And something that you seem to ignore in your quest of making it your work to think and speak about racism is the fact that the vast majority of “white people” don’t think of ourselves as “white people” in our day to day relationships with people.
So, when we think of Mozart, Einstein, Leibniz, or Twain… color of their skin is not the first thing we think about when it comes to what made these people distinguished in history.
I understand that it’s difficult for you to understand as someone who identifies with race being “life-defining”, but isn’t that the context for racism to exist in the first place? The idea that the color of one’s skin alone could be attributes to a wide variety of socio-cultural baggage that one get to lug around their neck. Wouldn’t the point of getting rid of racism be getting rid of the baggage associated with race and look at humanity as a whole - a socio-cultural variation that all of us get to inherit from, and be proud of the best and reject the worst?
Instead, this “new civil rights” context decides to do the opposite. It fixates on race. It reminds everyone that they are black or white. And it reminds everyone to identify with that, and either be proud to be black (whatever that means) and be ashamed to be white (whatever that means).
No one is asking you to snap out of it when it comes to present day racial injustice. If you show me clear examples of racist people that wronged you… I’d gladly stand with you and tell them to go back to whatever corner of rural “nowhere” they crawled out from and die in piece of their racial uniformity. But, if you are talking about structuring a culture in which you make it your job to remind me about my “white guilt”, when my ancestors likely suffered far worse fate than yours did… then sorry. You are on your own.
We all speak from our own personal experiences. Our world view grows from our experiences, coupled with what ever education we have received. In the end, we all feel our experience defines the world and speaks truth to us. No matter how much information we pour into our heads, our experience speaks louder. This is why I say, “I’m white, and I can’t help it.” This is also why some people must see the world in terms of black and white. Unless I make it my life’s objective to live in others’ shoes, other people’s experiences are defined by my own. It’s true, I’ve never lived a black person’s life. I have lived among black people in the suburbs of NY, and four years in Philadelphia, particularly; but I have lived in those places as a white person - quite true. I have black friends; taught black kids; had black class mates. Never has the blackness of any of my friends or colleagues been a problem for me. That’s my personal experience.
My point is, I can’t apologize for the entire black experience in North America when I don’t feel responsible for it. I can’t apologize for being white because that is beyond my control. I can empathize, and I can help mitigate, but I can’t help the heart of black America to stop hurting, no matter how many books I read. No matter what, I can’t live the black experience. What I can do, as a mother and grandmother, and teacher, is instil a respect for others, no matter the colour or ethnicity, or gender.
Racial problems will never be solved - not on this earth. If there is an expectation that the “remnant” are somehow immune to racism it’s because we expect that remnant to be perfect in all areas. That’s a theological problem. The fact is, the SDA population has the same social ills present, as the rest of the general population. It’s called, “the human condition”. Of course, Harry Anderson’s picture of Adam and Eve doesn’t help.
Let me put my position this way - If I were walking down a deserted street - in the dark - and saw a group of guys on the other end, walking toward me, way before I saw their faces, I would be looking for the nearest exit from that street. If the group were to be black, I would be accused of racism, regardless of anything else. Agreed?
The quest is not “making it my work to think and speak about racism.”
The quest is for justice, undertaken on the presupposition that justice is better than racism.
I suspect it was at this that @RoyMcD was driving.
Even though I can’t validate this statement, I think I believe it to be true.
However, I’m not talking about how you and other white people “think,” but how you function. White people, collectively, function as white people.
I realize that this previous statement may strike some as a meaningless redundancy. But I don’t think it is.
What I’m saying is that the people who classified themselves as white did so for a reason. That reason, apparently, was to practice white supremacy. Otherwise, why call yourself white?
Further, as is clear, white supremacy has become a raving success; to paraphrase Lt. Aldo Raine, from Inglorious Basterds, cousin, business is a-boomin’.
That’s why, to the degree that they don’t, the vast majority of “white people” don’t think of themselves as “white people” in their day-to-day relationships with people. They don’t have to, any more than, until I mentioned it, just now, you probably weren’t thinking about the fact that, as you read these words, you have taken about sixteen breaths during the last minute.
You don’t think about this, because oxygen is plentiful. As long as it’s all around you, and your lungs function well, you won’t think about it at all.
Now, if your trachea were suddenly to become clogged by a morsel of unmoving, medium rare porterhouse, you would think of nothing else but the next, sole, out-of-grasp inhalation. Every system in your body and mind would become tortured by the goal of grabbing that single breath. Whereas, seconds earlier, you’d been tossing them off at the rate of 12-20 a minute.
“Not thinking about” something is typically an aspect of its a) nonexistence, b) great rarity, or c) overabundance.
Racism is obviously not non-existent. And it is clearly not rare. So, it makes sense, to me, that white people may not think about being white, much the same way, I’d venture, fish probably do not think about being wet.
You don’t have to do so, because you have a race system to do that work for you.
You have a system of white supremacy, aka racism. Its function is to squeeze every bit of possible meaning from the whiteness of those individuals, and to keep it “on hand” for use, as necessary.
Like, right now, for example.
I don’t understand this sentence. What does it mean?
Yes; that is a somewhat crude, though, perhaps, useful description of race.
I’d say the point of getting rid of racism would be to produce justice and correctness.
Put another way, it would not only mean getting rid of said baggage. It would also mean removing the ability, of those who order we carry it, to do so.
I don’t know what “this ‘new civil rights’ context” means, or is.
What is it?
I take it as a truism that any charges made against non-white people are always better made against the white supremacy system.
So, according to you, “this ‘new civil rights’ context”:
• “…fixates on race.”
If so, it doesn’t even come close to the system of white supremacy, which both invented and outputs race, systematically, as its primary product; its raison d’être.
Claiming non-white people fixate on race is like the NFL telling a high school player that he fixates on football; literally the Vantablack pot calling the kettle black.
• “It reminds everyone that they are black or white.”
You’re saying that non-white people currently remind people that they are Black or white…more than this…
If your answer to this question is “Yes,” please kindly explain and support that response with examples.
Do you mean that it’s done this more than the race system has demanded the reverse, and has arranged economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex, and war, throughout the known universe, in order to make the same real?
I’ll respond to your kind proposal in the same spirit with which I reply to atheists who demand “irrefutable evidence” that God exists: How would you define “clear examples of racist people that wronged you”?
I’m not interested in your, or any white person’s, “white guilt.”
I don’t even care if you experience guilt, or not. Indeed, I’m most reminded of one activist’s objection that, in the fight to eliminate racism, the problem is that white people are moved so easily to guilt, but with such difficulty to shame.
More, I’m interested in non-white people finding the language, and a suite of correct thought and action, with which they can engage the race system, aka white supremacy, and eliminate it.
That’s my prime objective in this area, generally, and even the reason I poked my head in this forum a week after it started.
I mean, you offered to stand with me and tell clear examples of racist people who’d wronged me to go back to whatever corner of rural “nowhere” they crawled out from and die in piece of their racial uniformity.
O.K. Suppose the first person I bring, for your assistance, is your wife, daughter, or son?
That is, I think I understand what you mean, when you say, “I’m white, and I can’t help it," but I’m not sure.
On one hand, it sounds like you’re speaking about the biological markers of whiteness. These, obviously, cannot be helped.
But it also sounds like you’re talking about the experience of whiteness; the events that molded you into a White Person®; the process that makes the following statements likely, if one is white:
These statements blend with many of the things that @Arkdrey has said, and that @RoyMcD apparently found so infuriating.
One’s experiences shape one. But one can also choose their experiences. That’s why people, for example, travel, or go to schools in faraway states, or read books, or join clubs & organizations.
You are not responsible for all of your experiences. But you are responsible for a very significant number of them.
So, if your point is that, “Being white, I was pushed into the life experiences that make many white people into Black justice obstacles,” I’d say you, by the fact of your mind, have the choice of if you are going to remain that way, and you’ve had it before you were even an adult.
During his October 2007 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture) said this: “A good apology has three parts: ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘It was my fault,’ ‘How do I make it right?’”
Then, he added, “Most people skip that third part. That’s how you tell sincerity.”
So, even if you felt responsible for what you call “the entire black experience in North America”—a phenomenon that has far more to do with Black people and Europeans than it does Black people and African slave traders—unless you were prepared to give an apology with those contours, it probably would not be worth much.
As for your offer to “instil a respect for others, no matter the colour or ethnicity, or gender,” that is probably too vague and generic, at this point, to be of much use, either.
I actually agree with you about this, mostly for the reasons I’ve given, above, and others we’ve not discussed, writ large.
But any sin can be dismissed with this wave of the hand, including idol-making, adultery, stealing, lying, and covetousness.
Racism twists all of these sins, and others, into a teraforce. So, what should be the response to it…on this Earth?
SDAs are victims of “the human condition,” true. But racism is a sin that SDAs avoid discussing. Then, when they do discuss it, they do so badly. [Daniel Xisto, the author of the above essay, states this in various ways.] So, how are its victims and perpetrators supposed to heal?
The most interesting fact, Sirje, about this hypothetical, is:
a) why you are asking it, and
b) the way people answer this question probably divides by racial classification.
I am from Macon,Ga, grew up Adventist in Macon and am very familiar with both of the Adventist churches in Macon. If this rosy comment is regarding the Wimbush Rd SDA Church in Macon, Ga, my opinion is that this comment is clearly presented through a rose colored filter.
It is very clear that the perspective on past and present life and the state of thing is greatly influenced by the “different sides of the tracks” and which side you’re from. Just getting to the realization that people from one side or the other can see the same thing but it looks differently depending on the side of the tracks… that’s progress and civil conversations can be had.
My point is - not all action against black people happen BECAUSE of their blackness. BUT, it never fails to be presented that way.
You say - “the way people answer this question probably divides by racial classification.”
That doesn’t fly. This implies that black crime can never be confronted without an accusation of racism. Anyone in this situation would not know the race of the group of guys coming down the street; and has concerns, not because a group of black men is approaching, but because a group of men is coming down the street. A call of racism in this situation is clearly racist in itself.
The biggest “priviledge” for all of us is to grow up in a home with two parents. The biggest cause of poverty in the USA is the divided or unfortunately the single parent household who may not have had a choice in the matter.
If meaningful conversation is ever to take place we all must acknowledge our mistakes with no one getting a hall pass. As with you “white privelege” is full of flaws. There are poor and well off in every culture and it is not always determined by the color of one’s skin.
Emmitt Smith A/A former pro football was wealthy enough to look for his “roots.” He discovered his roots back in Africa then found out, to his dismay , it was blacks that had sold his family to slave traders. His perception was completely changed he states.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, no one has called this grotesque statement out. To say it as if you speak like holy writ, now there is rare privilege. But i fear there is nothing and no one who can disabuse you of your notions.
Harry, i must say that i both pity you and i respect you, for being the first fish i know who is trying to not be wet, and blaming “the other” for said dryness. Have you considered that strategy such as yours is perhaps not only not helping the dry fish get wet, but is actually draining the ocean? Even a dry fish has the privilege to be wrong, as much as a wet fish like me might sometimes be right…
C’mon in, the waters fine, and the fisher of men promised it covers all.
Not attempting to present a “rosy picture”. Just presenting facts.
That there IS a small presence of the INTEGRATION of Conferences
in the Southern Union. At least in GA-Cumberland.
Separate BUT Equal is Very Challenging when it comes to the Goal of
presenting the Gospel to the Local World.
It is true that every race consists of some who are racist. But black racism cannot be compared to white racism. To say that they are of the same magnitude is to deny the history of this country and the racism that blacks continue to experience in this country.
White Americans need to learn from Jamaicans. All races live in Jamaica peacefully. The motto in Jamaica is “Out of many, one people.”
What would be nice would be, if others would not speak of “White Americans” as if they are monolithic. There are good hearted whites and good hearted blacks. There are “challenged” blacks and whites. And, white supremacist are in a relative small percentage and are a disgrace wherever they exist.
Nations aren’t fixed, human individual hearts are called to repentance. The BIGGEST sin of humanity is the desire of autonomy from God and refusal of accepting Christ, repentance and the reception of the HS so that healing of the soul may begin. Red, and yellow, black and white!
“Out of many, one people”
The US Declaration of Independence goes further. It says–
“We hold these truths to be self evident – That ALL men
[meaning ALL Humans] are created EQUAL.”
And this in the days when the British had brought Slavery
to America. Slavery to the Islands to work on the sugar
It does not say anything about “Equal but Separate”. Just Equal.
Theologically, the cry of “identity politics" (or I’m not guilty) as obstruction to truth-telling is akin to thinking we can have the forgiveness and reconciliation of resurrection without going through the painful truth of the cross. Anthropologically, groups/societies will not be released from the embedded effects of the Scapegoat Mechanism without noting solidarity with the victims who are the product of structuring human community founded on losers and winners, on those sacrificed and those who carry out the sacrifice. The cross reveals the potential for human blindness and planted the seed that has grown into a body of Christian thought that cares for victims.
Antiracism work is a key part of healing and care for victims. Yet the necessary first step is to provide a diagnosis of the problem which is too often hastily labeled as “irrelevant to me personally” or “identity politics.” Reconciliation will not happen without truth-telling. People tend to live within their own frameworks that will be supported by their own matrix of facts.
Daniel Xisto’s article describes some facts. Some truth. Healing will not occur if the dominant culture cannot acknowledge the pain and injustices of the past and that are happening now.
Racism refers to a power inequity, not to implicit bias. We all have biases and I don’t think these will ever be eliminated. For society to live in peace, then people have to trust that justice will be done—this is true in the context of church and all levels of group function. Justice will never be perfect, of course, but having longterm peaceful coexistence will mandate that people in power attend to the function of justice and also to the image that justice is a concept for which those in power will strive.
I am a bit of a loss to “power inequity.” That is a bit of an amorphous term. You can have “equality under law” and not have “equal outcomes” of power or wealth. I would suggest we all have “power inequity” to special interest that often indeed have at times protected the most wealthy 2%.
That protected financial institutions/holding co’s. and AIG during the last financial meltdown.
I would suggest that most immigrants/people that have come to this country have sufferred some form of “power Inequity.”
Most A/A under 40 have no experiential idea of the racist acts/conditions of the years before that… and they were bad.No denial.
“All white people” were not responsible for A/A, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Irish, Italian etc. “power inequities.”
I came from a family line that worked 15 hour days at times for 4 generations to accumulate some wealth.
So, exactly where does it stop and what are the individual responsibilities to assist one’s family unit out of “power inequities” as tho’ this is something that magically appears as a gift to the majority of humans other than some who are the only ones that suffer “power inequities”?
To the degree that it never fails to be that way, this is, itself, first of all, a “side effect” of racism.
Side effects of racism are, themselves, racist. They are outputs of the racist system, much as celery juice is an output of the celery-growing system, even if it is not the primary product of it.
In other words, if you are a female, and especially a grandmother, and you are walking down a deserted street in the dark, it might make sense for you to cross the street if you saw a group of men walking toward you.
You’d want to do this, so as to avoid direct physical contact with them, and the possibility of conflict. That is true whether you are a white grandmother, or a non-white grandmother.
(It would make more sense for you to avoid walking down deserted streets in the dark, but I’ll leave this alone. I’ll also leave alone the fact that, if a group of men mean you ill, crossing the street is something they can also do when you do it.)
But the real issue though, is this: In your hypothetical, why is there, itself, a debate about whether what you did is racist?
In part, it’s because there’s a previously existing notion that, if you were walking down a deserted street, in the dark, and saw a group of guys on the other end, walking toward you, and they were Black, you’d be in trouble, because when Black guys walk in the dark, they commit criminal acts.
This is a racist idea. I’d venture that, were one to tease out the details, they’d find out that Black guys, in groups at night, commit as much crime as their white counterparts, but that Black guys are apprehended for it more often.
If true, the bigger idea, then, is, if you’re female and by yourself, avoid dark streets and groups of male strangers on them.
But in the context of racism, the bigger idea is, “Avoid groups of Black guys.”
In a racist environment, though, that idea doesn’t just have currency on night walks. It has currency when casting commercials, lending money, forming a prophetic movement, running a sports franchise, finding lost children, administering pain medication, looking for scientific expertise, picking a house or an apartment, etc. That’s why it’s a racist idea. Hypotheticals, like this one, are often created to demonstrate that it’s not.
I’ve responded to some of this in my previous reply, above.
However, I want to, specifically, address your statement, “This implies that black crime can never be confronted without an accusation of racism. … A call of racism in this situation is clearly racist in itself.”
Because I hold that racism has a sole functional form—white supremacy—I also hold that “a call of racism,” if made by a non-white person, cannot be “racist in itself.”
White supremacy requires white people; the first requirement for practicing white supremacy is that you be white.
This should be clear to anyone who merely looks at what has happened in the world, since people started using skin color to classify human beings for appropriate treatment. Those who’d argue against that conclusion, I’d urge to watch this 3-minute video, then discuss:
So, to the second part of your statement—“A call of racism in this situation is clearly racist in itself”—I’d disagree, because:
a) “Calls of racism” are usually made by victims of it—i.e., white people seem to prefer not drawing attention to racism, typically,
b) Victims of racism are always non-white, and
c) Non-white people cannot practice racism, because racism is white supremacy.
As for the first part of your statement—“This implies that black crime can never be confronted without an accusation of racism”—I’d rephrase it, this way:
Because white supremacy dominates all relations between people, it is hard to disentangle “Black crime” from it.
This fact is, actually, what undergirds the hypothetical, and what drives it.
That is, in your post, the only thing you say about my statement is the above sentence.
Now, you don’t support what you’ve said. You use the word “grotesque,” but this would be a conclusion, based on an analysis, which you do not provide.
Why do you consider my statement “grotesque”? By this, do you mean that it is not factual? If so, what is your evidence?
The rest of the post consists of your thoughts about me, as a person.
I can dismiss your thoughts about me, as a person, because ad hominem attacks are not relevant in philosophical debates. Do you know this? It doesn’t seem like you do.
But, I’ll engage what you’ve said, because it’s fun—to quote Captain America, “I can do this all day.”
Also, I believe I can better support my charge—namely, that you don’t have an argument—by doing so.
Timo, did you once say that English was not your first language? I think you did, but I’m not certain.
Perhaps you think that, by comparing my statement to 1 Timothy 6:10, I was trying to suggest that this conclusion had the imprimatur of divine wisdom. But that’s not so.
I was merely picking a verse in the Bible—one with which I expect readers will be familiar—in order to make the structure, and meaning, of my statement clearer. Mine is more of an analogical statement than a theological one.
Timo, you could do so with five minutes of lucidity and 90 seconds of typing: Just tear down any argument I’ve made in these posts with counter-examples. If I can’t return the favor, because I don’t have an answer, or one that denies the thrust of your point, you win.
Do that, instead of writing poetry, like below, and you will “disabuse me of my notions.”
You are missing the point entirely. First, this isn’t about whether a woman should be walking alone down a deserted dark street. That 's a no-brainer.
The point is, if a white person (man/woman/child) were to find themselves in that situation; and if he/she were white; and if this person crossed the street to avoid confrontation; ducked into building; or whatever - AND if it turns out that the guys were black, the assumption is made that the white person crossed the street because they were afraid of the guys BECAUSE they were black - therefore, the lone person would be called racist - EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT COLOR THE GUYS WERE.
The bigger point I’m making is that when a black person is singled out for a traffic violation, speeding, or avoided on a dark street, it is assumed by SOME that they were singled out because they are black. In the hypothetical case, the lone person in the street is assumed to be racist if the guys ended up being black. That is racist on the part of those calling the white person racist.
If there is to be a meaningful conversation about racism, then we need to agree on the definition of racism. It appears from what you and others are saying is that the only whites can be racist BECAUSE RACISM IS DIRECTLY TIED TO WHITE SUPREMACY.
The definition for racism - PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION OR ANTAGONISM directed at someone of a different race based on one’s belief that one’s own race is superior. Blacks seem to believe that all whites believe that the white race is superior NOT KNOWING IF THE WHITE PERSON THEY’RE DEALING WITH ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT.
If black people believe that all white people are racist, that makes the black people racist against the whites.