, Taco Bell. (Does anyone know why that is? It mean, it's not real Mexican food. The sheer percentage of hispanic people working at Taco Bell boggles the mind. Something like 4/5 of them are hispanic, which is way out of proportion to the population here, which can't be more then 1/20. I mean, if I moved to Japan, and there was a crappy 'American Cafe' place that served fake american food, I wouldn't want to work there.)

Seriously, I see everyone, of all races, in every class and job here. I fail to understand why people think we're racist down here. We just have more races, so, duh, we're going to have a higher percentage of the lower class be a different one. And, yes, it is dispropotionally minorities...which is sad...but, seriously, is a poor white any worse then a poor black? Why don't we just help poor people, and stop all this race crap.

We do afirmative action stuff and everyone is amazed at how many minorities were 'excluded' before. They weren't excluded cause they were black, they were just lower class. And the north does afrimative action, and a lot less people apply, and people assuming it discriminates less. No, it's just against different people. or, in reality, it's the exact same people, with different color skins.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Southerners make me ill (4.40 / 5) (#109)
by rusty on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:17:06 PM EST

...but only because they accept that blacks are lower class without asking why, and because any time anyone points out that the southern US is full to bursting with poor blacks, they assume you're accusing them of being a Klansman.

Look at what I actually said. Not once did I say anything like "southern racists oppress the black man". In fact, I went out of my way to not try to make the simplistic (and wrong) claim that southerners are racists and that's why blacks have low-paying jobs. I said:

"Inequality is still very much with us, but it's not encoded in law. It's embedded in the cycle of poor underfunded education, low-paying jobs, and poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods where the majority of blacks in the US are still trapped."
You read that as an assault on southern whites. It was nothing of the sort.

My point was not that southerners are racists. My point was that the class divide in the US runs very strongly along racial lines. If you had read my comment, you would have noted that I never said Notherners weren't racist. I said we aren't forced to deal with the issue, because the northeast is so strongly white. Growing up, I never saw the black underclass, because it lived somewhere else. It's easy to pretend that the US has solved it's racial troubles when you never have to see them.

The 1999 census reports that 9.8% of whites live below the poverty line, and 23.6% of blacks, and 22.8% of hispanics do.

You have two choices of explanation for that.

  1. Blacks and hispanics are naturally lower-class humans, and will tend to be poor because they are lazy, or not very smart, or what have you.
  2. The United States continues to have a strong undercurrent of institutionalized racism, which favors whites and disfavors blacks and hispanics.
Poverty is a cycle. If you're born poor, chances are you don't get as good an education as someone who was born middle class or rich. You don't learn the "cultural capital" that allows the higher classes to move freely into positions of wealth and power. You have children, who are also born poor, just like you. And the cycle continues, without anyone ever having to actively oppress you. It's built into the system -- and it won't end until a lot of people actively oppose it.

It is my argument that this cycle has condemned large parts of the black and hispanic communities to continuing poverty, not because of active racism, but because of the passive, institutionalized racism that persists in a straight line from the slave plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries, to the officially segregated ghettos of the 20th century, to the unofficially segregated ghettos of today.

Similarly, the northeast continues to have a permanent underclass that was born in the factory wage-slave slums of the "great" industrial revolution. These are very likely still heavily of Irish and Polish descent, due to the original influx of immigrants that staffed the sweatshops. I don't have any hard data on this, but I'm more than willing to bet it's true.

This is not a simple issue. It has elements of race, elements of class, history, government, and culture all mixing it together. You can't look at the numbers and say "this is only a class issue" -- or "this is only a race issue". It's both. All simple answers, or attempts at one-dimensional explanations, will be wrong. If I were saying "southerners are racists", I'd be just as wrong as you are saying they're not. I'm saying that the conditions of life in the modern US are racist, and that pretending we don't have any racial divide is just perpetuating the problem.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Alternative Explanation (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by Robert Uhl on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 11:08:11 AM EST

The 1999 census reports that 9.8% of whites live below the poverty line, and 23.6% of blacks, and 22.8% of hispanics do.

You have two choices of explanation for that.

  1. Blacks and hispanics are naturally lower-class humans, and will tend to be poor because they are lazy, or not very smart, or what have you.
  2. The United States continues to have a strong undercurrent of institutionalized racism, which favors whites and disfavors blacks and hispanics.

that's exactly the sort of thinking that upsets me so much. Here's a third, and IMHO more accurate, explanation:

The lower class tends to remain the lower class, Horatio Alger and Tom Worthington stories be damned. A look at most nations reveals plenty of folks who have crossed from the middle to the high middle or even the low upper classes. OTOH the lowest classes tend to remain low--indeed one could argue that many in the lowest classes are, indeed, destined for that.

Blacks and Hispanics, OTOH, started out artificially low--no-one but a fool would argue that they are naturally lower-class. However, they must still fight the hard fight out of the lower classes and into the middle and upper. This fight is not hard because of racism, but simply because the transition out of the lower classes is so rarely found in natural circumstances. That so many blacks have succeeded at it is quite commendable, and reflects very well on blacks in general (take that, bigots!). They started out at about 95% lowest class (i.e. slaves) and are now at only 23.6%. This number will continue to decrease until it reaches the appropriate level.

Granted, there is still racism, and there was once a great deal more of it. But what is remarkable is that the vast majority of blacks in the world today grew up in a much more heavily racist world--and still manage to do well for themselves. Apparently racism is not that powerful a force. Economics, OTOH, is the most pwerful force in the world: it starts and stops wars, makes and breaks states. It is cold an uncaring, and it always has its way. Blacks were brought to this country in the worst of conditions, and have had to fight the power of economics keeping them lower-class. What's interesting is that it was also helping--an economy does not like inefficiency. It was inefficient for smart, useful and capable people to be held down. And so the same force which was keeping them down was also bringing them up.

Racism just doesn't enter into it. It's a fool's philosophy. The people who matter don't subscribe to it.

The situation in other countries is different. THe situation in other times was different. But the situation now is, I believe, what I have written. Nowadays the only significant discrimination is based on class, not race. My opinion is that all race issues were really class issues under another name. A glance at the history of racially unified countries supports this guess.

Gosh, what a disorganised post. I'm really losing the old touch:-)

[ Parent ]

Asians refute that (3.50 / 2) (#145)
by bjrubble on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 04:19:45 PM EST

Most Asian populations in the US also started out at the bottom, and have done far better than other races predominant in the underclass. I think this is partly due to institutional racism, but I think there's a bigger and less politically acceptable explanation: culture.

I don't know how to say this without sounding racist, but in my experience stereotypes about a racial group usually apply quite well to that group's dominant culture. Yes, it's wrong both morally and logically to assume that people with black skin are criminals -- in fact I've yet to meet anyone who was truly a representation of their culture -- but you only have to flip through MTV for five minutes to see that the dominant "black culture" is very heavily involved in crime, along with a good dose of violence and misogyny.

I think the reason Asians have tended to do well in the US is that their cultures have strong work ethics and center a great deal around institutions and authority. This just works well in American businesses. Hispanic culture also has a very strong work ethic; I think its big problem is that it doesn't put that much emphasis on education. Black culture is the saddest, and I think it stands as the most damaging legacy of slavery. Slavery destroyed all the grace and nobility that might have once been in the culture, and left behind something that knew only bridled subservience. And in the meantime colonialism did pretty much the same thing to all the original cultures in Africa. Black culture today seems to revolve heavily around the "big man kleptocrat" -- whether local gangbanger or national "president" -- and this really is a ticket to nowhere, regardless of the color of your skin.

[ Parent ]
Culture yes, but not the way you imply (none / 0) (#171)
by fencepost on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 09:52:02 PM EST

The difference in how quickly Asians move up in class may have some basis in a work ethic difference, but that's not the only thing. Many Asian groups have a much stronger "self-help" network that helps individuals get a start. Any difference in work ethic would kick in after that start, but the start itself is extremely important - it's kind of like the "you have to spend money to make money" adage.

To some extent this is also visible in how tightly groups stick together. If you look at urban areas with heavy Asian populations, there will be clear demarcations between Korean, Japanese, Chinese and other groups. If you look at urban areas with heavy black populations you won't see the same kind of internal divisions either by original tribe or by originating nation.

The lack of subcommunity ties isn't always the case in the black community, but most of the exceptions are relatively recent immigrants. The bulk of the American black community is descended from slaves who were forced to abandon their original community groups when they were brought to the US, and that larger pool also serves to dilute the internal ties of the immigrant communities. Asians in the US on the other hand largely came over voluntarily and were able to stick together to a much larger extent.

Physical differences aren't the real issue there either - sure there are visible differences between Asian groups, but there are visible differences between black tribes in Africa as well - they've just been hidden in the US by the lack of those subcommunity groups.

I guess to put it in metaphor terms, the US is a melting pot, and while most blacks have been here long enough to have been mixed in pretty well (as have many Asians), a fairly high proportion of the Asian population is still in the lumpy bits that haven't melted yet. It may sound corny, but having something solid to hold onto or stand on is a real help sometimes, and those lumpy bits tend to work pretty well as a solid base.

-- fencepost
--
"nothing really says "don't hire me, I'm an idiot" quite as well as misspelling "pom-pom" on your resume." -- former Grinnellian
[ Parent ]

Going to a white university. (none / 0) (#151)
by shook on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 08:48:36 PM EST

I go to a private college in Alabama. Compared to the surrounding area (about 50% white, 45% black, 5% other) our school has very few black people. On campus, most blacks I see work in the cafeteria or are dumb jocks. (Note: we also have white dumb-jock students, but most of the black students are here for athletic reasons.) The small town where I went to high school was much more integrated than the segregated city where I now live. In high school, I had black friends, was in honors classes with blacks, hung out with blacks, etc. Racism was something to joke about, something crazy our parents did.

But going to this college has slowly affected my thinking. Most of my black peers are jocks, and are simply not people I would associate with. Most the blacks I see serve me food, or clean up after me. After years of this, I realized prejudices crept into my thinking, without my knowledge. I am using prejudice as "pre" + "judge," something everyone does. When I first met blacks, "minimum wage worker" or "dumb jock" would frequently pop into my mind. As much as one might resist, living in an environment of racial inequality can affect one's thinking.

What's my point? I'm not sure if I have one, but I think fighting prejudices will be hard when people are not exposed to people of intellegient and successful people other races. This is of course a chicken-and-egg problem. It's hard for the underclasses to become successful and educated when they face prejudice. Yet it's hard for the upper classes to eliminate their prejudice when the underclasses are not successful and educated.

[ Parent ]

It's not just like the US (3.75 / 8) (#29)
by 0xdeadbeef on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 08:29:02 PM EST

Any white man who tries to order a random group of black men to push his car is likely to get his ass kicked, and most Americans, even if they object to the violence, would still place the blame on him for causing the altercation.

It seems so bizarre, like a scene in a historical drama where you find out what a jerk the wealthy antagonist is.

[ Parent ]
somewhat racist (3.00 / 5) (#44)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:23:41 AM EST

While I don't think that guy would have gotten his car anywhere that way in the US, I also don't think he would have goten the crap kicked out of him either. In fact, the most I think a group of black people would have done would be to yell back. In fact, I find your assertation of a more violent potential rather racest in its own regard

(Sorry for the big words in the last post, but big words== short sentances, and I am really, really tired. *sigh* why am I still typing?)
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Well, yea (3.75 / 4) (#77)
by 0xdeadbeef on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:11:53 AM EST

There is an implied threat of violence in bossing a stranger around like that, especially given the context. I also used the phrase "ass kicked" which doesn't necessarily denote physical violence (at least in the slang I know), but also intimidation and humiliation.

You're right, though, my assumption of a group of black men loitering on a streat corner is that of street punks or day laborers waiting for a job, though it is more a class stereotype than a race one. You're going to get your ass kicked by bossing anyone in the rural area where I'm from.

[ Parent ]

I must concur (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by DontTreadOnMe on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:25:00 AM EST

I have to agree. While I have had black people hurl insults at me, yell at me, make snide remarks, etc. for having the audacity to have white skin and be hanging out with a black woman, the only poeple who have ever, in my entire life, harmed me physically have all, without exception, been white.
--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]
Where do you live? (4.12 / 8) (#91)
by trhurler on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:22:41 PM EST

If you yell at a bunch of people that way in most US cities, the odds are quite good that you'd get your ass handed to you, no matter what color your or their skin is. You just don't DO things like that. Unless, of course, you're looking for a fight.

That said, I find it really funny that people who say "yeah, you'd probably get your ass kicked" without specifically clarifying that they don't mean that blacks are more violent than whites are called racists. Perhaps certain people are just a teensy bit hypersensitive on this one? I mean, if you don't have a reason to call someone a racist, simply presuming it when there are alternative explanations is the exact same sort of prejudice that underlies racism. Then again, if people weren't so prone to acting like dumbasses, racism would have been a thing of the past decades ago, so I suppose that's too much to ask.

At this point, I'm going to go hide in an asbestos lined bomb shelter while all the white liberals who want to show how much they care flame me. There probably won't be any blacks among them, amusingly enough... although obviously we'll never know, this being k5.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I still doubt it (2.50 / 2) (#124)
by delmoi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 11:19:52 PM EST

Maybe if you yelled at them continusly for several minutes, but I wouldn't beat some random person, and I don't think anyone I know would beat up some random person either, even if they were an ass. Actualy, $RandomPerson is far more likely to follow your orders then to beat you up for giving them (people tend not to think to hard when someone tells them to do something authoritatively)
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
One way to settle this (5.00 / 4) (#125)
by winthrop on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 11:58:53 PM EST

Well, clearly, there's only one way to settle this. I volunteer both you, delmoi, and you, trhurler, to go out into a street and demand that a random group of people (race irrelevant) to push your car, then record the results.

Things to look out for: Did you get your ass handed to you? If so, how long did it take before your ass was handed to you? Did the group use any devices (ie weapons) to help in handing you your ass? When your ass was handed to you, was it on a silver platter? Was it transformed into grass?

I eagerly await the results.

[ Parent ]

Suggested reading (3.58 / 12) (#13)
by plutronic on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 04:42:12 PM EST

I've been taking a class on post-colonialism, and one of the texts form that class is particularly isightful (to me, at least). The book is Albert Memmi's The Colonizer and the Colonized, and it essentially goes into the different psychological processes of the colonizer and the colonized, giving a reason why those who hold power over others because of some unjust form of birthright strive to place blame on their victems, while at the same time show themselves to be model human beings through attention to giving public displays of munificance (towards other people of their social group, of course). It also examines in depth an important contradiction those who live as colonizers embody: their economic and social position is dependant on the continued oppression of the group from which they profit, while their inhumanity is visible every day in the lives of those oppressed. Essentially , they're both cursed and blessed by those they oppress.

-------sig----
DeCSS
My experiences in South Africa (4.73 / 26) (#18)
by MyrdemInggala on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 05:39:52 PM EST

I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I came here from Poland in 1989, aged seven. I was blissfully unaware of the major political changes that were happening at the time - I vaguely knew that there was such a thing as racial discrimination, but I was sure that it was something that had been around in Western civilisation years and years ago, when people hadn't known better. When I learned exactly when apartheid had been abolished in S.A. some years later in school, I was stunned.

Anyhow... I have frequently encountered the kind of attitudes that you describe. They are quite common in white middle class households.

I study at the University of Cape Town, which has historically been very liberal, and was politically active during the apartheid years. It is one of the two universities traditionally chosen by white people in Cape Town. The other is Stellenbosch, which is more conservative.

If I had a hundred Rand for every time that an otherwise pleasant and intelligent older white person has asked me "so, how many black people are there in your class?" and pressed me for an answer, I'd be very rich.

(Someone once followed up the question with "Oh, but you do maths. I'm sure there aren't very many, then.")

When I say "I don't know", and show obvious unwillingness to continue the conversation they patronisingly say something on the lines of "Oh, you're one of those liberal student types", and then jokingly disclaim that "we're not racist, really" while making it more and more clear that they are.

Now I'm not a political activist, and I never have been. I simply have never formed opinions of anyone on the basis of their race, gender or sexual orientation, and I find any such form of discrimination offensive. If I dislike someone, I dislike them personally because of who they are.

White middle class discussions about how educational standards have dropped, white people can't find work because of affirmative action, the crime rate is rising, etc. inevitably tend towards communal whining sessions that blame everything on "those stupid, incompetent blacks". While some of the concerns that are raised are real, I have no wish to discuss my opinions on the matter with people like this. I find it distasteful.

The problem with a lot of these people is that they never encounter people of other races in a normal social situation. I'm surrounded by them at university every day. I really don't know how many black people there are in my class, and I don't particularly care. It's something I don't notice.

My social circle consists mostly of whites, and I have never heard any of my friends make racist remarks. Granted, this is mostly the roleplaying crowd - not a good approximation for the Average White South African. Nevertheless, there *are* normal white people in South Africa.

You can't get an accurate picture of the social situation in a foreign country by interacting with a limited number of people during a three-week stay, especially if you knew little or nothing about the country to begin with.

Yes, racism is still here. It is a deeply ingrained prejudice which has not magically disappeared because of a change in the law and an election. It will not go away for another couple of generations, but, like all other irrational attitudes, it eventually has to.

I think that you would appreciate how much progress has been made already if you had been here say, fifteen years ago.

-- 22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head. -- Evil Overlord List
on the surface maybe (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by SEAL on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:08:34 PM EST

Yes, racism is still here. It is a deeply ingrained prejudice which has not magically disappeared because of a change in the law and an election. It will not go away for another couple of generations, but, like all other irrational attitudes, it eventually has to.

That's, unfortunately, pretty idealistic. Look at the U.S. closely and you'll notice a lot of discrimination to this day.

Part of the problem is that government measures try to make up for past mistakes with even worse ones. I don't particularily agree with driving kids around to different schools for desegregation programs, when it is really the poor communities (of ANY color) that need the assistance and care.

I don't agree with racial factors influencing jobs or college applications. I think people should be evaluated on their merits equally. Tit for tat is just another form of discrimination, holding whites, or males, to a higher standard. Some people feel this is fair, and rightfully done to cure past mistakes. But it really just creates more resentment and more divisiveness, which I think is bad in the long term.

Some people have commented that the Internet, or BBS chats are an important medium because they are "color-blind". Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of who I am and my family, but when I post here it's just not an issue. I think it's good for people to start treating others from this perspective.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

affirmative action... (4.85 / 7) (#28)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 08:27:04 PM EST

I don't agree with racial factors influencing jobs or college applications. I think people should be evaluated on their merits equally.

But what are a person's merits, and how do we measure them? Is there a chance that we are systematically mismeasuring the merits (however conceived) of a class of people because our measuring methods are biased? Is there a chance that the way our society is organized results in a class of people being systematically denied possibilities to acquire "merit"?

These are serious questions that are washed away by the "equality of opportunity", "judge only on merits", or "reverse discrimination" rhetoric.

--em
[ Parent ]

all I can say... (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by SEAL on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:17:29 AM EST

... is that from my perspective it sure doesn't seem that way. How do you know when the pendulum is swinging too far the other direction?

I'm not white, but nor am I African American, or Native American, or the other few "affirmative action-worthy" categories. And I'm certainly not rich. Do I feel a little resentful of our higher education system in particular? Sure do. It's frustrating seeing your hard work get passed over in favor of someone who didn't do as well, but fits a different profile. That's both with regards to the admissions process and the ability to get grants. I ended up deciding on the military rather than a long-term debt, which I'm glad I did. But it's a decision I should not have been forced to make.

To call my use of the words reverse discrimination "rhetoric" strikes me as careless. Perhaps you feel turnabout is fair play to fix so many years of past mistakes? I think it just creates more problems.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]
you miss my whole point (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:53:58 PM EST

It's frustrating seeing your hard work get passed over in favor of someone who didn't do as well

Why do you take "doing well" as a given measure?

This was my whole point: it is essential to question whether there are biases in the criteria that are used to evaluate a person's performance.

"Merit" is inherently a subjective category. To take biased standardized tests, quality of school attended and grades as the criteria to decide whether somebody is "meritous" for admission to an institution is simply not something that should be taken for granted.

--em
[ Parent ]

here's a link (none / 0) (#149)
by SEAL on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 07:46:12 PM EST

See the problem is - how do you know if something is biased? Furthermore, how do you justify using biased methods (affirmative action is, by definition, biased in favor of certain groups) of correcting a problem which may or may not exist?

Now I certainly agree that teachers and schools have an uneven distribution of funding across the nation. That needs to be fixed. But I believe all students have the potential needed to succeed on standardized tests. This editorial sums it up quite well.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

Idealistic? (3.00 / 1) (#144)
by bjrubble on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 03:13:18 PM EST

I'd say he's refreshingly realistic. The US still has discrimination "to this day" because it's been barely a single generation since equal rights were codified into law. That bigotry can't be eradicated with a snap of the fingers is IMO one of those hard truths we need to admit if we want to formulate a strategy that's actually effective.

[ Parent ]
UCT? (2.33 / 3) (#43)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 01:55:17 AM EST

Are you a CLAWS member? Whens the next dragonfire? august sometime?
**** Windows has detected a mouse movement. Please restart your computer so changes can take effect ****
[ Parent ]
CLAWS? dragonfire... (1.00 / 1) (#101)
by farl on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:23:01 PM EST

We managed to win one of those tourney's back in the day with my old gaming group...

It's amazing what you can do with a ferret familiar.


Farl
k5@sketchwork.com
www.sketchwork.com
[ Parent ]
UCT & CLAWs (offtopic; sorry!) (none / 0) (#167)
by MyrdemInggala on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 09:02:10 AM EST

I tried to reach you by mail but that address (which I assume is a genuine forwarder) is bouncing. I am indeed in CLAWs. Dragonfire is on August 9-12.
-- 22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head. -- Evil Overlord List
[ Parent ]
Their denials say it all... (4.50 / 2) (#118)
by /dev/niall on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:43:45 PM EST

and then jokingly disclaim that "we're not racist, really" while making it more and more clear that they are.

Other sure giveaways :

Some of my best friends are ...
My roomate in college was...
I have nothing against...

...etc, etc. Usually it's guilt that causes us to preface or suffix our conversations with stuff like this. I myself have several good friends who are extremely overweight.

Now I'm not a political activist...

Uh-oh... ;)


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

As a matter of fact. (4.50 / 4) (#120)
by spaceghoti on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:32:51 PM EST

My roomate in college was, some of my friends are and I have nothing against anyone who is fat, homosexual or of different ethnic origin (you may mix and match to taste). I say this not because of some latent (or perhaps more pressing) guilt, I say this because it's simply true. I had college roomates of all types, and the only ones I didn't like were the dicks who thought it would be fun to turn the dorm into a frathouse. Some of my friends are homosexual, some are hispanic, some are black, and some are two of the three. And I have nothing against anyone until they've demonstrated to me why I should have something against them.

I have, occasionally, grumbled over preferential treatment I've seen others receive when I felt it was unfair, but I never directed it against the person who received said treatment. My grumbles were entirely against the management types perpetuating what I though were unfair business practices.

It isn't fair to judge someone because you read something extra into what they're trying to say. Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar, and I find it helpful to take people at their word until they prove to me that I can't trust them. I admit it makes me vulnerable in certain situations, but I feel the risk is worth it.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Methinks you read into my post too much ;) (4.00 / 1) (#127)
by /dev/niall on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 01:00:13 AM EST

Of course we have fat/gay/black/white/red/purple/yellow friends/roomates/relations etc. I'm talking about folks that make generalizations about groups of people and then say "I have <insert group here> friends...", almost as an afterthought.

Why else would suffix their argument with something like this besides guilt?

Your post is entirely correct, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes people aren't aware of what their true feeling are either, and it shows.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Point taken (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by spaceghoti on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 10:02:42 AM EST

My sarcasm index must have been low. ;-)

Usually whenever someone tells me "I don't have anything against [insert discriminated class here]" I try to take it with a grain of salt. On one hand, behavior may prove otherwise, that they really do have something against the group they're discussing. And sometimes they do but they really are trying to overcome years of social programming.

Because, in the end, it all comes down to what you were taught. I had a girlfriend from Louisiana who had never watched Sesame Street because her mother disapproved of the "gutter children" (her quote) who participated on the show. This woman doesn't share all of her mother's views on race relations, but was far more hesitant to interact with different ethnic groups than I was. I don't know if she ever decided to watch Sesame Street on her own, but she was far less programmed to discriminate than her mother would have approved. Just as I was once programmed to believe that anyone who didn't follow the formula outlined by my church was doomed to Hell, I was able to reprogram myself to be more tolerant and open-minded than what my mother approves of. Curiously enough, I find that the older I become the more liberal I get, rather than the opposite.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Circle (4.11 / 9) (#19)
by mrBlond on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 06:33:47 PM EST

I recently had an argument with one of the VPs at the Cape Town company where I work. He, like most rich (or Afrikaans) whites, knock the ANC government[1] at every possible turn. They normally talk about crime, corruption, and how standards have dropped in hospitals, schools... When I pointed out that while some of the former white subsidized institutions are not receiving the same kind of financial preference they used to, overall the poorest have received significant help; he actually argued that that is not the case, and that charitable capitalists like him were the ones helping out the poor. He went as far as saying that the apartheid system offered the poor a better life, and that liberty was overrated compared to good medical service (which was only ever in white areas). Some rationalizations seem to be invulnerable to evidence or reason.

While many of the poor (mostly black and brown people) are trying to rebuild the nation, the rich (mostly whites and government officials) are simply trying to protect their financial investments.

"Madiba fever" seems to have worn off, and the old racial stereo types are again commonly spouted by the haves.

[1] I also have gripes with the ANC: they had my support as freedom fighters, but have now sold out and become just another capitalist "representative" government.
--
Inoshiro for cabal leader.
Another "representive" government?? (4.75 / 4) (#22)
by Chrisfs on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:01:24 PM EST

The poster wrote :
I also have gripes with the ANC: they had my support as freedom fighters, but have now sold out and become just another capitalist "representative" government.


I confess that living in California, I don't know much of anything of the current situation in South Africa. I was aware of apatheid and was amazed and happy when Nelson Mandela came to power.
What do you mean when you say the ANC government has sold out ? What examples can you give ?

It has been my experience that it is much easier to be the opposition and the rebels and point out what is broken or unfair. It is much harder to be the party in power and actually implement policies to solve those problems, especially in a election driven democracy.

The government can abolish laws but changing people's minds takes longer and many white people are still in places of political and economic power, if you try to push reforms along too far, you'll find them thwarted and possibly find yourself without a viable legislative majority (or worse out of office entirely).
This is what happened to Clinton in his first term. He started out with the complete overhaul of the medical system and the HMO's did a massive media blitz that sunk the whole thing, a number of prolicies met similar fates. The next mid year election gave us a Republican legislative majority and Newt Gingrich. So Clinton became the middle of the road Democrat that we remember him as today.
I can imagine a similar happening in South Africa.
Governments never act as fast or as far as the reformers want them to. (which doesn't that you should stop pushng them,just be nderstanding of the complications involved.)

[ Parent ]
It's strange (4.46 / 15) (#25)
by plone on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:45:24 PM EST

Today, 12 US pharmaceutical companies sued the south african government for patent violations because the south african government wants to create their own generic AIDS drugs. In sub-saharan africa alone there are 24 million people infected with HIV, and the American corps are too damn concerned with their own profits.

Now, as a former South African I cannot believe how much pressure was applied on South Africa to remove apartheid laws but now South Africa is being left to solve its own problems, problems that the apartheid government might have solved.

Worse i believe that the american pharmaceuticals are more interested in their own profits than in helping millions of poor people who could have a better life with the help of HIV medication. Racism is bad, but it is nothing compared to the oppression of the poor by the rich

i read about this today.. (2.50 / 2) (#30)
by use strict on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 09:22:13 PM EST

...and was thoroughly disgusted.

sorry, i just felt the need to make that comment. the destruction of another's life for the sake of a profit is disturbing at best.


[ Parent ]
Not only that... (3.33 / 3) (#36)
by arcterex on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 11:14:10 PM EST

Not just "a" life, but 24m of them (from what I've seen of the discussion here). That, in my mind anyway, equates to genicide.
I remember a stand up act by someone (Chris Rock IIRC) where he hit the mark in saying that doctors are never going to /cure/ AIDS, they'll only find a way to make it better. I agree with him, I'd love to say that "damn man, my AIDS is acting up today" and take a pill and be fine. That's better than finding no cure at all. But for a drug company, or anyone for that matter, doing *anything but working with the rest of the world in cooperation* to find a cure..... just. plain. wrong.

[ Parent ]
SA alone (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by Robert Gormley on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:53:48 AM EST

Was quoted as having 5,000 deaths PER WEEK. Some of the pharmaceuticals are second only to the petrochems in their "antisocialness".

[ Parent ]
Good comment, wrong article (1.50 / 2) (#35)
by dsilverman on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 10:42:35 PM EST

You make a good point, sadly it is woefully offtopic for this discussion. If I was discussing, say, US military buildup in Iraq, and you started talking about, say, a recent US school shooting, they would not be relevent to each other just because of the country. I suggest you write an article about this and let us mod it up!

----
"Speak softly, and carry a big stick."
[ Parent ]
A taste of your own medicine? (1.64 / 14) (#26)
by maketo on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:56:05 PM EST

You are from UK, right? Can you help me remember - what was that country that invited itself everywhere a century or two ago and enslaved almost whole continents, stripping entire regions of wildlife and exploiting the human ones?
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
uhh... (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by peyna on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 10:32:53 PM EST

Actually, I think that would have been Spain that was more so responsible for slavery than the UK. Spain and the Spanish America's were the biggest players in the slave trade, the other countries indirectly profitted from them, but they did not have nearly as many slaves...

[ Parent ]
splitting hairs (none / 0) (#37)
by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:44:34 AM EST

I don't think this can have much in the way of interesting moral conclusions. If I felt in a contrarian enough mood, I coul point a finger at the portuguese, who were the major sellers in the slave trade. Or the dutch, who were major traders in the Caribbean (e.g. a huge number of slaves in the hispanic Antilles are likely to have been imported from dutch contrabandists, without authorization from the Spanish Crown). The truth is that all the major colonial powers participated in the slave trade eagerly.

--em
[ Parent ]

On the other hand... (4.33 / 3) (#34)
by flieghund on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 10:38:01 PM EST

...Who better to preach about the evils of such activities than those who have done them before?

Was the UK an evil imperialist force that often did more harm than good? Almost certainly. Are they still? With one noticeable exception (Northern Ireland), no. Whether by force, choice, serendipity, or some combination, they have (mostly) become "enlightened" to the evils of their previous ways. Having "been there, done that," they now feel an obligation to prevent others from walking down the same destructive path.

Then lots of people start to dredge up their dark history, chanting "Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!" Yet I think this does the world a disservice by not allowing those who have first-hand experience lead the discussion. They would seem to have the best "insider" information on why it is bad (or potentially good), just as a 40-year-old third-strike felon facing life in prison is probably a better source on the downsides of a life of crime than a typical 14-year-old high-school student.

And on a related note, I'd like to point out that fluffy bunny was probably not alive "a century or two ago" when England/UK was perpetrating all of these monstrosities. Blaming someone for the sins of their great-grandparents' government (and thus not even ensuring that said great-grandparents actually supported such activities) is rather laughable. The United States of America used to allow slavery. Does that mean Americans cannot speak out against slavery today?



Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Northern Ireland (4.66 / 3) (#58)
by rasilon on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:45:05 AM EST

In what way is fighting terrorism being opressive? The vast majority of people in NI are Unionist -- they wish to remain part of the UK. The Republicans, those that wish to leave the UK and become part of the Republic of Ireland. are in the minority. The fact that we have had (and still do to some extent) have the army patrolling the streets is due to the tiny minority that think that killing each other is a good way to run a democracy.

Or do you believe that only the Catholics are Irish and that the Protestants are just British settlers?

The Troubles are not a new phenomenon, they have existed for centuries. Giving Norther Ireland to the Republic would not solve the problem, it wouldn't stop the terrorism and it would subject NI to minority rule. Sitting there and shouting "British Opression!" does nothing to help, only encourages certain factions, and really demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the situation.

But apart from that minor gripe, I'd say you are pretty much on target - some places turfed us out by force, some places turfed us out by holding the moral highground and no force whatsoever, some places we vacated by choice, some places decided they were better off if we stuck around, and some places are still arguing about it.
We do at least have the voice of experience - and I'll certainly admit that much of that experience was gained by making mistakes. Hopefully others may learn from them.



[ Parent ]
Arrrgh... I promised myself I wouldn't do this... (none / 0) (#117)
by /dev/niall on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:35:32 PM EST

The vast majority of people in NI are Unionist -- they wish to remain part of the UK.

Then move to England.

The Troubles are not a new phenomenon, they have existed for centuries. Giving Norther Ireland to the Republic would not solve the problem, it wouldn't stop the terrorism and it would subject NI to minority rule. Sitting there and shouting "British Opression!" does nothing to help, only encourages certain factions, and really demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the situation.

British opression created the bloody situation. I think it's important to remember that. I think your government realizes that too; of late they have started investigating some of the more bloody incidents of the past anew.

I really don't get it, but I admit it's very difficult for me to think about it without becoming emotional. How do you justify it? Look at a map... how do you figure NI is the good ol' UK?

Also, if I've offended: my apologies. Not what I wanted to do!
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Re: Arrrgh... I promised myself I wouldn't do this (4.50 / 2) (#130)
by gdr on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 04:48:36 AM EST

The vast majority of people in NI are Unionist -- they wish to remain part of the UK.
Then move to England.
Ethnic clensing anyone? Would you suggest relocating all non-native americans to their countries of origin? Would native americans be justified resorting to terrorism if the US govenment refused to do this (or give them power disproportionate to their population).
I really don't get it, but I admit it's very difficult for me to think about it without becoming emotional. How do you justify it? Look at a map... how do you figure NI is the good ol' UK?
So why isn't Alaska part of Canada or Canada a state of the USA. Location doesn't matter, it's what the population of that region want that's important. It's called democracy, maybe you've heard of it.

[ Parent ]
And this is exactly the response I expected (none / 0) (#132)
by /dev/niall on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 07:00:50 AM EST

Ethnic clensing anyone? Would you suggest relocating all non-native americans to their countries of origin? Would native americans be justified resorting to terrorism if the US govenment refused to do this (or give them power disproportionate to their population).

Moving back to England is not ethnic cleansing. It is the logical action for people who want to be citizens of the United Kingdom.

You will also note that I did not mention terrorist actions. I've lived with them, and I abhor them. You will also note that terrorist actions have been commited by all (not "both", but all three factions in Northern Ireland. I find your implication that supporters of a complete Ireland are supporters of violence both ignorant and extremely offensive.

There is a great difference between the situation between Northern Ireland and the situation in the United States. If citizens of the United States wish to be citizens of the United Kingdom I would suggest exactly the same thing.

So why isn't Alaska part of Canada or Canada a state of the USA. Location doesn't matter, it's what the population of that region want that's important.

Bullshit. Are you saying Alabama could secede from the United States if it wanted to? Take a look a at map of Ireland. How do you figure the six counties are part of the UK? Should Normandy also be part of the UK?

It's called democracy, maybe you've heard of it.

Thanks for the sarcasm! You have certainly swayed my opinion with that one.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Re: And this is exactly the response I expected (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by gdr on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 08:31:46 AM EST

Ethnic clensing anyone? Would you suggest relocating all non-native americans to their countries of origin? Would native americans be justified resorting to terrorism if the US govenment refused to do this (or give them power disproportionate to their population).
Moving back to England is not ethnic cleansing. It is the logical action for people who want to be citizens of the United Kingdom.
The UK is made up of basically 4 parts, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The populations of these 4 parts are generally proud of where they come from but wish their region to be part of the United Kingdom. People in NI who want to be part of the UK do not want to be English, they want to be Northern Irish but within the UK.

Moving to England is most definitely not the logical action of those Scots, Welsh and Irish who want to be part of the UK.

You will also note that I did not mention terrorist actions. I've lived with them, and I abhor them. You will also note that terrorist actions have been commited by all (not "both", but all three factions in Northern Ireland. I find your implication that supporters of a complete Ireland are supporters of violence both ignorant and extremely offensive.
I didn't mean to imply that all (or only) supporters of a complete Ireland are supporters of violence. Some are and my post merely stated that I did not feel that violence was justified. I think we can both agree on that.
There is a great difference between the situation between Northern Ireland and the situation in the United States. If citizens of the United States wish to be citizens of the United Kingdom I would suggest exactly the same thing.
But the situation you are describing is the position of the Republican minority in NI, they want to be part of another country (The Republic of Ireland) and the majority do not. If the minority are not happy it's the minority that should move (or better still a compromise could be found to keep the community together).
So why isn't Alaska part of Canada or Canada a state of the USA. Location doesn't matter, it's what the population of that region want that's important.
Bullshit. Are you saying Alabama could secede from the United States if it wanted to? Take a look a at map of Ireland. How do you figure the six counties are part of the UK? Should Normandy also be part of the UK?
Ok things are getting a bit confusing here (Alabama, Alaska, Canada, UK, NI, RoI, Normany, etc) let me construct one analogy that I think is accurate and appropriate.

UK = United States
Northern Ireland = Alaska (not connected to the other states, majority want to be part of the union)

Are you saying that if a minority in Alaska wanted to be part of Canada that everyone else would have to either move to another state or put up with it? Should the rest of the states ignore the will of the majority in Alaska and eject them from the Union?

Alaska is part of the US because the majority of the population of Alaska want this.
NI is part of the UK because the majority of the population of NI want this.

This has nothing to do with location or history. It is about the will of the people hence my comment about democracy.

[ Parent ]

Re: Re: And this is exactly the response I expecte (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by /dev/niall on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 09:19:09 AM EST

... much good reply snipped ...

UK = United States Northern Ireland = Alaska (not connected to the other states, majority want to be part of the union)
Are you saying that if a minority in Alaska wanted to be part of Canada that everyone else would have to either move to another state or put up with it? Should the rest of the states ignore the will of the majority in Alaska and eject them from the Union?

Nope.

1) I'm talking about Ireland. Not Alaska, not the United States, not...
2) Was Alaska ever part of Canada? Did the United States occupy Canada and Alaska, leave Canada, but retain Alaska? No, they didn't. It's an entirely different situation.

Please understand, what I think is right and what I think is practical are two different things. Very different. I think it is wrong for Northern Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom. Presumably so does the United Kingdom, since they are working to establish home rule in Northern Ireland.

I think it would be a serious mistake and result in horrific violence if Northern Ireland was simply declared part of the Republic of Ireland.

I think that people that want to live in the United Kingdom should move there.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Imperfect analogy. (none / 0) (#142)
by gdr on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 11:23:53 AM EST

Ok, my analogy was pretty poor because it did ignore the historical angle. The history of Ireland is the best argument for NI not being part of the UK. The best argument for NI being part of the UK is that that is what the majority of the people of NI want.

I still think your argument about the location of NI on the island of Ireland is irrelevent to it being part of the UK.

This thread is a bit offtopic so I'm not going to comment further, I couldn't not comment on this subject because the situation in NI is generally so poorly understood outside the UK and Ireland (especially in the US).

[ Parent ]

Upon further reflection... (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by /dev/niall on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 07:33:08 AM EST

... I think you are completely misunderstanding my post.

In response to: The vast majority of people in NI are Unionist -- they wish to remain part of the UK.

I said:

"Then move to England."

Which you called "ethnic cleansing". Take a look at the above. I did not suggest protestants/catholics/scientologists etc. be moved to England, I suggested people who want to live in the UK move to England.

If you did understand what I was saying, and you still feel this is ethnic cleansing, please explain why.

There is no reason for UK citizens to leave northern or southern Ireland, just as there is no reason for Irish citizens to leave the UK. If I (I'm an Irish citizen in case you haven't guessed by now) lived in the UK I would be out of line to suggest my immediate surroundings be part of Ireland. If I lived with 100 other Irish citizens I would still be out of line. If I lived with 1000 other Irish citizens I would still be out of line.

Just because a large group of people want something does not make it right. That's not democracy, that's mob rule.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Re: Upon further reflection... (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by gdr on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 09:10:32 AM EST

... I think you are completely misunderstanding my post.

In response to: The vast majority of people in NI are Unionist -- they wish to remain part of the UK.

I said:

"Then move to England."

Which you called "ethnic cleansing". Take a look at the above. I did not suggest protestants/catholics/scientologists etc. be moved to England, I suggested people who want to live in the UK move to England.

If you did understand what I was saying, and you still feel this is ethnic cleansing, please explain why.

I'm not sure I do understand what you are saying. What you seem to be saying is that the majority (the Unionists) in NI should move to England because they want to be UK citizens. But these Unionists don't want to move, they want to be UK citizens in NI.

Now I admit that suggesting that they move is not ethnic cleansing. However if you make NI part of the Republic of Ireland and require that anybody that wants to remain a UK citizen must leave, that to me is a form of ethnic cleansing.

Maybe you're suggesting that Unionists could live in NI as part of RoI and remain UK citizens. But in that case they would not be able to vote on the laws of the land they live in. They would be forced to move to regain this (IMO) basic human right.

I was unwise to use the term "ethnic cleansing" in such a throwaway manner in my first post. However I do think that people should recognise that encouraging/forcing all Unionists to leave NI is not a solution to The Troubles.

[ Parent ]

As usual... (none / 0) (#139)
by /dev/niall on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 09:26:38 AM EST

As usual the "arguement" wanders around and folks start realizing they might actually be in agreement. ;)

I'm not sure I do understand what you are saying. What you seem to be saying is that the majority (the Unionists) in NI should move to England because they want to be UK citizens. But these Unionists don't want to move, they want to be UK citizens in NI.

No, I'm saying people who want to live in the United Kingdom (or anywhere else for that matter) should move there.

Now I admit that suggesting that they move is not ethnic cleansing. However if you make NI part of the Republic of Ireland and require that anybody that wants to remain a UK citizen must leave, that to me is a form of ethnic cleansing.

Requiring anyone to leave in that manner would be Wrong. Not what I meant to get across at all, and my bad if I did.

Maybe you're suggesting that Unionists could live in NI as part of RoI and remain UK citizens. But in that case they would not be able to vote on the laws of the land they live in. They would be forced to move to regain this (IMO) basic human right.

Tough. Yes, that's pretty harsh. I live in the U.S. right now. I've been paying taxes for ten years. I have yet to vote on anything from dog catcher to President. If I want that privledge I have to move back to Ireland or become a US citizen. That's how the world works.

Fortunately (in this respect anyway), there is little chance of this happening. Home rule will allow all citizens of NI to vote and play a part in the working of their government. It's not going to make everyone happy, but it's the best of all the options available. This in my opinion, is a good thing.

I was unwise to use the term "ethnic cleansing" in such a throwaway manner in my first post. However I do think that people should recognise that encouraging/forcing all Unionists to leave NI is not a solution to The Troubles.

Couldn't agree with you more. ;)
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Re: Northern Ireland (none / 0) (#179)
by flieghund on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 12:43:14 PM EST

I suppose I should check replies to my comments more often...

Or do you believe that only the Catholics are Irish and that the Protestants are just British settlers?
I'll admit that my knowledge of European history is sketchy, but my general impression was that, many many moons ago, the entire island of Ireland was, in fact, part of the nation/country/republic/whatever of Ireland. After some period of time as an entire nation covering an entire island, an invading force from the island of Great Britain invaded the Ireland and staked claim on the island as part of the United Kingdom. After several centuries of horrible persecution by the British forces, the native Irish finally succeeded in an uprising. A treaty was signed that partitioned the island into two pieces: one would become an Irish free state (Ireland), and the other (Northern Ireland) would remain a part of the United Kingdom. This pleased most, but not all, of the people living in Ireland.

I'd rather not bring religion into the picture because it tends to invoke holy wars (no pun intended). However, your question could be twisted to refer to the Protestant British occupation of the mostly Hindu population of India, or the Protestant British occupation of the mostly {whatever} people in several African territories. The British in all of these cases, including Ireland, are merely settlers in what used to be someone else's country. That the British have been there for centuries does not change their status as an occupying force. And while the issue of the religious differences of the "natives" and the "settlers" is, unfortunately, a major cause of injustices in both directions, I would hope that lines are drawn based upon national loyalty and not religious beliefs. (Example: I'm sure there are Catholics who support the United Kingdom, just as I'm sure there are Protestants who support Ireland. I don't know this for a fact, but I would be saddened if this were not the case as it would mean the conflict is nothing more than a religious battle between Christians.)

I think the contentiousness of the issue boils down to two things: Irish and British are both white, so there is no clear distinction between "us" and "them"; and the fact that only a few miles separate the "mother land" from the "colony" makes it seem less like oppression from afar and more like a squabble between neighbors.



Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
and? (4.42 / 7) (#40)
by Requiem on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 01:20:49 AM EST

He didn't personally do these things. Your logic's flawed. That's like saying, "the English were horrible to the Irish for god knows how long, so it's okay to hate the English."

It's not okay.

Who gives a shit about what happened a century or two ago? In this discussion we're concerned with the here and the now. We learn from the past, or we learn nothing. Revelling in the darker moments of a state's history won't do anything.

[ Parent ]
A century ago? (none / 0) (#111)
by error27 on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:33:55 PM EST

I don't know how you figure that... It must be the new math. 20 years ago Zimbabwe was still a colony of England. They set up mining deals that still affect the nation today.

For those of you who don't live in Africa, it may seem like a long time ago. But it's not.



[ Parent ]
how long? (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by /dev/niall on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:26:47 PM EST

That's like saying, "the English were horrible to the Irish for god knows how long, so it's okay to hate the English."

About 831 years. Not that anyone is counting.

It's not okay.

Not okay at all. Things will never change for the better if all we learn from opression is how to hate.


--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Yeah yeah (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by inpHilltr8r on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:33:30 AM EST

...and as our penance we get to be the bad guys in every Hollywood movie for the last twenty years.

So yeah, pretty much every major power has fucked one country or another over at some point. Like the good ol' US of A never fucked central america over in the name of the almighty dollar.

<cough>native americans<cough>

[ Parent ]
interestingly ..... (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:42:37 AM EST

the USA is the only other country apart from South Africa which has had apartheid as a principle of government in the post-war era. They gave up on it thirty years before the South Africans, though.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Rhodesia / Zimbabwe (none / 0) (#112)
by inpHilltr8r on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:37:13 PM EST

Didn't Rhodesia have apartheid? Can't remember the dates on that one though.

[ Parent ]
Fiji (none / 0) (#123)
by Pseudonym on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:56:15 PM EST

And if George Speight's attempted coup actually ends up succeeding, they might be going back to apartheid.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
No, that distinction goes to the Germans [nt] (none / 0) (#69)
by Mawbid on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:29:42 AM EST

This space intentionally left blank.

[ Parent ]
Not just the bad guys! (none / 0) (#122)
by Pseudonym on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:54:22 PM EST

...and as our penance we get to be the bad guys in every Hollywood movie for the last twenty years.

But you also get to play every nationality known to mankind! All you need is a British accent and all of a sudden it's exotic and foreign and US audiences will just think you're from anywhere in Europe.

I'd like to punch the person who cast Patrick Stewart as a French guy...

Anyway, everyone knows that Britain is the root of all evil. Just look at the USA and Australia. :-)


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Bad guys... (none / 0) (#160)
by Mr Tom on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 09:10:11 AM EST

> ...and as our penance we get to be the bad guys
> in every Hollywood movie for the last twenty
> years.

Naah, that's because we've got Alan Rickman. :-)

Oh, and would someone shut those wretches from the colonies up, please? It's time for a spot of tiffin. :-)



-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.
[ Parent ]

one man, one nation (none / 0) (#153)
by fluffy bunny on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 10:12:32 PM EST

I'm sorry, i think you are confusing me, one single individual, with an entire nation over a hundred years ago...

[ Parent ]
Mostly whites? (3.60 / 10) (#27)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 07:57:12 PM EST

One interesting thing - all (two, if I count correctly) of the South Africans to post in this discussion are white, and all six of the South Africans I know in person are white; this being from a country which is overwhelmingly black. So I think in most discussions you're only seeing one view of the country (which happens to be a minority view).

Probably... (none / 0) (#46)
by inpHilltr8r on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:37:10 AM EST

...because the only south africans who can afford internet connections, let alone leave the continent, are white?

Stating the obvious, yeah, well...

[ Parent ]
This is similar to other countries (4.00 / 11) (#41)
by hybrid on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 01:24:08 AM EST

I am from Australia and have to go on Business trips every once-in-while.
Recently I was over in Dallas in the USA and was greeted by a similar situation to the writer of this article, only with hispanic people replacing black/brown people.
I was there for about two weeks and I can't remember being served, even once, by a white person. The white people all were in management or as the concierge while hispanic people filled all the roles of serving/waiting/any other menial task.
I was told that this is how things normally are and that it is just accepted.
Just goes to show that this sort of problem is not restricted to African countries.

The difference? (3.00 / 5) (#87)
by darthaya on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:50:25 AM EST

I think it is that most of the hispanic people you were describing are illegal immigrants.

[ Parent ]
Are you trying to be offensive? (3.50 / 2) (#110)
by error27 on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:22:59 PM EST

I'm white and I'm still offended by that...

[ Parent ]
Offensive. (3.50 / 2) (#134)
by Wiglaf on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 07:44:40 AM EST

I dunno what his intentions where but I come from the southeastern part of the United States. No matter what you veiw of what he said it is true. There are a large amount of illegal immigrants in this country.



Paul: I DOMINATE you to throw rock on our next physical challenge.
Trevor: You can't do that! Do you really think Vampires go around playing rock paper sissors to decide who gets to overpower one another?
[ Parent ]
No sir. (2.00 / 1) (#143)
by darthaya on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 02:16:08 PM EST

What's offensive about the term "illegal immigrants"?

[ Parent ]
not meant as a flame... (4.00 / 1) (#147)
by error27 on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 05:17:55 PM EST

>>I think it is that most of the hispanic people you were describing are illegal immigrants.

On the one hand realism is good and ignoring the facts won't make them go away. But on the other hand what we say can be misread in a number of ways and so we must be very careful in how we say it.

The term "illegal" is negative. The other objectionable term is "most." Associating "most" of a population (ie lower income people of hispanic descent) with a negative term can be construed as offensive.

Furthermore, there is a large population of hispanic people who live legally in this country and feel that the problems described do exist and affect them personally. The statement could be interpreted as denying that the problems exists. Or interpreted another way, the statement could be seen as making light of the problem on the grounds that some people enter this country illegally. Either interpretation is going to make people upset.



[ Parent ]
another example (3.00 / 1) (#146)
by hybrid on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 04:44:50 PM EST

Here is another example of the racism.
People just assume that the hispanics are illegal immigrants. There is no way that all of them could be since I went to many places (including large shopping malls) where all service personal were hispanic. If they were all illegal then something would have been done because it would have been so blatant

[ Parent ]
ehem, well don't get me started on australia... (none / 0) (#158)
by boxed on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 06:05:32 AM EST

Note that australia has a bloody past just as any colonial country.

[ Parent ]
*AHEM* (none / 0) (#161)
by MrSmithers on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 10:00:14 AM EST

I wish people wouldn't comment and make assumptions based on a brief and probably non-representative visit.

I happen to live near the city you're describing. I don't know where you went, but I've seen and known many white people who work as waiters, construction workers, movers, etc. True, there are also a lot of hispanics in these positions, too. But next time you're here, take a look around. There are a LOT OF HISPANICS. Period. Many have moved here (legally or not, I don't know the statistics) recently looking for a better life. They're starting at the bottom, just like the white boys fresh out of school. If anything, I think it's admirable to go to a strange place with strange people and start from scratch. And after gaining experience, many do move up to higher positions. I can rattle off a list of names of hispanic teachers, supervisors, plant managers, white-collar professionals, and chairpersons that I personally know. Did you even watch the news while you were here? I can think of at least one hispanic anchor, and several reporters.

I'm not saying it's a perfect world. We still have a long way to go -- language barriers, impoverished families struggling to survive, distribution of crime (a symptom of other factors)... But humanity has come a long way already and we shouldn't discount the accomplishments we've made and cry that the sky is falling because of a few problems that haven't been solved yet.

[ Parent ]
two anecdotes (none / 0) (#166)
by Rainy on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 04:49:57 AM EST

In the part of USSR I lived, racism was quite evident, even though population is almost 100% russian. People from the south (Georgians, Abhazs, etc) are called black and almost always referred to as ruffians, bandits and/or as having insubordinate affection for money. There's also tons of jokes about Chuckchas (kind of like aleuts and eskimos), where they're portrayed as idiots - for instance, the one I remember is where there's a competition between a chuckcha and a russian where they try to live as long as possible without food. Each is put in a locked room with a phone and told to call when they can't go on any longer. A russian calls within 2 days, but chuckcha isn't calling as 3rd, 4th, 5th day pass and the room is finally open and everybody sees the Chuckcha standing on his knees before the telephone and begging 'Please, telephone, chuckcha wants to eat really bad'. Amusing :-). Anyway, another story is about an australian I knew on irc, who was an owner of a small computer shop, and once made a joke that bumpers on jeeps there are called 'roo' cause that's the sound local aborigenes make when they're hit with it. When I commented that its racist and incensitive, he said that 'blacks are a pain in the ass, always breaking in homes and stuff'. This shit is going on all around the world, alas. My general impression though is that it's getting better.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Hmmmm.... (3.96 / 30) (#42)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 01:50:47 AM EST

i. I am a South African, I currently live (and work) in the city you are describing.
ii. Yes, on the surface things are as you describe, except for any perception deeper than the immediate events you describe.
iii. For the majority of South Africans, there is a clas who discriminates against them, fingers are not so easily pointed.

I am a white lower middle class citizen of one of the most beautiful countries in the world - for that I am grateful. I travel to work every day in conditions that most 1st world people would find disgusting - a single commute for me consists of a 3 and 1/2 km walk followed by a half an hour wait for a train that is covered in people,(literally covered) which takes me to a station where I am begged from, pleaded with etc merely because I look like I have money. This is not because I am white, rather because I am dressed for work, no suit and tie affair, just clean clothes. from there I take a taxi. A taxi to most UK/USians would seem to be a comfortable affair. Hmmmmm. Consider you average minibus. Consider your average minibus filled with 16 - 20 people. A whole different story. These are in various states of repair, and the drivers liscences are in various states of legality. A whole different culture revolves around these hunks of metal, one that is imossible to understand from a distance.

Thats a slice of morning. The taxis are prehaps the epitome of South African culture, merely for my last point. They are impossible to understand from a distance. What I see on my morning journey is a whole different world to what you would see if you took the same path. I see whites hiding from blacks and coloureds begging from them, I see coloureds hiding likewise. It is not a racial issue - much as a first glance may nake it seem so, indeed if you were to do a proportional representaion count it would very much seem a racial issue, but it is one that has been greatly superceeded in modern SA with a class issue. The beggar that harrasses me every morning says nothing, he just walks around with his hand out, expecting a handout. Not his fault you say? I agree - it's not. It has been made so easy for him to do so. He has no need to go look for a job, no need to feel like he should right? After all we did this to him. (we being any white South African) Not true. He did it to himself, unless you want to take the arguement that they have suffered so long that they no longer understand freedom. Bullshit I say. Racism is no longer a white-is-better-than-black issue. Coloureds for the most part are the most racist of all our peoples, shortly followed by our muslim population, and the remaining afrikaaners who still hold fast to how they were brought up.

From my perspective, the people who are suffering the most (non-physically) in this country are not those who have been oppressed, but rather those who have fought oppression since they could, and have been relegated now to trying to pick up the pieces for those who are now 'free' and are just exploiting the situations they find themselves in for their own gain. There are thousands and thousands of white afrikaaners who are incredibly angry with the state that has lied to them for so long, that covered up so much of the truth.

There are things many outsiders would never see - Farl made the point earlier about reverse-racism. That is true, there is. Affirmative action is label generally placed on this. Consider the case of a superior white candidate (superior my means of skill) and an inferior black candidate seeking employment in the same position. The black man will get the position. Why? Because he applied. Because he is black. Because we now have 'quotas', percentages of posts that need to be filled by people of certain orientations. If you're a black, jewish, lesbian cripple you are alomst guaranteed employment, merely because they can fill many quotas with one person. Take this into account with another point made earlier about the non payment of taxes by 95% of the black population and you begin to get a picture of a country that is trying desperately to live up to appearances, with nations like the US egging us on - we are, in the end, an example.

A point I have to make - merely because the author of the story is a UK citizen - is that it was indeed, his nation that first discriminated outright betweeen the races in South Africa, the first nation to enforce a divide in living conditions, a divide in culture, and a divide in status. True, a black man was never a full friend or compadre to a boer, but he was trusted, he was supported and he was *free*. He could leave, he could say his piece, and the only split between him and boer was a cultural one, not his colour. It was the british in 1899 that first placed black and white in seperate concentration camps during the boer war, them that designated the blacks as 'inferior' and gave them little or no food, little shelter, and generally abused them, both violently and verbally, the violence often including rape.

The other thing that needs clarification is the fact of 'who was here first'. It was the San. The bushmen, all but extinct now, the few remaining driven back into the deserts, or absorbed into modern culture. The Xhosas and Zulus made their way south not that long ago, only shortly before Jan van Riebeek made his way here. (BTW Farl if you're there - did you know that Simon van der Stel was a Rasta? ;) ) The Xhosas were a distrusted tribe, thieves and cattle herders, who came south for the better grazing pastures, having been disallowed the use if the Zulus fields, the Zulus followed them in search of the return of their cattle.

Maybe we should all go home and leave the San to their home...


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Lie in the bed you made (2.80 / 5) (#47)
by inpHilltr8r on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:41:36 AM EST

You say, "Coloureds for the most part are the most racist of all our peoples". Well they weren't exactly set an amazing example of tolerance by the old regime now were they?

[ Parent ]
Stellenbosch, Swartland and your post .... (3.57 / 19) (#52)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:40:54 AM EST

are all excellent examples of South African White w(h)ine. You live in a Third World nation, where thanks to a ludicrously unequal distribution of resources, you are a member of a small minority that enjoys something close to a First World lifestyle, and you're whining that it isn't exactly like New York.

Any solution to the problems of South Africa has to involve a massive transfer of stolen resources from people like you, to someone else. It has been an incredible feat of politics to ensure that, so far, that transfer has not taken place by the traditional method of massacring you and everyone who looks like you. You're complaining about a few pence on the rate of income tax? A few hiring policies that you've heard anecdotes about them being unfair? Look at Zimbabwe, for Christ's sake!

Your selective and tendentious whining about the historical record is pretty contemptible too. It's all the fault of the British, the Xhosa, the Zulu, everyone except the fuckers who ruled the country, tortured their political opponents and hung on to a racist sytem of government fifty years after the rest of the world. Your claim that the San could be assumed to "own" land from the Cape to the Transvaal, let alone the entire geographical borders of modern South Africa is absolutely, blindingly, laughably ridiculous.

South Africans, the poor man's Australians.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

The unknowledgeable should refrain..... (3.00 / 5) (#55)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 05:21:47 AM EST

and you're whining that it isn't exactly like New York.

I've never been out the country, I am not whining about anything to my knowledge.
It's all the fault of the British, the Xhosa, the Zulu ...

My origins are scottish, my family has been in this country for 4 generations no more. I have been involved in the struggle for freedom since I could, and my family before then. As I said, it is impossible to analyse the situation in this country from outside. And you are indeed correct it is indeed the fault of those who were intolerant of others, blind to truth. People like you who spout out "because you know", without having lived a life here.

And yes, the San did own all the land. There was no-one here. Except they had no preconceptions of 'owning' land. They lived with it. Maybe you should try that sometime.

I have no excuses to make to anybody, apartheid was a system already in place when I was born. I have but lived within it, and I too have suffered. For attempting to make an observation and correct someone who mispercieved a nation he did not know, I have recieved yet another troll who would do likewise. Give me a break.

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[ Parent ]
your assumption is utterly unfounded ... (2.44 / 9) (#59)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:49:13 AM EST

... since I was born in Zambia, retain several important business links with South Africa (having worked in the London offices of Martin & Co.) and count among my friends two prominent members of the SACP, a professor at Johnannesburg University and one outright South African white supremacist (yes; he is a friend), I know enough about South Africa to be able to comment.

Four generations is pretty much the entire history of South Africa - it certainly means that your family were around for the Boer War.

I'm absolutely amazed that you're attempting to defend your claim about the San, now that it's been challenged. The San have never even occupied the whole land area of modern SA (still less SA plus Namibia). It's extremely rare to find evidence of them outside their native Kalahari desert. Or perhaps you're aware of them climbing Table Mountain and surfing off the Cape? Furthermore, although we don't really understand their culture at all, the fact that they're nomadic hunters rather suggests that they don't recognise property in land. The fertile lands of SA, not occupied by the San, were unowned property which was expropriated by the English and Dutch.

apartheid was a system already in place when I was born. I have but lived within it, and I too have suffered

Ahhh fucken diddums. According to you, your suffering consists of having to put up with beggars (guess what, we have them in London!), having public transport that doesn't meet your high standards and perhaps hearing stories about someone who got bilked for a university place (I've only just noticed your reference to the Jews, btw -- classy). That's nothing like the suffering of your fellow Africans, and far less than any reasonable man would have predicted for you ten years ago. Your family has hung on to its wealth, by a miracle of politics. It may not be your fault, but it's not the fault of those black guys either, and their needs are much more pressing. Stop whining. And tell your countrymen to stop whining, too.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Ahh, I see now... (4.60 / 5) (#61)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:29:16 AM EST

>> I know enough about South Africa to be able to comment. <<

Except of course for the fact that you don't live here.

>> ... means that your family were around for the Boer War. <<

Yes, they were. My ancestor landed here with the 1820 settlers. What does that have to do with anything? And it is far from "pretty much the entire history of South Africa".

>> ... amazed that you're attempting to defend your claim about the San, now that it's been challenged. <<

The point was never anything to do with who really owned the land, the point was that no-one has exclusive rights to it, nor can any claim that its their birthright.

>> The San have never even occupied the whole land area of modern SA <<

You are correct they never have occupied the entire area, but they have however, occupied virtually all major locations within it.

>> It's extremely rare to find evidence of them outside their native Kalahari desert. Or perhaps you're aware of them climbing Table Mountain and surfing off the Cape? <<

Yes their artifacts have been found at Table Mountain, Potberg and many other locations. Perhaps you'd like to join my learned friends at the South African Museum to re-educate them, as they obviously seem to have lost the plot.

>> ... rather suggests that they don't recognise property in land. The fertile lands of SA, not occupied by the San, were unowned property which was expropriated by the English and Dutch. <<

If you read my post properly, you would have noticed my reference to the fact the Xhosas and Zulus 'expropriated' (as you put it) the land first. <sarcasm> Oh, but hold on, I forgot. The San (and the Khoi) don't exist. And they didn't think they owned the land anyway, so it's fine really. We can go ahead and take it.</sarcasm>

>> According to you, your suffering consists of having to put up with beggars (guess what, we have them in London!), having public transport that doesn't meet your high standards and perhaps hearing stories about someone who got bilked for a university place <<

According to me I don't rabbit on about how I have suffered. I don't have a zealot type mindframe that you seem to posess. But since you seem to want my justification for this -

I have been an active participant of the DP and ANC since I could, even before I was a legal major. I have walked protest marches, I have been teargassed numerous times (the first time was when I was 12), we've had our phone tapped since 1992, I have lived on the street (and yes, its worse for a white man), I have been imprisoned, I have been mugged at gunpoint(3 times at the last count), I have been stabbed, I have been the victim of armed robberies, I have stayed in townships, I have spoken 5 languages and I have breathed South Africa.

You are just as bad as Verwoed. He is a white South African therefore he is bad. You, my friend, are a bigot.

I do not whine. You are whining. 'You're bad, you're bad'. Quite honestly I find it pathetic. If you are so concerned, step into the fray. Come here, live the life, take up the fight. Perhaps you might become a better man.


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[ Parent ]
And it's nice to see (3.50 / 4) (#64)
by spiralx on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:03:26 AM EST

That your response to his arguments is to rate all his posts down to 1. Way to abuse the moderation system!

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Abuse ? (2.42 / 7) (#66)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:19:39 AM EST

I do not consider modding someone down who is a bigot an abuse. If it were not my posts he were replying to I still would have modded him down.
If I were interested in abusing the system I'd have another account to mod with...
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[ Parent ]
You fool. (3.37 / 8) (#70)
by OriginalGTT on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:46:27 AM EST

You are a racist and you can't even admit it.

The people like you are the reason we have to have a black history month in the US, and we celebrate Martin Luther Kings Birthday.

Since you are to stupid to understand why I will explain it.

For a couple hundred years blacks were downtrodden, enslaved, ignored, and forced to live a substandard lifestyle. It is still like that in places in the US.

The only way to fix that is to force people to recognize that blacks are just as capable as any other human being.

I HATE affirmative action. But I know that without it, many people who are more qualified for a position than a white person would not get the job. True the flip side happens, but the benefits outweigh the harm. Now is the US we are still struggling to give equality to all of our citizens, yet we've only had our civil rights act for less than 4 decades.

Your country had a racist oppressive government up until roughly ten years ago. And you don't think steps still need to be taken to ensure equality?

Your entire original post whines about blacks getting things that you don't and you call A respected person like streetlawyer a bigot?



---
I'm NOT on your level. Stay there, and I will stay up here where morals are high, and the air is sweet
--Psychologist
[ Parent ]

Perhaps ... (2.00 / 2) (#72)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:54:57 AM EST

... you better read the entire thread. Better still, perhaps you should not comment on other people's orientation when you do not know them from a bar of soap. I am not a racist.

I have no further need to defend myself.


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[ Parent ]
heh (2.25 / 4) (#73)
by OriginalGTT on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:59:31 AM EST

I am not a racist

If you're a black, jewish, lesbian cripple

hehehehahahahahaahhaaamwahahahahahahaahhaBWAHAHAHAHA

Thanks that was the best laugh I had all day. Maybe you should go read the klan thread and see how they justify their racism. I think they are a bit better at it than you.

---
I'm NOT on your level. Stay there, and I will stay up here where morals are high, and the air is sweet
--Psychologist
[ Parent ]

eh? (2.66 / 3) (#75)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:07:32 AM EST

Perhaps you'd like to take my post in the context of the article it was in response to? I was providing information about a country that was being misrepresented. I am not complaining, whining, moaning about personal slight or any other negative connotation. Read the thread ...


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[ Parent ]
In *your* opinion (3.33 / 3) (#71)
by spiralx on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:49:41 AM EST

Since rating on k5 is supposed to represent the quality of a post and not whether or not you personally agree with it, then yes I'd say it was an abuse. And marking down replies to your own posts just looks petty.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Moderation ... (2.50 / 2) (#74)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:03:15 AM EST

Moderation. Think about the word. To moderate, not just quality, but quantity. If you follow streetlawyers postings you will (scratch that, you might) notice that he does nothing except take any quote that could be construed as controversial out of context and flame it, shortly followed by a list of reasons why he is so much more intelligent than everyone else, to the degree where can can lecture me on a country he does not live in, but instead gets info about third hand.

Enough. I've had enough of plebianism.
**** Windows has detected a mouse movement. Please restart your computer so changes can take effect ****
[ Parent ]
So arrogant == wrong then? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by spiralx on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:11:15 AM EST

Sure he may come across as arrogant (although I note he doesn't post in a lot of stories, which would indicate that unlike some people here he only posts when he has some knowledge of a subject), but how does this mean he is wrong? And what you call flames, I call spirited debate, something that has existed in philosophic and scientific circles for millenia.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Moderating responding posts (1.00 / 1) (#128)
by kmself on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 01:46:26 AM EST

You don't have to take my word for it, but in my opinion, moderating responses to your own posts, fairly or otherwise, is a feature of the system. If you're the person doing this, power to you. If you happen to notice it (as the moderatee, or a third party), you're more than welcome to respond.

Moderation isn't perfect. It's a multidimensional measure. It does tend to converge, it works "better" with more inputs. There is a controversiality metric that can be derived (standard deviation) though Scoop doesn't currently support this. It's a visible metric -- you can see a users' moderation. And moderation doesn't change the intrinsic value of a post, though it should, in general, and with a generous margin of error, approximate it.

Moderation incorporates everything thrown at it, including perceived merits, bias, truth value, acount subscription, and scripting ability. Its ability to function in the face of this is an implementation problem. But the inputs are pretty much what the inputs are.

My own trend in this discussion is to rate up or down more or less interesting comments. I'm moderating down the more vitriolic comments. Most of Vainamoinen's posts seem at least reasonable and plausible. I don't have personal experience to judge truth value. I've varied my moderation where his comments stray from civility -- or after breaking a "last word on this topic" pledge. Sometimes the best thing to give a troll is the last word.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

where's the bigoted statement, lugnuts? (3.00 / 4) (#85)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:43:22 AM EST

I do not consider modding someone down who is a bigot an abuse

Show me the bigoted statement. Put up, or shut up, with a decided preference toward the latter.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

The way I see it (2.33 / 3) (#79)
by theboz on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 09:42:58 AM EST

streetlawyer is trolling. I don't think they quite rate a 0 since they are not goatse.cx or anything like that, but his entire purpose is to piss off the author of the thread, and have an argument. This thread started off with a guy posting something that sounded kinda ok but perhaps a little bad (words like "coloured" are not used in the U.S. to describe people and sounds a little racist) but in later posts the guy goes on to try to assure that he was indeed trying to help out. I really don't think he was deserving of being picked on by a troll account that much but I'm sure you've read a lot posted by streetlawyer and can see the pattern. I wouldn't be suprised if he tries to start an argument with me about this reply as well.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

I think (none / 0) (#83)
by OriginalGTT on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:09:28 AM EST

you should reread streetlawyers diary about this kind of stuff.

I'll sum up. He isn't always trolling. Just because he sounds angry or arrogant, doesn't mean he doesn't believe what he is saying to be the truth. Right or wrong, a disagreeing position is not always a troll.

---
I'm NOT on your level. Stay there, and I will stay up here where morals are high, and the air is sweet
--Psychologist
[ Parent ]

disagreeing with his position (2.66 / 3) (#97)
by theboz on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:47:55 PM EST

Right or wrong, a disagreeing position is not always a troll.

I agree with you. (Pun not intended.) However, what I disliked was the obnoxious way it was presented. I do think that he has some valid points, but he's too argumentative for me to be able to mod that up. I don't know how to word this correctly, but on the articles I moderate people down for being rude. I may or may not be wrong in doing so but noone has told me otherwise. I prefer to try to keep things more friendly (or at least not bitching at people) here after being involved with more than my share of flames. I think streetlawyer has a good point, he just comes across as being very rude and arrogant in the way he says it. And that's really why I don't like him. I guess he reminds me too much of myself.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Hey that's cool, (none / 0) (#99)
by OriginalGTT on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 03:22:16 PM EST

And it's a much better position than "He's trolling". I agree that he is rude and arrogant at times, but then again, that's why I love him ;)

---
I'm NOT on your level. Stay there, and I will stay up here where morals are high, and the air is sweet
--Psychologist
[ Parent ]
you see wrong (4.00 / 5) (#86)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:44:50 AM EST

but in later posts the guy goes on to try to assure that he was indeed trying to help out

In later posts, I'm more or less sure that the guy is lying. As I pointed out, his history as a political activist simply doesn't stack up with my knowledge of recent South African history. His claim to have "had his phone tapped since 1992" is bizarre; Mandela was released in 1990 and became President in 1994. The state of emergency was lifted in 1991. No new wiretaps were being put on in that year. Furthermore, he's claiming to have lived in a township (indeed, to have slept rough), a fact which he bizarrely forgot to mention in his original post. Nobody with eyes in his head could have lived in a township and then gone on to say "It has been made so easy for him to do so. He has no need to go look for a job, no need to feel like he should right? "

Furthermore, nobody who had at any point been an ANC activist would start referring to people as "coloureds". You are right to say that it is a vile racial epithet; it is also a specific term of the apartheid regime. It is akin to someone referring to an American of mixed race as a "quadroon" and hoping to get away with it.

In fact, it is our South African (if such he is -- I don't see how anyone could have come through a South African education thinking that "The Xhosas were a distrusted tribe, thieves and cattle herders, who came south for the better grazing pastures, having been disallowed the use if the Zulus fields") who is trolling. He is doing so both in the Usenet sense, by putting down misinformation (about the San, for example), forcing "biters" like me to correct him. He is also making absurd and inflammatory statements; for example, he is calling me a "bigot" on the strength of no evidence at all, while I merely called him a "whiner" on the evidence of a protracted whine. He has also completely failed to engage with my central point -- that white South Africans have been extremely lucky in the political outcome and should count their blessings. Instead, he has decided to squeal like an injured fawn, claiming that I'm claiming that all white South Africans are bad (I didn't, visibly)

But, you decide to moderate down on the basis of a rumour you heard about something that happened on Slashdot. Classy, man.

I wouldn't be suprised if he tries to start an argument with me about this reply as well.

Well, I have to point out that this statement is proof if proof be needed that if we end up having an argument, you started it.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Facts, not guesswork, please.... (2.33 / 3) (#89)
by NoCashValue on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:01:19 PM EST

In later posts, I'm more or less sure that the guy is lying. As I pointed out, his history as a political activist simply doesn't stack up with my knowledge of recent South African history. His claim to have "had his phone tapped since 1992" is bizarre; Mandela was released in 1990 and became President in 1994. No new wiretaps were being put on in that year.

This is rubbish. You claim that you know he is lying because (on the basis of your argument) as soon as Mandela was released from prison all the paraphenalia of the Appartheid police state disappeared? Wronggggg. I am quite interested in your sources for the statement that no new wiretaps were being put on that year. Did you perchance belong to the CCB or something?

I appreciate your arguments, although I don't neccessarily agree, but please, unless you actually do have the facts to hand, try not to post as if you know what you are talking about. At least in the interests of "discussion" as you refer to it.

[ Parent ]
who are you? (4.00 / 5) (#92)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:24:35 PM EST

(Unless you're one of the participants in this thread under a different name, it seems rather strange to kibbitz at this late stage without introducing yourself or supplying some new information of your own).

You claim that you know he is lying because (on the basis of your argument) as soon as Mandela was released from prison all the paraphenalia of the Appartheid police state disappeared? Wronggggg.

Well, that's not what I said. But think of the chronology: his political experience consists of "the DP and ANC as soon as I was old enough". That puts an upper limit of three years on it in 1992, as the DP was founded in 1989. So in 1992, with Mandela out of jail, most of the major apartheid laws repealed (including the Population Registration Act, outside of which the term "coloureds" has no meaning), and the struggle to destroy the ANC before the 1994 elections in full force, the SAP and NSMC/NMC is so short of work that it starts putting wiretaps on someone who's been an ANC member less than three years? The Truth and Reconciliation Committee notes that the period 1990-94 was one of the most bloodthirsty in SA's history, and that the DeKlerk government worse than most of its predecessors -- our friend who claims to have lived in the townships during this period seems to be unaware of the drive-by shootings of civilians which took place. I note upthread that among my closest friends are a couple who were prominent members of the SACP, and their perception was that the forces of repression were stretched beyond the limit during that period.

And if that's not specific enough for you, it's a sight more specific than any evidence the man who talks about "Jewish black lesbians having it made" has given of having been an ANC member.

There's an outside chance that the wiretap was aimed at another member of the household with more impressive credentials; in which case it's a fib rather than a lie. But given the context, I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Coloured (4.00 / 2) (#93)
by Jhudsy on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:29:00 PM EST

In South Africa, the word 'coloured' is not a racist term, it is used by everyone (whites, blacks, and coloureds) to describe people with one black and one white parent.

[ Parent ]
And (none / 0) (#135)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 08:16:26 AM EST

People of Khoisan descent, who did not exist in the apartheit classifications scheme, and since they were vaguely brownish were classed as coloured. Most S Africans still seem to use the classifications.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
the irony is unbearable (2.75 / 8) (#65)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:13:55 AM EST

I do not whine. You are whining.

This at the end of what I count as a clear thousand words of complaint about how bad things are for little old you. What a laugh.

I could mention that you claimed to have been "active in the DP since you were old enough", which would give you rather less than one year of political activism before Mandela was released (ooerr), that you seem to think that Verwoerd is alive and that your phone was being tapped in 1992 (who the fuck by? this was two years after Mandela's release and one year after the ANC ban had been lifted), all of which, along with your picaresque tales of living rough and being stabbed, tend to suggest that you aren't quite what you claim to be. But what's the point?

I make no particular claims about the white South Africans - your lies about what I claimed, and your pathetic attempt to call me a "bigot" are pretty funny in context. But I won't allow them to whine about how terrible it is to be a white South African without pointing out how very much worse it could be, and how very much better the new South Africa is than they have any right to expect.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I'm glad to see ... (1.00 / 1) (#67)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:23:45 AM EST

... That you're living up to your nick.

**** Windows has detected a mouse movement. Please restart your computer so changes can take effect ****
[ Parent ]
I'm also glad to see ... (2.00 / 2) (#68)
by Vainamoinen on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 08:26:02 AM EST

... that you're living up to your .sig.

Smile. I'll pay for the stiches.


**** Windows has detected a mouse movement. Please restart your computer so changes can take effect ****
[ Parent ]
Ahem (none / 0) (#121)
by Pseudonym on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:36:12 PM EST

South Africans, the poor man's Australians.

Care to explain to this Australian what you meant by that?


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
sure :) (none / 0) (#186)
by streetlawyer on Fri Mar 16, 2001 at 07:14:56 AM EST

equally ubiquitous in London, but less good at sport and less fun to be with.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Kuro5hin has dissapointed me today..... (4.26 / 19) (#104)
by Carnage4Life on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 04:32:43 PM EST

I can't this piece of racist trash has been moderated so highly. I had believed (wrongly so it seems) that the people on kuro5hin were beyond seeing things through the blinders of race, obviously I was wrong.

I am a white lower middle class citizen of one of the most beautiful countries in the world - for that I am grateful. I travel to work every day in conditions that most 1st world people would find disgusting - a single commute for me consists of a 3 and 1/2 km walk followed by a half an hour wait for a train that is covered in people,(literally covered) which takes me to a station where I am begged from, pleaded with etc merely because I look like I have money. This is not because I am white, rather because I am dressed for work, no suit and tie affair, just clean clothes. from there I take a taxi. A taxi to most UK/USians would seem to be a comfortable affair. Hmmmmm. Consider you average minibus. Consider your average minibus filled with 16 - 20 people. A whole different story. These are in various states of repair, and the drivers liscences are in various states of legality. A whole different culture revolves around these hunks of metal, one that is imossible to understand from a distance.
What was the point of this? All Africans (white and black) live in similar or worse conditions even in Nigeria (my home country which is supposedly rich) the middle class go through the same thing. Do you think you somehow deserve better? And if so why do you think so? Because you're white....?

Thats a slice of morning. The taxis are prehaps the epitome of South African culture, merely for my last point. They are impossible to understand from a distance. What I see on my morning journey is a whole different world to what you would see if you took the same path. I see whites hiding from blacks and coloureds begging from them, I see coloureds hiding likewise. It is not a racial issue - much as a first glance may nake it seem so, indeed if you were to do a proportional representaion count it would very much seem a racial issue, but it is one that has been greatly superceeded in modern SA with a class issue.
Every single ethnic (as opposed to religious) conflict in the world is primarily motivated by economic reasons. Yugoslavia, Rwanda, The Southern United States and Germany at the turn of the last century are all examples of places where the primary cause of conflict was economic but happened to divide itself quite cleanly along racial lines.
The beggar that harrasses me every morning says nothing, he just walks around with his hand out, expecting a handout. Not his fault you say? I agree - it's not. It has been made so easy for him to do so.
Do you really thing anybody wants to be a beggar? Even in the United States of an America which has been in the midst of an unprecedented boom has had homeless people and bums who are perpetually starving and fighting a constant battle with disease. Simply saying "Pull yourself up b your bootstraps" my be easy to say when you are an educated, white man with a decent upbringing but it is nothing more than words when said to an illiterate, diseased, brutalized individual like the typical African beggar.
He has no need to go look for a job, no need to feel like he should right? After all we did this to him. (we being any white South African) Not true. He did it to himself,
Have you ever met a poor person? You sound like the typical isolated, middle class buffoon who feels that all poor people are there for a reason. Do you really think that there are people who are living fat of their proceeds from begging in a third world country? Except for the few beggars who are victims of alcohol and drug abuse, most beggars are in their current state due to human tragedies which a third world society is unable to help them recover from. E.g. most third world orphans are destined to a life of begging as are most mentally or physicaly handicapped people.
unless you want to take the arguement that they have suffered so long that they no longer understand freedom.
Repealing racist laws doesn't suddenly make poor people rich. Just ask the blacks in the southern United States (who are still waiting for their forty acres and a mule).
Bullshit I say. Racism is no longer a white-is-better-than-black issue. Coloureds for the most part are the most racist of all our peoples, shortly followed by our muslim population, and the remaining afrikaaners who still hold fast to how they were brought up.
It constantly surprises me when white people say things like "black people are more racist than us" to justify their racism. Imagine that you had a pet dog which you starved, beat and tortured for several years. Then imagine that one day you repented and stopped beating your dog, who do you think will hate the other more, you or him? Please take your time when answering that question.
From my perspective, the people who are suffering the most (non-physically) in this country are not those who have been oppressed, but rather those who have fought oppression since they could, and have been relegated now to trying to pick up the pieces for those who are now 'free' and are just exploiting the situations they find themselves in for their own gain. There are thousands and thousands of white afrikaaners who are incredibly angry with the state that has lied to them for so long, that covered up so much of the truth.
Ahh, yes. Decades of government sanctioned degradation of a people, their inability to obtain basic human rights, the constant reinforcement of a cycle of poverty by the government, the massacres of protesters by the police, being treated like second class citizens, etc. is nothing compared to how a bunch of white people have suffered by not realizing how racist their society was. If only black people had your problems...
If you're a black, jewish, lesbian cripple you are alomst guaranteed employment, merely because they can fill many quotas with one person. Take this into account with another point made earlier about the non payment of taxes by 95% of the black population and you begin to get a picture of a country that is trying desperately to live up to appearances, with nations like the US egging us on - we are, in the end, an example.
Are you sure you aren't guilty of some exageration? The truth of the matter is that due to the fact that the South African Government has put policies in place for decades that give the average white person more advantages than the average black person. It is not a level playing field to compare the better-fed, better educated, better housed whites to the average blacks in South Africa. The purpose of your so called Reverse-Discrimination is to even the playing field and change the current scenario where most of the upper class positions are held by whites and most of the lower class positions are held by blacks even though blacks are a majority of the population. Reverse discrimination is not a good practice in the long term but in the current situation it is needed to better the lives of a sizable portion of the society.

A point I have to make - merely because the author of the story is a UK citizen - is that it was indeed, his nation that first discriminated outright betweeen the races in South Africa, the first nation to enforce a divide in living conditions, a divide in culture, and a divide in status. True, a black man was never a full friend or compadre to a boer, but he was trusted, he was supported and he was *free*. He could leave, he could say his piece, and the only split between him and boer was a cultural one, not his colour. It was the british in 1899 that first placed black and white in seperate concentration camps during the boer war, them that designated the blacks as 'inferior' and gave them little or no food, little shelter, and generally abused them, both violently and verbally, the violence often including rape.
Thanks for the history lesson. Interesting that you don't point out that Apartheid was created by the Boers and not the British. The British may have been racists but the Boers are the ones that institutionalized it in South Africa, not the British. Laws that segrated black people to reservations/homelands, that legalized torturing black dissenters, and made them stangers in their own homeland were all enacted by the Boers.

I haven't heard such whining since the last time I accidentally clicked on a link to a KKK site by accident after it was spammed to a chat room that I was in.



[ Parent ]
Meta: Why I Rated it 5 (3.66 / 3) (#126)
by Lode Runner on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 12:48:22 AM EST

I can't this piece of racist trash has been moderated so highly. I had believed (wrongly so it seems) that the people on kuro5hin were beyond seeing things through the blinders of race, obviously I was wrong...

Although I too am uncomfortable with the message's racist tone and sweeping assumptions, it's the only post I've seen thus far that has helped me understand the mind of the more conservative South Africans.

I found the post highly stimulating even if I didn't agree with its arguments or rhetoric. Posts that make me think get a 5 from me. (This is not to say that I don't also give fives to posts whose message I agree with... I certainly do.)

Frankly, it disturbs me that K5ers view the moderation scheme as an "agreement index." What about promoting a more interesting discussion?



[ Parent ]

You are confusing race with other things (1.00 / 1) (#157)
by boxed on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 06:03:57 AM EST

Every single ethnic (as opposed to religious) conflict in the world is primarily motivated by economic reasons. Yugoslavia, Rwanda, The Southern United States and Germany at the turn of the last century are all examples of places where the primary cause of conflict was economic but happened to divide itself quite cleanly along racial lines.
What racial lines? Oh, I can give you the US civil war, that's a nobrainer, but Yugoslavia? Rwanda? Germany? There was no issue of race there. All yugoslavs had fair skin, as did all the germans. In Rwanda they had all dark skin. Where is the racial conflict in that? And please don't give me the bullshit about jews being a separate race, that's nazi propaganda, pure and simple. The real issue here is that race itself has been disproven. There are no races, there is only Humanity. Get used to it.

[ Parent ]
Not really (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by spiralx on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 07:00:00 AM EST

It doesn't matter whether race is a real phenomenon or not, what matters is the belief of the parties involved. Hitler and the Nazis certainly believed that the Jews were a separate race after all, and it was that belief that started the Holocaust. As for Yugoslavia you're forgetting the different ethnic groups - Serbs, Croats, Bosian Muslims and so on, and I very much doubt that the Hutus and the Tutsis thought they were the same kind either.

Scientifically race may be a misnomer, but in the eyes of many, many people it's one of the most fundamental defining characteristics by which they judge other people. As such, it can't be ignored when looking at conflicts.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Hitler and racism. (none / 0) (#184)
by Holloway on Thu Mar 15, 2001 at 06:41:23 AM EST

I have read Hitler's book - I don't think even he believed his words, and I don't think any particularly smart person can believe in racism. Hitler was very smart - I don't think he was genuinely racist but instead power-hungry. I personally think the bastard chose Jews as he realised the public distrust of them and when you have a scapegoat it can get you a long way. Hell, play into people's hates and you'll get them to follow you - it's not a new thing for politicians.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
Grrr..... (none / 0) (#129)
by Vainamoinen on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 02:37:31 AM EST

I can't belive the extend people will go to to hear their own voices ...

I have said before that I would not respond further to the useless off-topic debate about the veracity and racism of my post, and I have already done so, so for the last time - I am not racist. I can not respond further - they who would judge may judge.

Suffice only to say, that those who consider me racist, probably the closest you'll ever come to knowing whether or not that is true is by speaking to me more directly than in a forum such as this. I am online virtually continually during the hours 8h00 - 17h00 (GMT +2) in #kuro5hin on irc.slashnet.org. If you have the will to actually speak to me to perhaps actually get to know me as opposed to drawing conclusions from thin air, I am there.

And Carnage4Life, seriously - try taking things in context. You don't know the truth, nor me.


**** Windows has detected a mouse movement. Please restart your computer so changes can take effect ****
[ Parent ]
How annoying. (4.25 / 12) (#62)
by inkumbi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:55:54 AM EST

Well, i'm a white South African (might as well decalre my bias from the get-go), living outside the country temporarily. Two things annoy me about this whole. discussion.

One is the unthinking assumption that all whites in SA have the same attitudes. Perhaps it's just the people I hang out with, but I didn't recognise the country being described in the article as South Africa. Actually a bit more like America in some ways, where racial segregation is decried, but still no one moves to the other side of the railway line (sorry Americans, it's true in many circumstances, America is a big place). I am looked at strangely for verbalising the difference between white and black, while this country's society maintains that if you don't talk about it, it's not there. There's a difference between racism and reality. Not saying it won't make it not true.

The other thing that bothers me is the attitude of the SAfricans who've responded. Whine whine Whine. Bitch, moan, gripe. This country is going to the dogs. Pity me because I'm white and I deserve better than everyone else in the country. Last time I looked, whites had a _better_ standard of living than 80% of Americans... a BMW in the driveway, big house at a very cheap price, one parent working, the other relaxing while the maid does the chores. You won't find that kind of luxury in most American households. We complain because we're used to First World standards, and then when we have to be exposed to the Third World standard that we've imposed on everyone else, we don't like it. Instead of bitching about affirmative action I preferred to do something about it, to get myself an education that was good enough to give me an edge over race.

Yes, my points may seem slghtly contradictory, what it essentially comes down to, I suppose, is that _I'm_ the only one allowed to critisize what may jokingly be referred to as "my race". South Africa is a racist place. No one could expect any more of it, given it's really recent history. But no one says it has to, or will, stay that way.

You accuse me of racism, okay, yes: I'll admit to it. Because racism has become more than racial bias, oppression because of skin colour. It has become the sin of recognising a person's differences.

So, yes, white South Africans are racist -- many even in the old sense of the word, they really believe black people are inferior. Forgive us for this, it was how we were raised. Give us some time to get over it. But I maintain our main sin is our blinding arrogance, not racism. That's what we need to work on.

Quick clarification (none / 0) (#63)
by inkumbi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:59:56 AM EST

Yes, my points may seem slghtly contradictory, what it essentially comes down to, I suppose, is that _I'm_ the only one allowed to critisize what may jokingly be referred to as "my race".
This with tongue firmly in cheek, given my comments about Americans earlier. ;)

[ Parent ]
Yeah wtf ever ... (1.60 / 5) (#82)
by aramaki on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:00:48 AM EST

"Those who make peaceful change impossible will make violent change inevitable." -- John F. Kennedy Race, religion, nationality, ethnicity. The caucasians at large need to wise up. Apparently caucasians are the only racial group on the planet that have systematically shitted on evey other group including a couple of sub-groups amongst themselves. A professor of poli-sci at Princetom (IIRC) wrote a whole book on this very subject. He plainly stated that the only reason caucasians held power worldwide was simply that they as a group, himself included, exceled at mass armed combat. Now is that something to feel superior about? Get over yourself. I cannot feel the slightest bit of empathy for you because you appear to have none. You are still concerned only w/your own well being. What kind of example is this to set oh superior one? Wtf...
nothing excels in every environment
[ Parent ]
Thin ice (3.66 / 3) (#88)
by inkumbi on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 11:10:15 AM EST

Well, let me see. I do happen to go to Princeton and have taken some politics classes... could you name the professor, i'd like to have a chat with him. Try reading _Guns, Germs and Steel_, by Jarred Diamond. Interesting perspective with regard to world power.

Regardless, you appear to have missed my point entirely. Unless this is intended as a troll. In fact, you do not address one single point I raised. I had hoped for intelligent criticism... ah well.

[ Parent ]
Okay (1.33 / 3) (#94)
by aramaki on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:29:05 PM EST

I do not remember the guys name but the title had something like making of the new world order in it. It was based on a paper he had written and then expanded into a book.

You are right I did not respond intelligently, because your post did not strike me as greatly intelligent (not that you are not). It sounded emotional, so I responded as such. A justification? No.

I am just struck by the flippant attitude this discussion has *apparently* gotten from you. Real people are being denied quality of life. That is beyond annoying. The quote was the intelligent portion of my post. The rest I admit was a rant, but again so what? That doesn't change the fact that you are wrong, so what is there to discuss? You (any white South African or American for that matter) want to impress(?), me give up everything that you have gained as a result of colonialism and slavery. I am just dreaming right? Exactly. So why should I take the high road to please you. Spare me. I, in fact, do have some reading material for you though (yes I know his name: Robert Jensen), here are two links: One Two


He is white and teaches at UT.

Let me know what you think.

Enjoy

nothing excels in every environment
[ Parent ]
One-step, two-step (4.66 / 3) (#95)
by slaytanic killer on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:32:52 PM EST

Your first link.

Your second one.

Kids nowadays, they never audit their own code.

[ Parent ]
Ranks (none / 0) (#96)
by aramaki on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 02:46:35 PM EST

Yeah, yeah. You are right.
nothing excels in every environment
[ Parent ]
About racial groups... (none / 0) (#156)
by boxed on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 05:52:47 AM EST

There is no such thing as race, get used to it. If you'd bothered to think about it you'd realize there were dozens of other ways to classify this group you so loathe, besides racial. If you'd bothered with this you'd also find that a very many of these other ways of grouping would fit your description much better. Try "religious fanatics" or somesuch. Your comment reaked of racism, cool down willya.

[ Parent ]
100% correct I'm afraid (3.75 / 4) (#90)
by pranshu on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 12:18:51 PM EST

I'm a 28 year old white South African who has emmigrated to the UK. Racism is still rampoant in South Africa especially among my parents and people their age. Racist attitudes are in many cases so ingrained they don't even notice them. The majority of my white friends behave as described - pleasingly there are exceptions.

It doesn't bother me too much; inequality exists everywhere, it's makes life interesting. The point is that the society now provides equal opportunities to all citizens.

We won't see a change in the general attitude among white south africans until the next generation of children grow up (like my daughter who is 1 year old and living in RSA).



We see it over and over again (3.50 / 2) (#119)
by Pseudonym on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 10:22:29 PM EST

W.H. Auden put it best:

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn:
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

When we talk about how badly some blacks (including Mandela) behaved, and then we remember how badly they were treated by the Afrikaaner government, we should also remember how badly the Afrikaaners were treated by the British when they ran South Africa. The cycle of abuse we see in abusive families also happens on a national and international level.

None of this excuses violence, of course. But it helps to put it in some perspective.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
Several points (1.66 / 3) (#131)
by bn313 on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 05:44:14 AM EST

There is a big difference between race and class. Many blacks are higher in class than some whites.

Most proposed solutions address class rather than racial bias. A better idea is to balance the playing field; education would be a good place to start(not quotas).

In the US, most people below poverty are white. When whites become a minority in the US, this blaming ritual will be even more absurd.

Standards have been a hallmark of civilization and throwing them out would not benefit anyone in the long term. Further, blacks have opportunites.

Society is dynamic, even when it seems static. It took time to experiment with something that didn't work, and it will take time to correct.

JRM



As always when this kind of discussion arises.. (3.50 / 2) (#155)
by boxed on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 05:41:46 AM EST

...I feel the need again to point out that the concept of race itself is false, and when I say that I mean scientifically false. One of the first things that was done when genetic analyzes was possible was to try to get data on racial differences. What was discovered was that red hair is just as much a race as brown skin.

Anyone who claims the existance of races is totally ignorant of the facts, much like someone claiming the earth is flat. In my eyes, anyone who believes in race at all is a racist (although some racists are far worse than others of course).



beg to differ.. (3.00 / 1) (#165)
by Rainy on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 04:34:00 AM EST

Race is a number of differences: face features, hair color, other hair characteristics, skin color, (arguably) other things, like asians being more inclined to studying. My opinion is that it is even possible that some races are in some ways superior to others - it's just that we don't know which are, and even if we knew, it doesn't mean anything. For instance, let's assume for a second that asians make better scientists while jews make better bankers. We need both, don't we? Therefore a mixed society is better off than consistant one. I have my own pet theory that racism is caused not by conviction that one's race is better, but fear that one's race is inferior. Oh yeah, out of pure curiosity: when your friend told those black guys to push the car, did they?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
two things... (none / 0) (#168)
by boxed on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 12:31:22 PM EST

1) I am not the author of the article, so I don't know if they pushed the car or not. 2) That statement is a sign of rascism, I don't care if you think racial difference is good or not, you're a rascist and you need to check some facts. There is no such thing as races, in fact the whole Linneian classification system has been proven false and is being replaced as we speak. The very concept of species is not even valid (I can give you some examples if you want). Furthermore, even if races did exist, the facts would point to jews being better scientists and asians better workers. Banking was forced upon the jews by the christian europe because it was considered a sin to loan money for interest (of course, it was a sin in judaism too but they had little choice).

[ Parent ]
RE: two things (none / 0) (#172)
by haveroot on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 11:28:19 PM EST

Just for the record, I'd like to find out what invalidates the concept of species. What are your examples?

[ Parent ]
the doubful concept of species... (none / 0) (#188)
by boxed on Sat Mar 17, 2001 at 05:54:50 PM EST

There's an example with a circular bird group for example. Picture a clock. A bird that has been born at any place on the clock (for example at the 6) can mate with any bird born two, or maybe three hours away (i.e. birds born at 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9), however they can not produce fertile offspring with any birds longer away than that. Now how do you divide these birds up into species? You simply can't, not without making a fool out of yourself anyhow.

[ Parent ]
Okay (none / 0) (#176)
by Rainy on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 12:12:17 PM EST

I don't see anything wrong with being a racist as long as it doesn't imply that some race should be on top of others. I, in face, see your position as a knee-jerk reaction to violent racism and perhaps even as dangerous as what you are trying to prevent. As for there being no such things as races, can you prove that, instead of just stating it in a self-righteous manner? And also I'd love to see examples of why concept of species is not valid, too. Also, I haven't seen any facts that would point that jews are inherently better bankers or scientists, or that asians are inherently better workers or scientists. I simply think that asians' apparent preference for studying could be either social or genetic thing, I'm not entirely sure. I wonder why are you sure it's not genetic, is this some sort of important philosophical issue for you? Is it somehow horrible if it was genetic? BTW, that's why I said arguably - there's not enough data to point either way.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Sorry, but no. (5.00 / 2) (#169)
by ncohen on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 02:05:36 PM EST

like asians being more inclined to studying.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Genes can not influence cognitive/memetic systems at all, they can only create them. They can create 'embedded' routines, what we call instinct.

Take, for example, a species of wasp in Richar Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene. The wasp will injure (but not kill) a caterpiller or other large insect, then dig a pit, then check the pit to make sure it's empty, then place the victim in, then lay its eggs, and then bury them all.

A study was conducted where the researchers would let the wasp get to the point of dragging the victim into the pit. But, they would pull the victim a few inches away just as the wasp was finished checking the pit. The wasp would go drag the victim back, and do something extraordinary. It would check the pit again. If the victim was dragged back again, the wasp would repeat this process. They tried this over 20 times, and the wasp never 'caught on'. In effect, its genetically programmed instincts were not 'smart'.

So, returning to your point, if Asians are predisposed to studying then that means if I were to take an Asian, and place him/her near a textbook they would have an incredible urge to start reading the book. Infact, if your conjecture were true, I could place a book and a million dollars side by side, if studying in Asians was a genetic trait, they would have no choice but to be drawn to the book because money is of no genetic interest. But this doesn't happen, because being predisposed to study is a memetic trait. Perhaps Asians do have memeplexes which do predispose them to study, indeed, I would support this argument.

Here's another problem with the racial-advantages argument. Books, money, all these things are human creations only a few thousand years old. Genes take millions of years to preform their magic. Moreover, they only prosper (in relation to any opposing genes in the pool) if they aid the host. Do scientists have a better chance of reproducing than a regular Joe? No. Indeed, in a society such as ours being a scientist may even hinder reproduction :)

I think you're making the same mistake many racists, such as the Ku Klux Klan, make. You are attributing memetic, in this case, sociological differences in races to innate characteristics. Jews have been in banking because, as a society, they have decided to move in that direction. When a large group decides to do something like that, it becomes inevitible that they will succeed.

Most Asians I know may or may not be good at studying. However, I do know that their family tends to push them hard to study and to succeed. Such pressure can easily cause one to be motivated at studying. Indeed, I know in Japan that not only are test scores higher, but suicide rates as well. Shall we assume that Asians have suicide genes too?

So, in conclusion, before joining the Klan try learning a bit more about genetics.
-----
"(A+Bn)/n = x, hence God exists, reply!"
[ Parent ]

I think you're wrong here.. (2.00 / 1) (#175)
by Rainy on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 11:58:29 AM EST

It's entirely plausible that something in genes of asians would change their brain development in such way that would make it more inclined to studying. You're mixing up instincts here with physiological development. Its not, obviously, that they have an instinct that tells them to grab a book and read - duh.
And your last phrase I don't understand completely. Have I said anything about joining the clan? Didn't I explicitly say in my post where the clan etc people go wrong? Now, are you deliberately lying or do you have such a bad memory you can't remember the post you're replying to? In this case I recommend re-reading it several times before replying, in order not to appear dumber than you are.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Sorry, beg to differ more... (5.00 / 2) (#173)
by erotus on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 02:51:01 AM EST

I have a B.A in Anthropology. When I was a student, I studied genetics, human evolution, human culture, etc... There is only one race - The Human race. Race as you know it, is a myth. The differences between races is cultural and not genetic. Asians are no more genetically predisposed to study than Africans, English, Mexicans, etc...

Some asian cultures place a lot of importance on academics. Those cultures usually place pressure on students to perform. Contrast that with a culture that doesnt place importance on academics. If you take an asian child and put him into that culture from a very young age, he will develop cultural values from that culture and will probably not be motivated to study.

Secondly, scientists and biological anthropologists have determined that there is not a scientific measurement for race. You mention facial features, hair characteristics, etc.. These characteristics are phenotypic expressions of genes. In other words, these are the physical manifestations of genetic sequence. The original poster said that red haired people could be a race all their own by this line of logic. Are all fat men who weigh 400 lbs a race of their own? Where do you draw the line? What if a person is 1/4 African, 1/4 Chinese, 1/4 French, 1/4 Arab? What race would that be exactly? The answer - that person would be a member of the human race.

What about the genotypic expressions - the ones we can't see visually. Can we separate humans into categories based on blood type? There are so many differences in genes we can't see, why is it that we differentiate humans based on only the genetic differences that express themselves physically. The physical differences are a result of evolution or adaptation for a certain environment. Short stocky bodies of eskimoe's help them stay warm, while tall lanky bodies of the Masai in Kenya help them to dissipate heat.

Although, I do agree that "a mixed society is better off than consistant one." Rather, a genetically heterogenious pool is good and enhances genetic variation necessary for survival. Also, a multi-cultural society will yield better ideas, make life interesting, and teach us to think differently about many facets of life.



[ Parent ]
What race? (2.00 / 1) (#174)
by Rainy on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 11:51:25 AM EST

You are using a different definition of race from me. My definition would not match redheads because they are not different enough. If there was a large tribe of people most of whom had red hair, and yellow skin, and specific facial features different from all other people, then you could (roughly) call that a race, except that race is usually applied to larger groups that were considered as such traditionally. IOW race is not a scientifically clearcut term, but that doesn't mean that it's a myth. As for whether asians raised in different cultures would or would not have on the average fair better in studying, that is an open question as far as I can tell. I certainly see this as a possibility. As for people with mixed genes, they don't belong to a certain race, they have mixed race. 1/2 asian and 1/2 caucasian wouldn't be either race, he'd be half of each, is that so hard to understand? I'd think by the time people get BA in anthropology they can understand simple things of this sort.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Race is superficial. (5.00 / 4) (#177)
by erotus on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 05:36:10 PM EST

"I'd think by the time people get BA in anthropology they can understand simple things of this sort."

I do understand things of this point since this is my field of study. I'm not trying to be an ass here, but anthropology is the "study of man" in case you didn't know. Maybe you think anthropologists sit around and classify humans all day long. Well, that train of thought ended years ago when genetics and science matured. Every professor that I had emphasized that race was not a scientific way of studying human beings. I encourage you to take a genetics course and study human genome variation. It has been proven that there may be more differences between members of the same "race" than between persons of different racial backgrounds. This is why, when humans are studied on a genetic level, race becomes a moot point. Take the Basque people of Spain. They appear white, but they are more removed genetically from other Europeans than Europeans are from Africans. In other words, Africans and English have more genetic similarity than do the Basque and the English.

In the west, we love to classify and group things into neat nice little categories. Classical definitions of race were clear cut - Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid. You were either white, asian, or black. Well, what about Tongans or Hawaiians? They have features which could be considered mongoloid or negroid, under the classical definition of race. So, We now call them Pacific Islanders and throw away the old definition because it was too rigid. Yet, this is still shady. Like I said, anthropologists no longer study race. They will refer to members of a homogenious population, but that may or may not coincide with the classical race definition.

So, would you consider a person from India to be caucasian despite the fact that they might have brown skin/hair? Under the system, they are considered caucasian as they are descended from the "aryan race". Iranians are considered Aryans because of their heritage. Some Iranians that I have known, have been as white as could be and others were more tan. How do you define this nation? Is a person from India white? Are they brown? What about people of African descent who could pass for whites? I know an African-American lady who lost all her skin color due to a disease known as vitiligo. She appears white, to most people. Did her race change?

You also stated: "As for people with mixed genes, they don't belong to a certain race, they have mixed race. 1/2 asian and 1/2 caucasian wouldn't be either race"

This is another myth. There is no such thing as a pure race. What if that 1/2 asian and 1/2 caucasian persons genes express the asian features. What if that person appears asian to all who see him. Is he asian? Is he white? Is race only what you can see? I know a gal who fits this description. She is 1/2 Vietnamese and 1/2 Anglo-American. She looks stunningly Vietnamese and most other Vietnamese don't know her dad is a white American.

Secondly, where do you draw the line as far as race and the pure race myth? All humans are descendents of early humans who inhabited Africa over a million years ago. When did Europeans become white? Does it really matter? Are Italians less white than the English? Are Germans the most white one can be? What is white? How do you draw the line?

Well, evidently you do draw a line as you stated "My definition would not match redheads because they are not different enough." So I ask, is race a matter of personal perception? You percieve these differences to be too small to differentiate. Some would say, a man with bright red curly hair, pale skin, and freckles looks like a member of a different race than another white who has dark hair, dark eyes, and a nice California tan. If race is only what you can see and nitpick to death then there is no end to what race you can belong to. Scientists, biologists, anthropologists, etc. have thrown the race method in the trash because it serves them no purpose.

You used "Asian" in your previous example. Some might say oriental. Really though, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Lao all look different from eachother. Their languages, cultures, customs, religion, foods, and even writings systems are different from eachother. Which one of these groups is representative of "Asian?"

Finally, race only serves us on a superficial level. We use it only in descriptivist ways like "that black guy" or "the suspect is a tall white male." Beyond this, it serves no scientific purpose. Unfortunately, most peoples understanding of "race" is on a very superficial level. I'm not trying to point the finger at you or anything like that. I simply believe you have not been schooled on this subject. When you study human beings on a cultural, historical, biological, and genetic level, you'll understand why race is a superfical descriptor of our species. We are much more than a superficial label such as black, white, asian, homo sapiens, etc... Much much more.

[ Parent ]
You are blindly missing my position (1.00 / 2) (#178)
by Rainy on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 08:36:26 AM EST

Here are a few examples where you quote me and immediately misrepresent me:

You also stated: "As for people with mixed genes, they don't belong to a certain race, they have mixed race. 1/2 asian and 1/2 caucasian wouldn't be either race"

This is another myth.There is no such thing as a pure race.

Now, where did I say 'pure race'? How does it prove that you can't belong to a certain race? What if you're ~93% caucasian and another guy is 3% caucasian, why is it impossible to say that you belong to caucasian and he does not? This ain't math.

This is another myth. There is no such thing as a pure race. What if that 1/2 asian and 1/2 caucasian persons genes express the asian features. What if that person appears asian to all who see him. Is he asian? Is he white? Is race only what you can see? I know a gal who fits this description. She is 1/2 Vietnamese and 1/2 Anglo-American. She looks stunningly Vietnamese and most other Vietnamese don't know her dad is a white American.

When does night become day? Are skies perfectly white until 9pm when they turn perfectly black? Does science now say that there is no such thing as day and night?

You used "Asian" in your previous example. Some might say oriental. Really though, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Lao all look different from eachother. Their languages, cultures, customs, religion, foods, and even writings systems are different from eachother. Which one of these groups is representative of "Asian?"

Um, like, I'm stumped here.. You really have me in the corner.. Could it be that *all* of them are asian?? *whew*. Lucky to get out of this one.

Finally, race only serves us on a superficial level. We use it only in descriptivist ways like "that black guy" or "the suspect is a tall white male." Beyond this, it serves no scientific purpose.

Where is this arrogant position coming from, that nothing exists unless it serves a scientific purpose? Do I serve a scientific purpose? If not, I must be a fantasy, an angel, never tread my foot on this earth, hm? That's ridiculous I assure you I am quite real :-).
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

I think you are blindly missing your position. (none / 0) (#182)
by MadDreamer on Wed Mar 14, 2001 at 01:24:41 PM EST

Why are you so desperately holding on to the idea that there must be SOME meaning behind race? Why does it matter to you? Race means drawing lines between people. Why should you want to do that? What do fractions and percentages matter? 60% this 40% that... so what? Why do you so much want to split people up into categories? Why is it important to you?

And day slowly changes into night, and vice versa. People do not change. They are what they are, which makes it pretty easy to say that... wow... they are what they are. Around midnight it's very clearly NIGHT... at noon it's very clearly DAY. No big surprise there. But someone with several mixed genetic lineages isn't half this half that almost a something but not quite a something else. They're just a human, like everyone else.

Your ideas are not specifially racist, but they are not far off. Reconsider why you hold on to them with such vehemence. In my life the only reason I've found to seperate people is to treat some of them differently. Why would you want to do that?

[ Parent ]
Heh.. pot, kettle? (none / 0) (#187)
by Rainy on Fri Mar 16, 2001 at 10:54:45 AM EST

Why, it seems that I can ask the exact opposite question! Why does it matter to you so much that there *aren't* any races? As for lines between people, that's reality. We're all different. Buddhism maintains that ideally we should merge into a higher state of being where there are no such lines, but that's theory, not a proven fact. Even then it still maintains that *now* and *here*, we are different. I don't want to split people into categories because they already *ARE* split. There are races. If that has some philosophical or political significance for you, tough. You'll just have to learn to live with it.

And day slowly changes into night, and vice versa. People do not change. They are what they are, which makes it pretty easy to say that... wow... they are what they are.

This is so easy to pick to pieces it's not even funny. People *do* change! This has nothing to do with what I was talking about, of course. My analogy (which you either missed or deliberately trying to obscure) was that as one race fluidly changes into another, there is no clear dividing line, just as with day that fluidly changes into the night, and there being no clear dividing line. My original opponent was arguing that lack of a clear dividing line means that categories in discussion (races) do not exist. My point was that lack of clear dividing lines does not necessarily mean they don't exist, and as an example I put forth the change of day into the night. So, was that so hard to understand or were you just trying to throw some mud into the water?

Your ideas are not specifially racist, but they are not far off. Reconsider why you hold on to them with such vehemence. In my life the only reason I've found to seperate people is to treat some of them differently. Why would you want to do that?

Vehemence? I beg to differ. The only vehemence I showed is the vehemence of a man trying to point out that black is black and white is white (no pun intended, and I mean it). I see a post which in my opinion is incorrect, and I correct it. That's all there is to it. You on the other hand is in interesting position: why is existance of different races so scary to you? What if they do exist? What's the big deal? Or is it that *any* line is inherently evil to you, why stop at races? Will you end up saying that there are no short and tall people, fat and skinny people, tan and pale people, funny and dull people, quick and slow people, right handed and left handed? If difference to you implies that there's a line drawn, one side better and another worse, how do you deal with the world where people are distinctly different, all of them? You really have to think this through. We're all different, and that's fine.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

loser (1.00 / 2) (#185)
by rtscts on Thu Mar 15, 2001 at 12:24:22 PM EST

[note: this applies to all replies to your post as well.]

ah, so it's obviously all bullshit that asians are short, african americans (for eg.) have (on average) big dicks, etc.

OK, fine, we're all humans, but we're NOT all the same.

This is both a genetic and a regional thing.. We are all _physically_ _different_ because of where we live, who our parents are, what we eat and what we do. We are mentally different because of our culture.

You anti-racist retards make me sick. Sure, everyone deserves an equal chance, but not everyone is equal. Just fucking deal.



...
don't worry. i know exactly what i'm d@#^(!#NO CARRIER
[ Parent ]
Winnie's hat and the U.S. Customs... (none / 0) (#170)
by Pig Hogger on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 07:34:34 PM EST

My first experience with south africans was when Nelson Mandela came to a church near where I used to live; so I hung around in the crowd and when he came about, all I saw was Winnie's hat...

A few years later, I met a (white) south-african (who was contemplating the possibility of immigrating and settling in Montréal) when we happenned to go out for a day trip to the US.

We passed the border at a small border post where all american customs and immigration officers took turns at looking at my friend's passport (they obviously never seen one before). We then went to do our thing (ice diving in a Vermont lake - I'm the dark shadow left of the red splotch, my friend shivering for me when I went under the ice), and when we came back, after going through canadian customs (his passport did get some attention there, too - interestingly, in neither of the two crossing, hardly anyone paid any attention to me) we went through small Québec villages.

That's when culture shok dug in (for him): each tiny village has a strip joint. So he was astounded that such small communities would have strip joints. Then he asked where did the strippers live. I said, well, in the village...

He just couldn't believe it: "but don't they have trouble living, when everyone in the village know they're strippers"? I replied that everyone here minded their own business, that no one care if the girl next door is a stripper, it's a job like any other job.

He was speechless for a few minutes, and afterwards he never mentionned moving to Québec afterwards...


--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot

Its AMAZING (5.00 / 7) (#180)
by redwolfb14 on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 07:57:02 PM EST

It's amazing how white people and I use that term loosely, (WHITE ANGLO SAXON PROTESTANT MALES with a white "idealistic" mentality) are somehow amazed by this. Excuse my language but its going to tilt from here; This shit has been going on forever; Everytime you see a commercial by DeBeers, where the fuck do you think they get their diamonds from? Iceland? Blacks; Blacks in South Africa. Who do you think does the damned mining and work. Blacks in South Africa. HAH! Apartheid wasn't so long ago people and you seem to forget that. Instead of being amazed you should open your eyes and see whats going on in America. All we do is tolerate each other because of the law. Have you noticed that in any major High School the blacks and the white sit seperate of each other (minus a few cross overs). Blacks are good at Basketball and white men are good at business.. (this is turning into a rant; yes, and I don't care) Any goddamn black show you watch their is some comedian or some type of laughter. How come they can't show the black scientist working on the International Space Station. Do you ever fucking see him goddamnit? No.. I'm not saying this is a conspiracy or anything I just think white people in general seem to think that its good for Blacks, Indians, Latinos. The playing level is fair. That's bullshit if every time you see a black person you think of a comedian or a basketball player or a thug or a rapper or some shit.

Me? I'm a system administrator for a couple of heavily viewed websites you've probably visited. Even though you might not say or conciously think it. In the back of your mind you aren't thinking that a black 21 yr old could be running such an operation. Infact on my spare time I've been dabbling in about a little of anything (www.kernelcode.com), wireless programming etc. I'm finishing my compsci degree at New York University or Pace come the fall. I've been using Linux since 92 or so when i got my first copy of slack. Before that I ran OS/2 for a small bbs I had. Currently I have one brand new netra X running solaris 8 (btw if you've got a copy of Forte I need it <g>) a Mac 68k (Quadra 840AV - found this one of 5th ave with monitor and all) A couple of freebsd machines, linux machines etc. bleh. Back on my rant.

When I walk into a place for a job people are shocked.. Why because in the back of their minds a black guy should be fucking picking up after them. When I have to do meetings with people in the industry its as if; ok a black guy entered now where is the System Admin is he late? Fuck that attitude and fuck you. I'm angry.. very angry.. However I will continue on, I will still donate to opensource projects.. I will still code into the wee hours of the morning till I get fucking sick. I'll still treat the next guy I have to hire as a person and if he has the skillsets I'm looking for I don't give a shit if hes fucking pale white or green or brown.

I got the job I have now because my boss is cool. Yeah, he's white but he doesn't treat me like I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. Infact he's fired several people that didn't know what the fuck they were doing and claimed they did. That's equal and fair;

Next time you think the world is equal at least don't be fucking stupid enough to be shocked and embarrased. Especially in a place like South Africa. And next time please do me the favor and have the fucking balls to say something. Besides "I felt embarrassed"; this isn't a fucking novel. What the hell difference is it gonna make now. 1 person DOES make a goddamn difference. You're nothing but a Grade A goddamn coward.

end of rant.

/* Just blowing off some steam.. */
/* Thank the army 24th MI for the swearing */
Say what you want because I already have.
Racism (4.33 / 3) (#181)
by mudrat on Mon Mar 12, 2001 at 12:23:38 PM EST

This is a fairly limited experience of South Africa. The Author of this article just spent some time with a limited number of people. There are racists everywhere. If I travelled to the American South I am sure I would not be hardpressed to find a racist family. Sure, there are racists in SA. There is a lot of racism coming from both all racial groups and targeted at all racial groups. This is an understandable situation. The adults of South Africa were brought up in an opressive regeim where it was illegal to question the racist policies imposed by the government. One only has to glance through the History textbooks presented to these people at school. I quote - I hope not to offend anyone - from one such textbook, printed in 1964: 'The Kaffirs battled relentlessly for many hours before being overcome by the superior strength and courage of the white man'. No mention of the fact that the Zulu (the people mentioned) were armed with spears while the Boers had guns. The tradgedy is that books like these are still in use in many underprivelidged schools. Maybe the author should look toward spending 100 dollars on new textbooks for an underprivelidged school. I, however, am an 18 year old white male. I have spend most of my life outside the grips of apartheid (I was 12 is 94 when the first elections happened). It is my experience that people of my age group are much less racist than people of my parent's generation. The yound people of South Africa are presented with a challenge - a challenge to make good the injustaces of the past. I will close with a quotation from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africe "We, the people of South Africa, recognise the injustices of the past ... respect those who have suffered ... belive that South Africa belongs to all who live in it". I am very sorry that the author did not get a chance to see the new South Africa. I would like to challenge him to spend some time exploring our country so he can see the hope of a reborn country.

Wake up white colonials (3.00 / 2) (#183)
by turksvy on Wed Mar 14, 2001 at 05:43:09 PM EST

White colonials posting from the US, Canada, Australia etc., smell the coffee. You have an easy middle-class life and live in a country where white fe/males are in charge (and will be for another 200 years) because your ancestors SYSTEMATICALLY KILLED OFF almost all of the original inhabitants of your country, instead of just suppressing them and employing them in menial jobs as those nasty white South Africans did. I am - you guessed it - another white South African (and a patriot) and in my work 80% of senior managers are black, my member of parliament is black, the mayor of my city is black etc., as should be expected. This could be uncomfortable for white people of a (much) older generation, but do you really think that this is not the case in the US or UK? Why can Dubbya be the president of the US and not Colin Powell? Let me think... Seriously: the discussion on this topic has displayed rather high levels of intolerance which - alas! - illustrates that the Mandela spirit has plenty of magic still to do.

Not Allowed to be Colourblind | 188 comments (184 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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