I guess we need an "are we a racist country" thread.

I can answer "yes or no" to the thread title.

No, we don't need one.

[Edited to add] No good will come of it.


well, you may not think so, but there certainly seems to be interest. just trying to offload from the Rose Garden thread.


how about a "what the **** does 'racist country' even mean?" thread?


well, that can certainly be discussed here too.

smedley seems to think it's a valid concept.


"We are surrounded by racial inequity, as visible as the law, as hidden as our private thoughts. The question for each of us is: What side of history will we stand on? A racist is someone who is supporting a racist policy by their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea. An antiracist is someone who is supporting an antiracist policy by their actions or expressing an antiracist idea. 'Racist' and 'antiracist' are like peelable name tags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or expressing in each moment. These are not permanent tattoos. No one becomes a racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other. We can unknowingly strive to be a racist. We can knowingly strive to be an antiracist. Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination."

Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, p. 22-23 (emphasis added)

[Edited to fix spelling]


When we're done with this question, a few more we can tackle: (I've gone ahead and provided the answers in the interest of time and convenience)

Is the United States a generous nation? Yes.

Is the United States a stingy nation? Yes.

Is the United States a strong nation? Yes.

Is the United States a weak nation? Yes.

Is the United States an exceptional nation? Yes.

Is the United States just another country? Yes.

Are all nations exceptional? Yes.

Is the United States a brave nation? Yes.

Is the United States a fearful nation? Yes.

If you ask broad questions about millions of people, will the answer almost always be yes? Yes.

Are some questions not really questions but more social conventions that are either pablum or the setup for outrage-driven political narratives? Yes.

Can you think of more such questions? Yes.

Can you please stop now we get the point? Yes to the first, unfortunately probably not to the second.


I'm going for 50/50. The country appears to be divided right down the middle on almost every issue. We seem to be hooked on group think and getting more extreme about it. So with attitudes towards racial equality. If you live in a part of the country where strict adherence to local culture requires you to support racist voting laws and your friends and neighbors argue its value, you are not likely to buck the sentiment.

If you live in an area where racial equality is so; valued that you would be ashamed to support anything other than  fair and just voting rights, you will steadfastly support your community.

From my perspective we seem to be rigidly conformist, both the right and the left.


From an interview with Robin DiAngelo (author of White Fragility):

Why is it that white people have so much difficulty talking about whiteness even amongst themselves? Because Black people have no problem talking about being Black amongst ourselves.

There are several threads. The first one that comes to my mind is it serves us not to have these conversations. It serves us to be too uncomfortable, to have such delicate sensibilities that we can’t tolerate it. There’s a function to that. That’s not just a natural response. So, that’s one piece. Another piece is the paradigm we’re using. I don’t think you could have come up with a more effective way to protect racism as a system, and the way that white people benefit from it, than to define it as an individual act of conscious meanness. And as long as you define it that way, you guarantee denial and defensiveness. Often when white people take umbrage to what I’m saying, I say, “Hey, if that’s how I was defining racism, I agree with you that it would be offensive for me to suggest that you’re automatically racist, just because you’re white when I don’t know you.” But that is not the sociological definition. That is not the understanding of the framework that those of us who really engage in this work are using. Advertisement When you understand it as a system, things like guilt just become moot. I did not choose to be socialized into a racist ideology, into a white supremacist ideology, internalization of superiority. I would never have chosen that, but I wasn’t given a choice. What I do feel now is responsible for the outcome. I was socialized into that and now it’s on me to challenge that.

I suspect that most people insisting that the US is "not a racist country" are getting tripped up by this dynamic -- defining racism as "individual act of conscious meanness."


seems to me this is the sort of thing a racist country would do.


It’s fine to believe the US is a racist country, if that is your opinion that is your opinion. It is my opinion that the US is not a racist country. I do not "insist" the US is not a racist country, as that implies I'm trying to change others' opinions, or that I believe my opinion is superior to others' opinions, neither of which is the case.  

I do get a kick out of the notion, propagated on here, that Pres Biden and VP Harris declined to answer the question of whether the US is racist because it was a "trap" question, or even that they answered yes, the US is a racist country. When their direct quotes, in response to the question, were:

Biden: "I don't think the American people are racist.”

"I don't think America is racist.”

Harris: "I don't think America is a racist country."

Those are direct quotes. Yes, both Biden and Harris elaborated, talking about the legacy of racism in the US, the continued existence of racism in the US, and the need to do more to stamp out racism in the US. But they were asked a question, and they answered the question.

But no, on here there’s some weird alternative-fact theory that they didn’t answer, or even that they answered yes. Paging Sean and Kellyanne?


nohero said:

I can answer "yes or no" to the thread title.

No, we don't need one.

[Edited to add] No good will come of it.

I hate to say "I told you so", but ...

Smedley said:

It’s fine to believe the US is a racist country, if that is your opinion that is your opinion. It is my opinion that the US is not a racist country. I do not "insist" the US is not a racist country, as that implies I'm trying to change others' opinions, or that I believe my opinion is superior to others' opinions, neither of which is the case.  

I do get a kick out of the notion, propagated on here, that Pres Biden and VP Harris declined to answer the question of whether the US is racist because it was a "trap" question, or even that they answered yes, the US is a racist country. When their direct quotes, in response to the question, were:

Biden: "I don't think the American people are racist.”

"I don't think America is racist.”

Harris: "I don't think America is a racist country."

Those are direct quotes. Yes, both Biden and Harris elaborated, talking about the legacy of racism in the US, the continued existence of racism in the US, and the need to do more to stamp out racism in the US. But they were asked a question, and they answered the question.

But no, on here there’s some weird alternative-fact theory that they didn’t answer, or even that they answered yes. Paging Sean and Kellyanne?

 


Smedley said:

It’s fine to believe the US is a racist country, if that is your opinion that is your opinion. It is my opinion that the US is not a racist country. I do not "insist" the US is not a racist country, as that implies I'm trying to change others' opinions, or that I believe my opinion is superior to others' opinions, neither of which is the case.  

I do get a kick out of the notion, propagated on here, that Pres Biden and VP Harris declined to answer the question of whether the US is racist because it was a "trap" question, or even that they answered yes, the US is a racist country. When their direct quotes, in response to the question, were:

Biden: "I don't think the American people are racist.”

"I don't think America is racist.”

Harris: "I don't think America is a racist country."

Those are direct quotes. Yes, both Biden and Harris elaborated, talking about the legacy of racism in the US, the continued existence of racism in the US, and the need to do more to stamp out racism in the US. But they were asked a question, and they answered the question.

But no, on here there’s some weird alternative-fact theory that they didn’t answer, or even that they answered yes. Paging Sean and Kellyanne?

I bet you think this response is really clever. 


nohero said:

I hate to say "I told you so", but ... 

question


nohero said:

https://maplewood.worldwebs.com/forums/discussion/what-is-being-said-in-the-rose-garden-what-s-happening-in-washington?page=next&limit=27870#discussion-replies-3545988

 To be fair to Smedley, I asked him to continue his conversation here, so it didn’t clog up the other discussion. As this is the “is America a racist country” thread, he/she should be able to type freely here, no?


Of course, it's racist. 

Its foundation embraced principles advanced by the church that categorized Africans as heathens and eventually non-humans. This concept is baked into the laws that form American democracy. These practices allowed this country and most of the world to flourish and enrich itself from the fruits of free labor for hundreds and hundreds of years. When moral and political pressures demanded the end of the  transcontinental slave trade, this country took on the task of breeding property to maintain a consistent supply of free labor. Not just anyone was bred- Africans and their descendants were bred. By law, anyone born to a Black woman was born a slave- for life. Not the Irish, not the English, the French, Spaniard, Portuguese, Dutch, German, or Asian- the African. 'Black' blood relegated humans to a life of servitude- devoid of personal choices, familial stability, safety - or freedom. This country created, maintained, and maintains a permanent underclass based on race. Every single time America appears to move towards a more just society (Reconstruction, Black codes, vagrancy laws, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, war on drugs, school to prison pipeline, municipal plunder, voting rights) it falters and readjusts, realigning itself with its original blueprint which is to favor the rights and desires of white Americans at the expense of everyone else. 

That is racism.

If America wasn't racist, the question wouldn't exist. You wouldn't have signs on your lawn reminding passerby that Black Lives Mattered. Black lives would be like any other American lives- valued and cherished simply because they existed. You wouldn't have the majority of the country rushing to disenfranchise Black voters. You wouldn't be burdened with the task of paying lip service to maintaining 'diversity'- because as a country you lacked the moral courage to honor, live with and foster equality.

The question is not whether or not America is a racist country but rather how long will America be a racist country and can white America as we know it even exist without the crutch provided by the racism it protects so fiercely.


ridski said:

nohero said:

https://maplewood.worldwebs.com/forums/discussion/what-is-being-said-in-the-rose-garden-what-s-happening-in-washington?page=next&limit=27870#discussion-replies-3545988

 To be fair to Smedley, I asked him to continue his conversation here, so it didn’t clog up the other discussion. As this is the “is America a racist country” thread, he/she should be able to type freely here, no?

I didn't see the need for continued interrogation of the very sensible responses to his endless repeating of "But Joe and Kamala said ..."


nohero said:

I didn't see the need for continued interrogation of the very sensible responses to his endless repeating of "But Joe and Kamala said ..."

 I agree, which is why I haven’t responded to it.


ridski said:

 To be fair to Smedley, I asked him to continue his conversation here, so it didn’t clog up the other discussion. As this is the “is America a racist country” thread, he/she should be able to type freely here, no?

 Clog up the thread that never ends and which began absurdly and continues to be the principal outlet for nonsense? The thread I do my best to avoid?

Perish the thought!


STANV said:

ridski said:

 To be fair to Smedley, I asked him to continue his conversation here, so it didn’t clog up the other discussion. As this is the “is America a racist country” thread, he/she should be able to type freely here, no?

 Clog up the thread that never ends and which began absurdly and continues to be the principal outlet for nonsense? The thread I do my best to avoid?

Perish the thought!


flimbro said:

If America wasn't racist, the question wouldn't exist.


 ^^ As succinct and accurate a response to "Is America a racist country" as you can get.


PVW said:

 ^^ As succinct and accurate a response to "Is America a racist country" as you can get.

 of course. That's why people ask it. Because they know the answer is "yes." Then the right wing howler monkeys can go wild on the person answers honestly. 


I'm just gonna drop this here. Freaking Charles Murray still pushing the same crap.


drummerboy said:

I'm just gonna drop this here. Freaking Charles Murray still pushing the same crap.

 Holy ****.


drummerboy said:

smedley,

Please read this article, and explain to us how it doesn't describe a racist country.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/us/politics/race-inclusion-wasau-wisconsin.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

 Nah man, I have nothing further to add. WRT to this article, I'll only refer back to my previously stated opinion, which is that racism exists in our country, and we need to do more to eliminate racism, but the U.S. is not a racist country. 

I only came on here to address the MOLanon notion that Biden and Harris didn't say what they said.


They didn't say what they said?


Smedley said:

 Nah man, I have nothing further to add. WRT to this article, I'll only refer back to my previously stated opinion, which is that racism exists in our country, and we need to do more to eliminate racism, but the U.S. is not a racist country. 

I only came on here to address the MOLanon notion that Biden and Harris didn't say what they said.

Speaking for myself, I cut-and-pasted what they actually said.

If it's unclear, I'll say here that they said what they said.


Smedley said:

 Nah man, I have nothing further to add. WRT to this article, I'll only refer back to my previously stated opinion, which is that racism exists in our country, and we need to do more to eliminate racism, but the U.S. is not a racist country. 

I only came on here to address the MOLanon notion that Biden and Harris didn't say what they said.

 Well, I'm certainly glad that of all the manifold manifestations and consequences of racism in this country, we've managed to zero in on what's really important.


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