African migration to U.S., now more than slavery...

Discussion in 'The Study' started by billc, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Or when I get ignored when I walk into a roti hut, or the assumption made about me because of my skin colour when I go to certain parties. I probably have the most racially diverse family on this thread. I am lily white, my wife is half-Arabic, and our adopted kids are African-American. I see racism from all sides, black women asking if my daughter is a "half breed", my kids being given a hard time in malls, me not being fully accepted at Jamaican parties cuz I dont fit in(but my wife is OK, no double standard there). People that dont know my family say all kinds of things to me that are racist, unfortunately that is the way lots of folks are.
     
  2. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    My first encounter with racism happened when I was in basic training with the Illinois Army national guard at Fort Benning Georgia in 1984. On the ride back to our barracks from a night fire firing range we were in tractor trailors, which we called cattle cars, for the ride. There were no lights on inside the cattle car so the only light came from openings near the top of the car and we were packed in so tight we all had to stand up, no sitting. All of a sudden we hear screaming coming from the middle of the car. The truck eventually pulled over to the side of the road, the Drill Segeants ordered us out of the truck. We milled around outside for about 10 minutes, the Drills ordered us back on and off we went. We found out what happened when we piled out into the common area. Three black privates had attacked and beaten a white private with their helmets, we called them "steel pots" back then, Kevlar wasn't out yet. Two of the guys were from New York, the other guy, was from New Jersey. The guy from New Jersey grabbed the white private from behind in a choke hold, and the other two guys took off their helmets and hit him in the face and head with them. It was lucky for the guy that we were packed in like sardines because the three idiots could have killed him. They couldn't get real good swings in because there just wasn't any room. In the end the three guys received Article 15s and that was the end of it. They went on to finish training and we all graduated.

    These three idiots started other fights with the other white soldiers, cut in the chow line when the Drill Sergeants weren't around during A.I.T. and did other things that indicated that they didn't "like" the white guys in our platoon. I realize that these three guys were goons, and it didn't change my attitude about people in general, but that was my first encounter with racism, at 17, having come from white suburbia, serving in a mixed race national guard unit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  3. Blade96

    Blade96 Senior Master

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    cute puppy :)

    and billi and thomas sowell.......

    get a room :p
     
  4. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Yes, billi-morons is what they were, and I could give a variety of conjectured reasons for their behavior, but it wouldn't be an excuse. Sad that the military didn't wash them out......

    Hmmmmm.....




    Until I was 8 years old, I led a fairly sheltered life, as far as racism goes. We lived in NYC-my dad was one of the parish priests at St. Augustine's Church, on the Lower East Side, and we lived on the very top, 20th floor of a very nice apartment building, in a dee-luxe apartment, in the sky-hy-hy......:lfao:. I went to Grace Church School, where I took French in kindergarten, first and second grade....when I wasn't sick at home, that is-Manhattan was fairly diverse at the time, and blacks,Puerto Ricans, Italians, Orthodox Jews, Irish and Germans all mixed down there on the lower east side, without much thought (it seems to me, now) as to their differences: my dad regularly went into the nearby kosher bakery for pastries and bread, and we were favorites of the proprietor at a kosher deli down on Delancey St. We could walk-the whole family, even with my infant sister, from our apartment to Chinatown, to 17 Mott St. for "Chinese food," and stop at Carvel on the way back......

    All that changed when I was eight: we moved to the suburbs, and my parents explained to me what that word n*i*g*g*e*r was about, and my dad started teaching my brother and me how to fight: how to box, and some of the judo and karate he'd learned in the Navy.When we got to our new home, some people welcomed us, and some really didn't, and I had to fight.....I liked it-I found out I liked it bloodying Robby Brass's mouth, on his lawn (at the school bus stop) with his dad cheering him on to "kick the little ******'s ***!" And smacking his son to the ground once he'd clearly lost. THe Brasses moved later that year....like a lot of people. I was 8 years old, and that wasn't even my first encounter with racism: we'd moved in close to the end of summer, and I'd made actual friends of nearby neighbor boys, like the kid next door, Scott O'Donnell. Scott moved away to Colorado in 6th grade; he's a lawyer in Denver, now, and we're still friends.

    My first encounter with "racism" was one of our third grade teachers, Mrs. Marantz, telling me I'd have to be a janitor when I grew up.

    Of course, she didn't know what she was dealing with: I'd been taking French since kindergarten, after all, was reading at a 6th grade level, and had probably been told that I was going to college since the day I was born, so I just laughed at her, hard. :lfao:

    Of course, she made me stand in the corner, and, the next day, after I'd gone home and told the tale to my mom, she and my dad went into school and about tore George Washington Elementary down.....

    I've dealt with things like that all my life, billi-and-until I moved to New Mexico-not a week went by when I didn't have to do an ugly kind of mental calculus, and determine whether I was dealing with a racist, or simply a moron, and what it was I was going to do about it, if anything-sometimes, of course, it's really not worth doing anything......
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  5. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Experiences like those recounted above are the sort of thing that I had in the back of my mind when I was talking about breaking the cycle of racist interaction. It is also what I had in the back of my mind when I spoke of a sense of persecution percolating down into the social fabric of the Black American community and a sense of unjustifed recrimination being felt by their White American counterparts.

    I understand, re-reading what I wrote earlier, why the impression was given that I was almost saying that Black people were imagining discrimination - that wasn't what I was trying to say. I just want to be clear that I wasn't saying that they did not encounter real racism, for I am sure that they have many examples, like Elder's, to draw on.

    What I was getting at is that despite the negative forces that shape perceptions, that cycle has to be broken somehow. Otherwise we will carry on as we are with experiences of discrimination 'educating' those people, both White and Black, with an inclination to do so, to distrust and hate each other. It is when that negative reaction becomes an automatic reflex rather than a judgement of the individual that the real socially damaging problems arise; it's that situation we have to resolve.

    It's hard to know how, tho'. For if a person encounters harmful behaviour through their formative years, then they are going to react badly to people who look like the ones who hurt them even when they are grown to adulthood. Likewise, those they react badly too are in turn not going to try to reach out a friendly hand if they receive abuse and aggression from the outset.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  6. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Your wisdom is spot-on. We have to get moving in a much better direction. The demographics of our society are changing. We can either get with it and start honoring and respecting each other without regard to who does and doesn't deserve "head-of-the-table" status, or we can become more balkanized and tribalized. The latter is a bad option.
     
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  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sukerkin, if you want a British parallel look at Northern Ireland and the divide between the Catholics and the Protestants. While the names would seem to denote a religious divide it's far more, being also a racial one due to the history of the country. Discrimination, violence, forced resettlement and slavery etc mean these two communities are divided horrendously however there are organisations and people who are seeking to reconcile people so that it becomes one community not two.
    Irish slavery. http://www.dailypaul.com/236558/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves123
     

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