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Race

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Why do black, brown and white people view the same set of facts so differently? How does the color of someone’s skin play a role?

In the Zimmerman case, there has been accusations that George Zimmerman made some incorrect assumptions about Trayvon Martin when he saw a young black male in the neighborhood and as a result, he treated Trayvon Martin as a criminal. To answer that question and address the public’s demand for answers, the FBI sent a dozen agents to Sanford to comb through every aspect of Zimmerman’s life. After speaking to 36 people who knew Zimmerman the result was no history of racial bias could be found.

The Orlando Sentinel ran a story about the findings and I thought that issue would be put to bed. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The media largely to this day insinuates a racist white man killed an unarmed black child because he was black.

Until the George Zimmerman case, I was unaware that black people also made assumptions on people’s motives and agendas based on the color of their skin. For some black people, they just needed to know the dead teen was black and the shooter was not to assume the boy was killed because he was black. That’s the very definition of racism. I was surprised to learn some black people are extremely racist. Some see every situation as a response to the color of someone’s skin.

I first started talking about this case on facebook. In talking with black commenters I learned some have perceived code words. I was taken aback one night over being called a racist because I corrected someone about the flavor of drink Trayvon bought. I learned, for some, watermelon, was a racist word. Really? I was dumb-founded. Similar with the hoodie. I had to ask others why assumptions of someone wearing a hoodie would be made. It meant nothing to me. My sister explained that I should put myself in the shoes of a cashier at a convenience store, or a bank and someone approaches while their face is hidden by the hood. If I’m to take what some pundits said about it, it is racist for the clerk or the cashier to think the person wearing a hoodie may be trying to hide their face. I disagree, safety first. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

When an arrest didn’t come, it was because Sanford cops were racists (according to Crump and others). To help with the perfect storm, there had been race issues with that police department and the Chief of Police left as a result. The new police chief had only been on the job 10 months when the shooting occurred.

Mr. O’Mara wrote a post on the legal case website on October 10, 2012 about race and how it should not be factored in this case because there was no evidence of it. He thinks it does apply in other cases but he knows the facts of this case and says it doesn’t belong. Well, I challenge that assertion. Perhaps if all cases were racism is alleged, there was given as much sunlight as this case got, we’d find our assumptions were wrong there too.

I recall a tweet from Shawn Vincent, O’Mara’s spokesperson, asking where all the outrage was when a black defendant gets railroaded in the courtroom.  From his perspective, he’s seen plenty of it I suppose.  I think George Zimmerman has an opportunity to help all defendants by going after that sanctions motion and revealing what prosecutors do to defendants, of all color.

Race just wouldn’t go away. The prosecutors didn’t argue race because the facts didn’t support it. Lisa Bloom thinks because they didn’t argue it, they made a mistake to convict George. If there is no evidence of it, how can one argue it? Yet they do, over and over and over.

After the verdict, there were marches. I recall reading of a 10 year old black boy telling a reporter in Miami, at the march Tracy Martin was at that his mother told him white people will judge him on the basis of his skin color. He didn’t know white people could be so mean. Wow! just Wow!!

One could argue, it was teaching like this that prompted Trayvon Martin not to go home that night. For reasons we won’t ever know, he had a chance to go home and he chose not to. Rachel, in her testimony, said she had to encourage him over and over to just go home. But he wouldn’t. Did Tracy and Sybrina teach him what they are teaching other black boys? If someone looks at you suspiciously, it’s because of your skin color. Don’t take that son. Deal.

I shared on yesterday’s thread your President and me had the same experience as a teen. Both of us were followed through the store. I recall getting mad about it and leaving the store. Mr. Obama insinuates the reason he was followed was because a white person saw his black skin and decided to keep an eye on him. How does Mr. Obama know that to be true? The fact is he doesn’t. I’m white and it never occurred to me I was being followed because of my skin color. But for a large number of blacks, they are told very young that any assumption made about them has to deal with skin color as top reason.

The media didn’t initially pick up this story. It’s not automatic that a black and white case garners national attention. Mr. Crump and the PR firm was needed. Mr. Crump knew of the grievances some on the black community harbour.  He knew what code words were even if I didn’t.  He got the community angry by spreading lies.  The first one was that the racist cops didn’t care about the black boy to even attempt to identify him.  His firm went on national television a month after the shooting telling the public Trayvon laid in the morgue unidentified for 3 days.  Mr. Crump knew the cops had identified Trayvon on Feb. 27th but he needed to anger the black community to sign petitions and get their butts off the couch.

Mr. Crump didn’t do this to help the black community.  He did it for greed.  Large settlements is how he makes a living.

President Obama angered many of you with his initiative to throw money at the problem of young black males. Turns out, he angered Toure of MSNBC as well. Toure chastised the President for talking about personal responsibility when he sees the problem as structural racism. I think Toure’s message is a sad one and looks to take the power away from people of color. I found the President’s comments on personal responsibiity much more empowering for the youth.

Why do we look at the same facts and see things so differently?

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93 thoughts on “Race

  1. As long as notion such as “schools to prison pipeline” are left unchallenged there will always be massive disagreement, the fair statement is the “street to prison pipeline”. Toure is one of the most dishonest and disrespectful pundits paid to spout nonsense.

  2. “I shared on yesterday’s thread your President and me had the same experience as a teen. Both of us were followed through the store. I recall getting mad about it and leaving the store.”

    I’ve had similar experiences when I was younger.

    I once caught a clerk in a Radio Shack watching me out of the corner of his eye to see if I was going to steal something. He didn’t follow me around (small store), but he sure thought I was up to no good.

    I had another clerk in another store virtually ask me to leave the store. He didn’t want to deal with my presence because he didn’t think I could afford anything and might shoplift.

    I’ve put my hands on my steering wheel (visible) when I’ve been pulled over for speeding. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Cops don’t like people’s hands being hidden. Understandable since the person of interest (me) might have a gun.

    I have many more examples from my life where I’ve been judged and false assumptions made about me and my intentions. I never assaulted anyone that did that.

  3. http://www.re-newsit.com/2013/12/professor-charles-ogletree-and-sybrina.html

    Months after the acquittal SF and Crump gave a lecture at Harvard Law School, neither one corrected Obama mentor law professor Ogletree as he starts off the priming of students outrage by repeating the lie that cops did not identify TM for three days.

    I wrote a complaint to the law school when I saw this video some months ago. I am sure we will continue to hear this lie and many more.

  4. Your lead essay is excellent, Annette. You brought up some really good points.

    I think the main reason so many thought the shooting was race motivated is because the media described it that way. Too many people responded to it emotionally and that became the reality as far as how they felt. Then when the FBI reported he wasn’t racist, the media didn’t promote that. Instead, they gave audience to Sharpton, Jackson, and Crump.

    When I first heard the reports, I visualized a racist white man on neighborhood watch in an extremely wealthy and exclusive neighborhood seeing a black kid walking along the sidewalk at a normal pace and thinking that he didn’t belong in that neighborhood because he was black. That’s how the media portrayed it. At first, I thought this neighborhood watch man followed the kid and just shot him in the back. That the picture the media painted. I started questioning that picture as soon as I learned he’d called 911, but most people didn’t. I think a lot of people kept that image in their minds. One of my daughters did. When I expressed joy that he was not guilty, she expressed disappointment and said she remembered when she first heard that reported. She believed the media. I didn’t.

    You gave us a lot to talk about. I’d like to say something about the fact that GZ is half hispanic. Some may have wondered why that discovery didn’t immediately change everything. From my experience teaching in one school that is predominantly hispanic, one that is an equal mix, and one that is almost all black, I learned that black kids and hispanic kids don’t always get along. There’s sometimes racial tension between them. It’s not so talked about.

    The school I worked at until 2011 is nearly all black. I did not see much of that attitude of blaming race on everything. Most of the students did not do that. There were a few who did, but they were the minority and they usually had other problems such as a bad home. They weren’t the kids on the student council, the National Honor Society, one of the athletic teams. They weren’t the kids who were considered school leaders. Since most of the students were black, nearly the entire student council was black and nearly all the cheerleaders were black. The kids who blamed race on everything were kids who were not successful. I think it might be easier to blame something like race on personal failure than admit they just didn’t work hard enough or that others did better than they did. Focusing on race and expressing anger about it with their friends also seemed like a good way to feel a sense of leadership or camaraderie among others expressing that rage. They couldn’t get that by being a real leader but they could get a false sense of it through mutual rage.

    Most of the young men at that school would wear their pants sagging and they sometimes looked very disrespectful, but most were actually very respectful and sweet. Nearly every day I went to work, a young man would open the door for me. Sometimes they would have to hold their pants up with the other hand, but they’d hold the door for a teacher.

    I think the media and the race baiters is creating something that would not happen without them. Unless the school I worked at is very unusual, I just don’t think there’s enough blacks that blame everything on race.

  5. H/T to one of our contributors who emailed me this article told from the liberal side of the political spectrum.

    This give some perspective of things white people may not think about. For example, whenever a white person commits a crime in the area, all white people don’t come under scrutiny as happens when black people commit crimes.

    http://prospect.org/article/infinite-circle-black-responsibility

    I often wondered why there was not outrage at Emmanuel Burgess, the black youth, who was stealing in the neighborhood for putting others who looked like him on the watch list.

    • One thing that has always bothered me about Muslims is that every time they commit terrorist acts, including here in the U.S., their leaders come out to scold US, to lecture us that this is not what Islam is. But we never hear them speaking out to themselves, we never see them “policing” their mosques (all the terrorists are very religious) and identifying, observing, and potentially reporting problem people. Also, my understanding is that there are mosques in which the imams preach very radical hatred stuff. Where is the larger Muslim community in shaming this stuff out of existence? We don’t see an ongoing, obvious distancing from people who could be likewise harboring terrorist ideas – we can TELL ourselves that certainly they don’t all support the bad ones – but we can’t SEE what’s inside their hearts because they aren’t showing any ongoing, public work against future events. They’re the ones who are in the best position to identify these types before they go bad – but I’ve never seen evidence of them doing anything about it. So you’re always left with some suspicion in your head.

      • These issues with the Muslim community are similar to what I see in the black community. The FACT is that crime, especially violent crime, is commited disproportunately by blacks. It’s a FACT. The focus, IMO, should not be on people’s nervousness around black strangers – it should be on the bad behavior – acknowledging it and doing something about it. Focusing on how the nervousness makes good black people feel bad is a distraction I feel. If they don’t like strangers being nervous around them, then make a concerted, systematic effort to shame that bad behavior. Again, as with Muslims, they are in the best position to deal with this – plenty of the “bad people” must be their relatives, children of coworkers, friends, etc. But instead, they “band together” because there’s some rule about not getting other black people in trouble in some way, or because they think those black people are “just keeping it real”, even “being a genuine black”, etc.

        But there are facts in this world. And you won’t get a job if your pants are around your knees, or you have tattoos all over your body, or you can’t properly speak your own language, or you dropped out of school, etc. Stating facts like this often get the race card pulled – but they’re pulling it to their own detriment. When I grew up, we were always told that we were “representatives” and our behavior would reflect on others – so be good – whether it was 4-H, sports teams, other interscholastic events, etc. Where are the black people teaching/shaming these black kids so that they can grow up to be successful and not reflect poorly on other blacks? Nowhere. So, to the writer of the sad black feelings I say – focus on those who are poorly representing you. THAT is the bad behavior, not the nervousness of other people.

        • I think basically what I’m feeling lately is that we have gone too far, we are now all about policing people’s thoughts. People should be allowed to think what they want. It’s behavior that can be bad, because it can hurt others. It’s the behaviors that need to be policed. Policing people’s thoughts – or in this instance “nervousness” – only makes it more likely more bad BEHAVIOR will happen, because the focus is in the wrong place.

          • I agree about the thought police. I think it’s a dangerous situation to have a black grievance industry stirring up hatred to whites who are afraid.

            • There is a great deal of difference between thinking and acting out of instinct. The two races are not the same. Blacks do some things better than whites and vice versa. We are engineered differently genetically. That is most obvious, of course. in physical characteristics. Can anyone honestly say that race makes no difference in everything they do?

              Those folks who claims to be color blind or do not notice color is lying unless they are actually 100 percent blind.

              Discrimination is a gift from God and I thank Him for the freedom to choose the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and those with whom I want be friends or even associate with. Try as we may, we cannot successfully legislate discrimination or morality. We are all witnesses to that.

              IMO, one of our major factors in this racial “controversy” is honesty and lack of it. We should not be ashamed to be honest. I should not have to try to hide what I think and feel from the thought police. Attempting to be PC in what we think and ultimately say is the source of a lot of our angry words when, in actuality, we mean no harm. If a black person delivers a speech, both races will have different perspectives about what was said and meant. If a white person delivers the identical speech, the same thing will happen.

              I can never accurately look through the same prism as a black person and vice versa.

              I think God knew exactly what HE was doing when he created us differently. Otherwise, we would not be having this conversation.

        • YOU SAID: “Stating facts like this often get the race card pulled.”

          Again, we are afraid to be honest.

        • Muslims would be killed if they did what you suggested. My sister in law is married to a Muslim. They stay quiet and mind their own business when it comes to that. I think he’s more atheist now than Muslim, but he would never say he is no longer Muslim and he would never speak out against other Muslims. It’s not safe.

    • Oh, I wanted to add, I don’t think it’s accurate for that writer to say that ALL black people become suspects when a black has committed a crime. I think she’s doing the usual, equating “profiling” with race. True profiling looks at behavior and associations, which are sometimes discerned by appearance (clothing style and condition, hair, etc).

      Why are “ALL” white people NOT a suspect when a white commits a crime? Well, a white man in a suit and a tie might steal from your investments, but he’s not likely to rob your home or assault you. A clean cut white boy with a big smile and friendly attitude isn’t likely to do it either. The white man who assaults you or robs you is more likely to look differently – obviously there is no exact description, but the “suspects” are most likely going to look a certain way, and not other ways.

      In the same way, I don’t believe ALL blacks become suspects in people’s minds. But a problem for them is that their popular culture emulates convicts. The refusal to smile, wanting to look tough, the nasty attitude, the clothes falling off, etc. I don’t feel comfortable around WHITE boys who do that – they might be good kids, I’m not going to trust anyone who wants to emulate convicts. So I don’t agree ALL blacks are suspects – just as with whites, people observe the choices of others, as seen in the choice of appearance – and someone who chooses to LOOK like a criminal just might be one. I don’t think the black men in suits or the black women who are pleasant are likely suspects when a black criminal is on the loose.

      • I’m not afraid of black teens with their pants falling off of them. It’s a style that’s popular among black teens. As I said earlier, I’ve had black teens hold the door open for me with one hand while holding their pants up with the other hand.

        I agree with you about attitude that is reflected in body language, facial expression, and attitude. A group of black teens with attitude can frighten people, especially with the knock out game being popular.

        • But you knew those kids, right? At the very least, you saw them at school, and they were a student and you were a teacher. I’m guessing if you saw a group of them on the street, on the weekend, far from school, and they weren’t people from your school, you might be more cautious….?

          • It was a big school, so I didn’t know most of the young men who opened the door for me when I went to work. If I had been at a school where most of the kids weren’t really mean, I would have been frightened even knowing they were students at the school. In fact, at other schools, I have been frightened. I’ve had my life threatened by students. I always felt my other students would protect me if they really tried something, but I kept the classroom door locked, anyway.

            What I’m saying about the sagging pants is that it’s just a style. It’s an ugly style, but very good kids do it because their friends do.

            There were a lot home burglaries around the school, especially during the lunch periods. I live in that neighborhood. Our house has never been broken into, but our neighbors have. One neighbor saw a burglary about to happen and called the police. They stopped it. One of the teens was on the football team and all set to get a nice scholarship. One of my own students was arrested in the classroom for home burglaries. He was in someone else’s class at the time. The police came in and put cuffs on him. He was gone for a week and then came back. He told me he didn’t do it. He was as sweet as could be. He loved his teachers and he was good to his friends. I hope he didn’t do it, but one thing I learned is that otherwise good kids were breaking into homes.

            Not all the kids at the school were nice. The one who shot our neighbor’s little dog in the face wasn’t so nice. Most neighbors guessed that might have been a gang initiation.

            I’m rambling. Guess I went on a trip down memory lane. I miss the kids. Things aren’t always cut and dry. I think that’s what we’re seeing with Trayvon. Some people saw the sweet side of him. From what I’ve read, I doubt if his teachers saw that side of him the last couple of years, but he probably had a good side. Some of my students were in gangs, got into fights, and did dangerous things. Yet they could look me in the eyes and give me a sweet smile and seem like such lovable children. Then it was hard to see them as gang bangers.

    • “This give some perspective of things white people may not think about. For example, whenever a white person commits a crime in the area, all white people don’t come under scrutiny as happens when black people commit crimes.”

      +1 to infinity.

      Yes, when an individual black does something atrocious, we know we become collectively responsible and will be stereotyped because of it. When some heinous crime has been reported on the news, you have no idea of how many blacks are praying, “please don’t let it be someone black.”

      When a white commits crimes or whatever, it is just attributed to that white individual and not an indictment on the entire white race. And instead of being labeled a thug, the atrocious crimes of white person is almost always attributed to mental illness, i.e. Adam Lanza.

      The discussion of race is not going to be comfortable discussion no matter which side of the color line one is on but I know from my experience that we do seemed to be stereotyped based on the act of an individual. Because a few African-American men committ crimes, we now have a word “thug” to stereotype some of the men who have done nothing wrong because they may have some of attributes of the person (s) who does engage in thuggish behavior.

      • Thug is a term celebrated in hiphop describing black gangster culture, that usage is far more responsible for current usage than any white person “stereotyping” black youth.

        i.e. one of my neighbors whose posted business card reads Thugcanic with contact info, he sells drugs and guns with a car repair business as cover.

        • “Thug is a term celebrated in hiphop describing black gangster culture, that usage is far more responsible for current usage than any white person “stereotyping” black youth. ”

          I am aware that the thug life is glorified by (some) blacks and that we have to own up to the negative images we collectively put out there. With that being said, there is a trend now of stereotyping most black men as thug, simply because of the music they listen to, or wearing baggy pants, etc. Just because some of the attributes may fit does not make everyone black a thug just like every white person is not a mass murderer because of the Adam Lanza’s.

          Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks was called a thug endlessly on other blogs and I thought, so what makes him a thug? He is not engaging in any deviant behaviors that I would classify as thuggish I means, he graduated from an Ivy League School, plays in the NFL so what makes him a thug?

          Also couldn’t Micheal Dunn’s actions be considered thuggish? If we are talking just about the behaviors, then I would consider his actions thuggish.

          I think we are all smart enough to know the word “thug” is code now as Richard Sherman himself said.

          • There that code again. I’ve used the word thug to describe my nephew’s behavior at times.

            Words and their meanings are different for each of us. I think it’s important to get the speaker’s definition before deciding what it meant.

            For someone who thinks it’s code for a racial slur tells me that what I intended when I described my nephew’s behavior is dead wrong.

            I don’t think of skin color when I think of the word thug. I think of bad behavior describes a thug.

          • I don’t agree. Sherman is an expert at PR, he took that opportunity and kept himself in the media for days, it paid off. Sherman chose a style of communication in that particular post game rant that had a thug attitude, that does not make him a thug, plenty of NFL players, black and white behave in thug style, we have heard the stories of shootings at parties,etc. The term thug has a long history and roots in every ethic background and refers to behavior not race.

          • Michael Dunn was probably impaired from alcohol, he is hardly the first person with a gun to over react and shoot. That does not make his behavior thuggish.

            Was John Smith a thug when he overreacted from fear and shot a white teen in the face? No, he should have called the cops and left the gun in the garage rather than kill a kid.

            • “Michael Dunn was probably impaired from alcohol, he is hardly the first person with a gun to over react and shoot. ”

              Cassandra, I get what you are saying and I think we are both saying the same thing in our own way. I just really want to know what is a thug, and who meets the criteria for being one and if we are going to use it for people who engage in criminal behavior than it should be a label we use for all people who engage in criminal behavior and I don’t see that being done.

              • I am 68, I think. When I was in school, thugs described anyone who did not get along with others and especially the trouble makers. They were ALL white but they did not fit in.

                Later in life, I thought of thugs as “Al Capone” types and chances are that is the root of the current usage of that term.

                Who first used that term to describe black teenagers that were out of control? IDK but I notice they often use it among themselves even in their music. Can a white teenager be properly described by another black teenager thug as a thug, too? What are thug qualifications ? Are they different than gangsta?

                Don’t mean to ramble but this can be terribly confusing. Read what Annette says about it. Does this mean she has lived a white, sheltered, privileged life?

              • Thanks Angel, Oh I think thug is used across races, where I live in the SF bay there are Asian thugs in the south bay coming out of worn torn countries as immigrants with some males joining violent gangs, in the SF mission the thugs are Hispanic, MS13 gangs prey on illegal immigrants in an extortion rackets, they are thugs.

                check out the different ethnic background on the list of gang graffiti.
                http://sfbayareagraffiti.blogspot.com/2009/04/list-of-gangs-and-abbreviations.html

                  • Totally and that is just San Jose gangs. Check out the comments. Notice only a couple of the gangs listed in the south bay are black, Crips. The majority are Latino and Asian. Asian gangs commit some of the most brutal home invasion attacks. America is a violent culture, I think people should focus on the problem of violence and try to cool down on racial justice for a while, civil rights has become an industry and is often blind to the real injustices.

                    here is a list of Oakland street gangs, see more black gangs
                    http://www.streetgangs.com/cities/oakland#sthash.XZ1pk99s.dpbs

                    • cassandra

                      Please tell me again how you came about living there and why you won’t leave?

                    • Originally we were associated with UCB, one of the world’s top university, employment and family keep up here. My son is a scientist at UCB.
                      Berkeley’s crime problem is minor compared to Oakland, and San Jose is considered one of the nation’s safest big cities, but that does not mean that gangs are not a problem.

                    • cassandra

                      I am guessing that, in spite of all of the negative things you say, life is still more enjoyable to you there than any where else. Do you carry a gun or keep them in your home?

          • I have never thought of thugs as being only black. I have used and have heard it used to describe people of any race who participate in street crime. I think of them as the violent criminals who prey on people just out walking down the street to a restaurant, etc.

  6. Interesting perspective in this letter to the editor about race

    Although some maintain there is a war on black youth, there also is a perception that blacks, and young blacks in particular, are prone to committing criminal acts. The U.S. Department of Justice website backs up this perception. Figures from 2008 to 2012 show that blacks under age 18 comprised 52.8 percent of all violent crime arrests, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population.

    If our perception of black youth is going to change, their lawless behavior needs to change as well.

    I’ll continue to exercise my Second Amendment rights, as well as accept responsibility for my actions, while ensuring to the best of my ability that I retain my right to self-defense, whether it offends those who may disagree or not.

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20140301/OPINION/140228011/Letter-Black-youth-must-change-behavior-alter-perception

    The comments on the article are going on right now and some great points about race are made. Check it out.

    • I read an article about that percentage once, although they narrowed it down to the percentage of the young black male population is (instead of the whole black population) – I think it said 3 percent of the US population is young black males – so .03 are primarily causing over 50% of the crime.

    • From the article:

      Figures from 2008 to 2012 show that blacks under age 18 comprised 52.8 percent of all violent crime arrests, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
      =============================
      “If our perception of black youth is going to change, their lawless behavior needs to change as well.”
      =============================
      All of the government programs in the world will never change their behavior for the better. The government is not a parent. More than anyone else, it is really parents who should be able to raise up their children to behave within acceptable limits of our society.

      There is a legitimate argument to be made that government programs actually DO change their behavior and that is why they CONTINUE to behave badly. How many years have passed since these racially biased programs (targeted specifically for them) began? How much did we spend on those programs?

      What have been the societal costs? The simple answer is our return TODAY on that investment.

      So it’s not the behavior of black boys that needs to change. It is their parents.

      Who or what can change the behavior of parents? If what I am saying sounds too simple, it is what it is. We are making a simple issue entirely too complex.

      Black parents do not need any more money than poor white parents to rear children to be respectful. RESPECT is the key word here and lack of it is actually the root of almost all the issues.
      ==================================
      I am guessing this thread is about black/white races and not all of the others.

      • Jordan, I agree that parents have to change. I’ve long felt that affirmative action is constructed wrong. I think energy needs to be focused on the family, and nip stuff in the bud in kids before it becomes part of their identity, as well as put good ideas (hope) in their heads before it does NOT become part of their identity.

        I don’t agree with letting people into college, graduate school, law school, medical school if they are not qualified. I also don’t agree with the extra points being allowed to let them graduate from those institutions. I also don’t agree with colleges admitting students and then offering remedial classes – if they need remedial work, for one thing they shouldn’t have been passed out of high school, for another, let those classes be offered somewhere else in the community. You should only be in college is you are at a college level. That’s my feeling on it. Besides, many jobs of the future will NOT be college based – maybe we need to bring vocational high schools back. And this is about any race.

        So, I believe strongly that “assistance” should be offered early, and then you sink or swim. If you can’t earn a college admission, find a different training/career track. What’s wrong with working with your hands? Those practitioners’ skills used to be valued, but somehow someone decided everyone should go to college, even people who can’t read or write their own language, or do simple math (and I’m not equating people who work with their hands as people who can’t make it in college – a lot can, but might prefer physical work, while some can’t, and maybe they just need to find a non-intellectual type of job).

        I’m just freaked at how dumbed down education is becoming. I read an article that some places are outlawing homework, because some people don’t have parents who can help them, and they’re at a disadvantage. So the answer is apparently to hold everyone back.

  7. A lot depends on the location. Young black males in an upper middle class community in California will naturally have different attitudes than young black males in a poor section of Florida.

    Once my husband was at a convention in New Orleans. A man from California pulled a co-worker from New Orleans aside and asked, “What is wrong with your black people?” The blacks they were passing on the street in N O weren’t anything like what the California man was use to.

  8. Nettles, I know you don’t have time to write blog posts all the time, but I just wanted you to know that it’s nice when you do – they’re always good 🙂

  9. When Nettles said the other day she wanted to have a “race post”, one idea came to my head.

    I’ve seen tv shows and read articles about blacks (and definitely some whites, too) criticizing conservative blacks. Calling them Uncle Toms, saying they aren’t “real blacks”, etc. I even saw one black guy criticizing the black Supreme Court justice because he has a white wife.

    I’ve become an independent. I no longer think either side is “right” – I think both sides have PART of the answers. For example, we need a safety net – but it should be primarily for the old and disabled. We need an America which is work-ethic focused again, and not the dependency state we’re becoming. The politicians’ first obligation should have been to enable businesses to create a better economy. There are huge numbers of people in the safety net right now who are able bodied – some of it is the economy – but some of it is NOT – some of it is a change in American values.

    Anyway – I don’t think it’s “un-black” for someone to be a conservative. It’s a different view of how to handle problems. One of those views is that people should work hard and try to get ahead – because that is HOW people can get ahead. You’re not going to succeed in life on welfare, especially if you’re popping out babies you can’t afford. This is a reality that is true for ANYone, but if you were to remind a black person of that, it would be called “racist”. Those people who would call it “racist” are only keeping black people down. But even blacks who mention this reality of how to get ahead are criticized – and their very blackness is called into question. It’s just ridiculous.

    • What I think should happen is that people from all over should start standing down the race card – and more importantly, I think we need to reframe (more accurately frame) the issues.

      Blacks are very able to succeed in life if they want to – society has changed, and there are all kinds of laws and programs, and they even get an automatic advantage in a lot of things. But race baiters and those who listen to them want to believe it’s 1950 – or even longer ago. The race baiters need to do it to make money, the listeners – I don’t know, maybe they need an excuse for their lives. But I think they need to be loudly countered by the truthful accusations that they’re stuck in the past (and for self-interest). They’re upset a black Supreme Court justice has a white wife? Well, get with the times, there are tons of mixed race marriages. Spike Lee is upset whites are moving into his neighborhood? Get with the times, everyone else has to be diverse. Upset that there are black conservatives – get with the times, blacks have freedom and can make choices!

      I just really think it needs to be reframed as these agitators being stuck in the past – because they are.

  10. What Exactly Is a Toure?
    By: davenj1 (Diary) | May 7th, 2013 at 02:44 AM | 10

    RESIZE: AAA
    I awoke from my slumber or ignorance or avoidance of MSNBC a little while ago and started watching “The Cycle.” If any reader here wants a good laugh, then I wholeheartedly suggest you watch this mindless liberal drivel that is supposed to pass for political discourse. There are four panelists, one of whom is a woman named Krystal Ball. According to her biography, she is a consultant within the Democratic Party in Virginia. I know in 2010 she ran for a House seat and lost. During that campaign, pictures surfaced of her wearing a dildo on her head at a party which would seem appropriate since the inflection in her voice sounds as if she is a retired porn star. In a sad attempt to even out the panel, they have somewhat conservative columnist S.E. Cupp along with some other white guy that they seem to rotate in and out depending upon availability. No matter who it is, their collective intelligence quotient falls somewhere below 90 anyway. But, the one panelist who caught my eye is this thing called Toure. Not knowing what a Toure was, I decided to look him up and read about his claim to fame besides being a co-host on “The Cycle.”

    Supposedly, he is the heir apparent to Al “Where Did My Weight Go?” Sharpton and Jesse “Rhymin’ Simon” Jackson as the new voice of black America. He made it to MSNBC by way of “Rolling Stone” magazine and, I understand, some other publications like “Essense” and on ESPN. He was also on MTV for a bit which is why he is also apparently MSNBC’s resident expert on all things cultural. I am not sure whether he was on MTV when they actually played music Incidentally (as an aside), has anyone seen music on MTV lately other than the obligatory hip-hop or rap artist?

    It appears that Toure, or Toure Neblett, was born and raised in an integrated neighborhood outside Boston and that his family must have been well off since they could afford a private education for this poor downtrodden modern black man being kept down by the man. In fact, it wasn’t just any private education but one at the prestigious Milton Academy which has produced Governors and Nobel laureates. It costs about $37,500 a year to send your kid to this school. Thus, to start off, Toure is not your average run of the mill African-American. He then attended Emory University in Georgia, an almost all white school also, like Milton Academy. There, one is not sure of his major but we do know that after reading the autobiography of Malcolm X, he changed his major to African-American Studies, one of those majors that really prepares you for future employment at MSNBC and, well…MSNBC. While there, there are stories that he got along quite well with his white dorm mates- so well that he insisted that he was French, not really a privileged black kid from the Boston suburbs. He founded a black nationalist newspaper- “Fire This Time (real revolutionary). This publication was known for three things: anti-Semitism, black supremacy (a/k/a reverse racism) and conspiracy theories a la “the man is keeping us down by putting crack in our neighborhoods.” One of his heroes was Frances Cress Welsing, best known for her black supremacist theory known as “the melanin theory.” Then while at Emory, he used a hoaxed hate crime allegation in order to extract some demands from the university. Luckily for Emory, Toure then dropped out and took up an internship at the increasingly inconsequential magazine, “Rolling Stone.” There, he became a music journalist until he was let go only to be rehired later.

    Somewhere along the line, Toure became a de facto spokesman for all things cultural and all things black. And boy, is he an exclusively black spokesman. In fact, he is so black that he sees race in everything and by everything, I mean everything. It is quite possible that he even takes offense to the blackberry tree especially since the berry may appear purple to many. I believe, besides his 9/11 truther beliefs which are well-documented, that it would be wise to now recount some of Toure’s greatest insights into blackness and American culture. And this list is by no means exhaustive of the stupidity of Toure.

    In September 2011, as the US remembered the tenth anniversary of a terrorist attack, Toure decried these trips down memory lane and said they were indicative of an anti-Islam mindset in the country. Let us not forget his great ability to take advantage of the Trayvonn Martin incident and his demonization of George Zimmerman. Somewhere along the line, he came to view Skittles as a demon also. The theory went that poor Trayvonn was just passing through the neighborhood after getting some Skittles and a Coke. Sales of Skittles increased after this event. To Toure, therefore, the makers of Skittles were making a profit off the death of an “innocent black kid” and, by extension, they too were racist. Having settled that mystery, there were bigger fish to fry since his hero, Barack Obama, was running for reelection against Mitt Romney. Toure accused Romney of “niggerizing” the campaign and suggesting that Romney wanted to get booed while addressing the NAACP in order to drum up support and sympathy from the white, racist Republicans. Not to be outdone, he then characterized Herman Cain as a “minstrel.” He claimed that if you put a bunch of white conservatives together in the same room, the only result is some alternate reality. Oh…it is also racist to interrupt Obama during a press conference to ask a question. Of course, it goes without saying that Toure is constantly on the lookout for racial code words from whites, conservatives, and Republicans.

    In other areas, he claims that if black kids were killed in Newtown, Connecticut that it would be somewhat less of a tragedy and we would not be talking about guns at all. Voting laws, of course, are racist as is Dr. Ben Carson because he is a black man who does not talk or act like the black man that Toure has in his mind. He was even thankful for abortions since apparently one of his former flames had become pregnant and had an abortion with his blessing. His point is that without abortion as an option of convenience, then Toure’s career would have likely taken another path and God forbid, he may never have had the chance to be on MSNBC. He also claims that the demise of disco in the 1970s and early 1980s was both homophobic and racist and he could not understand why white Americans at the time had grown tired of the endless coverage of the death of Michael Jackson. To Toure, this had to have been racially motivated since Jackson was a sort of white/sort of black artist. And to let Toure in on a secret, disco died because it sucked.

    Toure represents the worst kind of liberal in two respects. First, he upholds a liberal ideology of the most extreme kind and one that in no way can be gleaned from his past. He was not the object of racial or ethnic discrimination and, in fact, seems to have enjoyed a rather easy go of it. There were no food stamps growing up, no “humble beginnings”, no one-room school houses, etc. He went to a private school that cost $35 thousand a year and churned out Nobel laureates and Governors…and unfortunately, a Toure. He went to an well-respected university where, truth be told, his private education did not translate into collegiate success. Hence, other than reading a book about the life of Malcolm X, one has to question where his liberal ideology comes from. It must have been one hell of a book!

    Secondly, he sees race in everything. This is a person, who like a certain president we all know, wrote a book on what it is like to be black at a relatively young age before they have clearly enjoyed or suffered all life has to offer. Granted, Obama actually graduated college before the University of Chicago offered him his ghost job as constitutional law professor as a means to write his book whereas Toure dropped out of college to become an intern and then occasional writer for “Rolling Stone.”

    Blacks may have suffered discrimination, prejudice and racism of the most extreme kind and many ma possibility suffer the same, but certainly not Toure. Perhaps the best characterization of Toure comes from a black man himself. Bryce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and is known for his sometimes racial incendiary remarks and views. He had a well-publicized running feud with Bill O’Reilly at Fox at one time. But, Watkins had this to say about Toure: “Toure of MSNBC is the man who has every intelligent blak person wondering why he’s on TV, myself included. There are no credetials in his background which lead you to believe that he should be defining the direction of national thought on serious political issues.” In short, “shut up and go back to Boston.” Thankfully, no one of any intelligence really watches MSNBC.

    http://www.redstate.com/diary/davenj1/2013/05/07/what-exactly-is-a-toure/

  11. Why do we look at the same facts and see things so differently?

    actually Annette I think the answer is in your question, when it comes to racial and identity politics I do not think people look at the same facts, I think they write narrative to fit their ideology.

    • re – “writing a narrative to fit an ideology”

      This is not a one-glove-fits-all-issue.

      The answer applies in varying degrees from no effect to 100% effect as to the effect of ones experience in framing ones approach to the same set of facts.

      Some individuals from varied racial backgrounds can draw the same logical conclusion from the same set of facts.

      Others will not. Still others, cannot.

      Individuals from the same background can and will draw different conclusions from the same set of facts.

      Our personal assessment of a set of facts is formulated on our personal makeup, which itself is based on our genetic characteristics, the socio-economic environment in which we were raised, the values that were instilled in us by our parents, and our personal experiences.

      The influence of these factors on an individual are not evenly distributed. One factor, such as experience, may overwhelm the other components of our being.

      So when we come to draw a conclusion from the same set of facts, we come in with a pre-dispositive way of making our assessment.

      It does not mean, however, that people, in general, write a narrative to fit their ideology, although some or even many might under the proper circumstances (for them).

      it depends on the issue and the circumstances.

      The GZ/TM tragedy has illuminated for our country that the sociological factors and personal experience differences between Americans of varied racial background is a gulf far wider than we may have imagined, even though we, as a society, have made so much progress towards erasing the racism of the past.

      • I raised kids in arguably the most racially charged environment in America, Berkeley, ground zero for integration and racially equality, see Frontline documentary 1994 “School Colors”. I participated for a decade in the core committees on the achievement gap and youth violence. I have witnessed time and time again “facts” generated from collecting verifiable information be set aside in favor of the narrative which most fits the current political needs.

        I cannot imagine Nettles reality of learning about how chronic racial tensions in America are during the Zimmerman case. My experience living in the SF east bay is race is all consuming to our reality.

        This review of School Colors instructive:
        School Colors’ depicts halls of anger with a glimmer of hope
        October 18, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

        Anger and promise.

        Those are the themes that run through “School Colors,” a 2 1/2 -hour documentary about a year in the life of a modern-day high school. It kicks off the season of “Frontline” at 9 tonight on MPT (channels 22 and 67) and WETA (Channel 26).

        The documentary ranges from insightful to touching to occasionally predictable. But most of all, if you went to high school, have a child in high school or work in one, “School Colors” will ring bells — lots of bells.

        The filmmakers spent a year at Berkeley (Calif.) High School. They found that the students — particularly male — are angry a lot of the time, and they carry their anger around like a hall pass.

        Many students also show incredible promise and talent, in the classroom and out.

        The student population of Berkeley High is 38 percent white, 35 percent African-American, 11 percent Asian-Pacific Islander, 9 percent Hispanic and 7 percent mixed race.

        Everybody in this school thinks about race, racial attitudes, segregation, multiculturalism and social interaction. Everyone also thinks about violence, which is a fact of life at Berkeley High.

        The teachers are presented mainly as saints — talented, conscientious, fair, dedicated, tireless. It’s a little shocking when you find out that some have been assaulted by students.

        But then, some of the best students have been assaulted, too. One female students leaves school because she has been attacked so often. She is put in an independent study program, where she is supposed to learn on her own.

        The school’s new principal seems like a well-meaning man who works to promote racial harmony. But he comes off as totally ineffectual.

        We see him in discussions with teachers, parents and students, saying, “Of course, people have to be safe in school.” But he does almost nothing to make it happen. At Berkeley High, safety is a goal, a dream — but definitely not a reality.

        In fact, this guy can’t even see to it that the school’s bathrooms are cleaned. They look like they belong in the New York subway system, not a middle-class, progressive California high school.

        Students talk with some insight about racial attitudes and racial tension, but most still self-segregate socially — white kids eat only with whites, African-American kids eat only with African-Americans, and so on.

        This is happening at a school that, in the early 1960s, was one of the first to bus students voluntarily to achieve integration.

        The filmmakers seem to be saying that while we might have installed mechanisms aimed at fostering integration and social harmony, we are still far apart. And, if these students are our future, that’s not about to change.

        The film challenges viewers to think about whether any real progress has been made.

        Yes, high schools like this one do encourage classroom discussions about race, class and attitudes. That did not happen in many high schools 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.

        But it’s not right that drugs, weapons and rage make their way unchecked through the front door every morning as easily as three-ring binders and book bags.

        The greatest accomplishment of “School Colors” is that it captures both the anger and the idealism of students and faculty. There’s more anger than there is idealism. But there’s also more idealism than there are answers. Neither the film nor anyone at Berkeley High seems to have any of those.

          • It hasn’t really changed, in 2008 my son and his best friend who happens to be black both had to finish their senior year at Independent Studies because of threats of retaliations, they snitched on the culprits in a lick party incident, lick is slang for robbery. Young black males and females are shot to death regularly in Oakland. Fear of crime is a constant, street smarts are a way of life.

              • It is constantly troubling. Those kids are the definition of THUGS. Contrary to much of talk in the media most folks black, white, Hispanic, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans living around gangster culture ALL know the difference between thugs and black youth who sag, talk shit but are basically good kids hanging out.

                Natalie Jackson types want people to think we don’t but we do.

                The influence of rap, gangster culture and hiphop is profound on youth. Here is one of my nephew raps, he attended high level French private schools in San Francisco, dropped out, got into drugs, and when his family moved backed to Marseille he brought his Oakland hiphop knowledge with him.
                His cousins who grew up closely with him do not appreciate his music or identity.

                  • cassandra.. choose one:

                    an·ar·chy
                    noun \ˈa-nər-kē, -ˌnär-\

                    : a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws
                    Full Definition of ANARCHY
                    1
                    a : absence of government
                    b : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority
                    c : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government
                    2
                    a : absence or denial of any authority or established order
                    b : absence of order : disorder <not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature — Israel Shenker

                    • 1b works.
                      these events have been going on for years with many people making excuses that it just boys having fun and letting off steam.

                    • cassandra

                      I went there many times long ago because I did business with most of the newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area. I even have (or had) a “brick” at the Oakland Zoo as a result of a contribution I made. That was in the eighties and nineties. Even back then, I remember being uneasy about walking to the old Oakland Tribune and never did that alone.

  12. There’s a tendency for black people. at least those most vocal, to demonize white people as racist whenever there’s a conflict between a white and black person. e.g. George and Trayvon. Even those that support the innocence of the white person get called racist. They’d have to be racist to support a white person’s innocence when a black person was harmed, right?

    Even when something accidental happens to a black person, as I believe it did in the Kendrick Johnson case, some black people immediately look for a white person to blame. There are two young men currently being harassed and having their lives ruined because of both black racism and political agendas.

    And it seems that many black people will rally, even violently protest, when even a guilty black person is accused or prosecuted. Then, of course, there’s the fact that 96% of black people voted for Obama. Because he was black.

    Is it so irrational to sometimes group black people together? They certainly seem to come together as a group at times. Often to celebrate/advance the black race and demonize anything ‘white’.

  13. Toure is an idiot and an enabler. And while he is focused on the black/white issues of race, I think one of the general failings is that it is easier to blame someone or something, e.g., structural racism, than to promote responsibility. People who promote victimhood – of any race, gender, et cetera – do themselves and their cause a tremendous disservice. I’m very tired of the excuse-making.

    Characteristics of discipline, family, delayed gratification, hard work, and education make people whole, make them successful, make them good members of a society. Veering away from these themes doesn’t turn out well, and history has shown this time and time again. I don’t have any quick answers for this failing in many segments of our country (and other countries), but it is in their best interest to distance themselves from this destructive mindset and move forward.

  14. I’m glad we got a new thread. There were a lot of good points made. I’d just like to comment on a discussion about the races being different. There are some differences, but there’s more similarities than we realize. The answer is not to separate the races but for people of various races to get to know each other.

    I didn’t set out to totally submerge myself in middle class black culture. I just bought a house near my grandchildren and I got a job at the school right there in my neighborhood. It was in a new development and most of the people already living in the area were white. As it built up, it became mostly black. I notice on a walk, yesterday, that more whites were out, so it may be changing again. Anyway, I didn’t set out to submerge myself in that culture, but it happened.

    I have learned that there’s more similarities than differences. I could detect very few differences between black and white faculty members. Much of what people are seeing are differences in ghetto and middle class culture. Also, I believe that if the race baiters were not given air time on television that most problems would go away and we’d learn to get along.

    Angel makes a good point that when a black commits a crime, it affects all blacks. That’s something I learned from some of my coworkers. Once a white girl in my class had a crush on a black guy. She announced to everyone around her, including a black teacher that her mother didn’t want her dating him because black men run off and don’t stay with their wives and children. The teacher tried to tell her how that is wrong. I could tell that was hurtful for her. She has a faithful husband and I’m sure the men in her family are very loyal to their children. Yet, she is affected by that stereo-type.

    And that’s all I have to say about race….at least for now.

  15. I think we need to get to a place that we stop emphasizing our differences. Yes, we are mostly the same – that is something to be celebrated, as well. And it’s our similarities that allow us to survive together. Differences can be interesting – but I don’t think they should be the 24/7 most important thing. It only divides us.

    And if we are to focus on diversity, perhaps we should finally celebrate our more numerous diversities, beyond race – really, race doesn’t account for all that much difference between us as individuals, there are only a few choices. When I meet someone I find interesting, it has to do with their experiences, their career, their hobbies, the sports they play – there are a whole slew of things that make someone an individual that makes them interesting – that makes them “diverse”.

    But I think our country has to move forward as a whole, based on our similarities, on our American ideals – that we can all work hard and try to get ahead, that we all have something to contribute – and unless we focus on our similarities, I don’t see anything getting better. If our differences are emphasized and everything is about that, we will become more and more divided. I think the black community could take the lead in this and do a great job, but they show no interest – anytime one of them tries, they are attacked. There needs to be more of them willing to stand up together.

    I have seen this diffusion happen in women’s studies and the women’s movement. No, I’m not talking about women needing affirmative action – I think women were finally given opportunities and they grabbed them and showed they could make it. But one of the big goals of the women’s movement was to show that women are not objects, and especially not sexual objects. But all the gains made when I was younger are basically gone – look at how women are again presented in advertisements, the scanty clothing, the suggestive poses, etc. Even online articles about female athletes under sports tabs are almost always about “the sexiest female athletes”, etc.

    IMO, this is because the women’s movement was overtaken by diversity concerns. Women’s studies used to be about – WOMEN – as a whole, about our similarities, to try to effect change that would help – ALL women. And of course different women have different challenges if they are handicapped or lesbian or black, etc – those would have been interesting and helpful context. But it became the entirety of the women’s movement – look at the curriculum and focus of any women’s studies department – the courses are about black women, asian women, women of different ethnicities, women and saving the environment, poor women, etc etc etc. It’s no longer about women in general, and now women are losing ground. If you pass a law that prevents discrimination against women in this or that way, it opens the door for ALL women. Making the whole movement be about differences had led to it being a bunch of people just talking to themselves, simply an academic exercise.

    (and on a site note, women are usually expected to fix everyone’s problems, comes from the “mom” role I suppose, which made it easy for the women’s movement to become diffuse and ineffectual. The female activists were expected to solve all these problems, instead of black feminists demanding a seat at the black power table, or environmental-minded women demanding their due in the environmental movement, or Muslim women* demanding their place in the Islamic power structure in America – instead the women’s movement was expected to absorb all these other issues, so they are no longer about all women, and have lost all power) That’s how I see it all, anway.

    Today’s feminists will tell you that prostitution is empowering, and that wearing a sheet over your head with only eye slits showing any part of you is empowering – and that in itself shows that feminism has been taken over by special interests. When feminism chooses culture over women’s right to freedom, it’s no longer feminism, IMO. And it no longer accomplishes anything, it just talks to itself feeling “oh so smart”.

    So for these and other reasons, I think Americans have to start emphasizing their similarities and let differences be interesting, but not the focus.

  16. Hello, Angel

    You and I have exchanged ideas and perspectives in the past elsewhere. I have always respected what you say even if we were not always on the same page. Please look at my posts here and if there is ANYTHING with which you STRONGLY disagree, and is worth further discussion, then please lay it on me.

    You know that I am not thin skinned about this. I feel like my past earlier life experiences during which I lived on a sharecropper’s cotton and tobacco farm contributed greatly to my ever evolving views on race. IOW, I am still open to hearing whatever you say simply because I “know” you and, yes, knowing you does make a difference.

    If there is a solution to this, I do not know what it is other than complete separation of the races so short of that, I will give you 5 stars just for trying.

    Thanks and it’s nice to see you come out of the woodwork. Keep posting because I don’t know you well enough to hear what you are thinking even when you are in the room.

    • Jordan, I didn’t know you worked in cotton and tobacco fields. My mother did, too. Her parents weren’t share croppers but they had a farm and she had to work in cotton the cotton field. I think she had to work as hired labor in other cotton fields, too. She had very bad memories of that. When we passed a cotton field on the highway, she’d talk about how it made her early life unhappy.

      My great aunt also had to work in cotton fields, but she had happier memories. She told stories about how they planted water mellon in the cotton field. She said they’d walk along picking cotton and would be hot and tired and then they’d come to a water mellon and they’d break it open and scoop the heart out with their hands and eat it.

      • Up until I was 12, I was sent off to my uncle’s farm for the summer to work to earn money for school clothes. The most I ever got was $40 for 3 months of work. I worked in the tobacco fields right along with the other black workers. I carried a row by myself and later could carry two with some help. They became trusted friends to me and I could rely on whatever they said to be true.

        The only time I ever really had contact with white people was when we would go to my Grandmother’s house for Sunday dinner after church. My cousins would be there.

        My uncle was overseer for all of the other farms in that area. He, along with all of the others, were poor sharecroppers, both white and black and dependent upon each other for survival. We all worked on each others farm. The work was NEVER done and you could never get out debt to the family who owned the farms or to the store that gave us credit during cotton and tobacco season. The barter system was used instead of cash most of the time.

        • I’m so sorry Jordan. I was a history teacher. I’m as familiar with the share cropper’s fate as with the slave’s fate. My mother and her siblings were somewhere in between. They were poor farmers who had to work in the cotton fields.

          • What do you mean by this?

            “I’m so sorry Jordan.”
            =================================
            I was blessed to have those life experiences. Poverty drove me to success and when I became successful, money and material things were not important so I gave away a lot more money than I ever kept. I was able to help countless people and I did almost of it anonymously… never even taking tax deductions except for one isolated case.

            If there was any “damage” done, it is that I became a food hoarder. I vowed to never go hungry again. I keep two side by side refrigerators and a huge upright freezer stocked as well as cabinets galore but I still use food coupons. lol ……I also love to give away food to needy families. The look on their faces when they open the door and see me with bags of groceries is priceless… especially the children…

            My girlfriend is still trying to figure all of this out. She has never seen so much food in one person’s home that it has to be “maintained’ by regularly rotating items by date but she is learning and also how to preserve food using things like green bags and storing certain foods in seal tight containers and at correct temperatures.

            SOooooooooo. Do not be sorry for me. I am so fortunate (not lucky) to have “survived” all of that and come out on top.

            Getting back on topic.. This is why I have very little compassion for those who grow up poor and blame that on their plight in life.

    • Hello Jordan,

      It’s nice to chat again. Been so busy relocating to a new job in another state. I can answer you in part now and maybe some more later. You strike me as extremely intelligent, well informed with a touch of realism in the mix so I give your comments serious consideration. I am beginning to wonder also about this race thing and for right now I will say that both races seem worlds apart. I wonder if their will ever be racial harmony. Probably not in my lifetime but I do believe that there is good in both races and there is bad in both. Just wish we could all see the true character of people and let that guide us, and not color but that didn’tget MLK very far did it?

      • Both races have extraordinary qualities, many of which are almost exclusive to each race. It is our social attributes that are so different. Additionally, our distortions of history and absolute refusal to admit this revisionist history is a real stumbling block and one that could be changed but only if both sides believed setting the record straight would make a difference. That argument along would require an entire blog. But, for sure, they are the source of white guilt and the sins of our fathers, which can NEVER be forgiven. Exactly what could white people do that would wipe the slate clean so we could start over? The answer is NOTHING. So we continue to make reparations, followed by the demand for even more. It is similar to life in prison without parole. Would a death penalty finalize this? Can you think of something that would be the equivalent?

        You said: “I wonder if their will ever be racial harmony.”

        My current answer is absolutely yes, but not while living together.

  17. It reminds me of this passage in James 1. I find it difficult to think of hardships as pure joy.

    Trials and Temptations

    2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

    • He is not the first person I have seen to say one of the major problems with teenagers is the violence and disrespect that is “preached” to them by the rappers.

      This guy makes a lot of sense. Organized events could possibly have a positive influence but it will take a lot of them. I recall that this sort of thing has happened in the past. Remember Elvis and reaction to his music. That didn’t work out too well but OTH, Elvis sang about loving women, not abusing them and his songs never glorified guns. He did make a statement in the song about violence in the ghettos.

      It is significant to me that mature black adults (NOT Al and Jesse) recognize that rap music is largely responsible for violent teen deaths all over America. Of course, white teenagers buying rap music doesn’t help matters either.

      Thanks for the vid, Annette.

  18. Here’s an interesting perspective on race and how our perceptions form our belief of a possible threat.

    http://gulftoday.ae/portal/4807eb74-7d35-4709-af03-adc64ff0ee8e.aspx

    Now I would argue banging one’s head on a sidewalk, white or black, I’d perceive a threat myself. However, in the Dunn case, did Mr. Dunn think he saw a weapon because of his perceptions of young black males? I think that question warrants further exploration.

    If so, laws that protect the shooters because they truly did perceive a threat would put young black males in a percarious situation. Wouldn’t it?

    H/T to Shawn Vincent for the link to the point of view.

  19. I didn’t really follow the Dunn trial, but I think I heard that before he shot that one of them shouted, “This is going down,” and the kid reached for something in the car. I would think doing that would put black kids in a precarious situation. That would scare anyone. What is going down and what is he reaching for?

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