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Author Topic: The Case of Trayvon Martin  (Read 3347 times)

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Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #75 on: July 14, 2013, 05:49:47 PM »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #76 on: July 14, 2013, 05:50:52 PM »
I don't have any major objections to xiaomei's suggestions of remedies either - just wondering how on earth such a program would get voted through, or driven through schools etc, in the U.S. as we know it. First in elections and then in Congress and at state and local level - and in the current economic cold spell?

The election of Obama seemed a pivotal moment but his platform has mostly ground to a halt in congress and under the pressure of the crisis, and it's hard to imagine that a much more radical guy than Obama could actually become president in the near future. And blacks don't near make up a majority of Americans. And I don't think most people here have a lot of high hopes about congress politics in the present age - so how would this actually gain momentum?

I agree with xiaomei that class and economy are a major part of the root causes and they continue from one generation to the next. Of course.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 05:52:00 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #77 on: July 14, 2013, 05:52:41 PM »
Too bad Slywyn was offended, because I thought xiaomei's comment was quite funny and very true.

These threads are for participation by all members if they choose and when they leave with a comment that hostility is not to their liking that is something that doesn't need to be remarked on in any way other than politely.  Disparaging remarks do no offer the best side of the person making them.

Remember, this is Elliquiy and we do lock threads when you all get unruly.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #78 on: July 14, 2013, 05:56:18 PM »
The election of Obama seemed a pivotal moment but his platform has mostly ground to a halt in congress and under the pressure of the crisis, and it's hard to imagine that a much more radical guy than Obama could actually become president in the near future. And blacks don't near make up a majority of Americans. And I don't think most people here have a lot of high hopes about congress politics in the present age - so how would this actually gain momentum?
The same way every social justice movement always works: recruit allies and build up grassroots demands for change until it's impossible to ignore. The colour of your skin says nothing about whether you can fight for equality.

Offline Maiz

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #79 on: July 14, 2013, 05:58:43 PM »
I'm not offended in the slightest. The tone has shifted from an actual discussion to "Let's blame everyone and everything but ourselves" and I refuse to be a part of that.

No one is saying that anywhere.


gaggedLouise, I think the 2012 election is big because yes Obama was elected, but I think it's more important in showing that white people as a political group are a waning power. Unfortunately those old racist, southern strategy using people will probably do everything they can to disenfranchise young people and people of color. See the SCOTUS ruling on the Voting Rights Act, or all the sketchy voting laws that were passed last year. (Also while I think classism and racism go hand in hand [as does all oppression] racism is something separate, see all the people who are pulled over because they were driving a nice car while black or Hispanic as Rogue of TimeWimey Stuff mentioned)

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #80 on: July 14, 2013, 06:01:22 PM »
These threads are for participation by all members if they choose and when they leave with a comment that hostility is not to their liking that is something that doesn't need to be remarked on in any way other than politely.

Funny, I wasn't aware of disparaging anyone; I said I was sorry Slywyn had left the thread because that's what I meant. But given the defensiveness of the subsequent response, maybe it didn't come across that way.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #81 on: July 14, 2013, 06:13:29 PM »
I agree that the times when the GOP could count on holding the field by mostly just appealing to the whites and guarding "white interests" (Middle America, white corporate America, Trump America, whatever you'd call it), those times are coming to an end. In the future they are not going to be able to do that kind of Reagan/Rove thing if they want to win the White House or a solid Senate majority. "It's the demography, s****d" - and some of them are recognizing it. Carly Fiorina essentially owned up to this in some comments she made after the 2008 election, after she had broken with the McCain/Schmidt team. But I doubt that will make them revise their actual politics in depth or make for an effort to build bridges to let's say black and hispanic groups who are demanding social justice, a new immigration policy, a major rise in minimum wages and so on. That would be, well, a "new deal" within the republican party and its sponsors.

Plus, the core of the GOP and the tea party people would get very unpredictable and angry at such a move. That's part of what makes the Trayvon Martin case so foreboding.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 06:16:09 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline JDrew Spider

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #82 on: July 14, 2013, 06:15:46 PM »
If anyone hasn't said it yet, this is going to kill the state Florida because people can get away for killing other people down here. However it isn't over yet since they will be pursuing a federal civil rights case. I wasn't surprised by the verdict because this happens all the time,  Ever since america came to be. It's like Dick Gregory said "Nothing has changed, USA has just put a new suit on." Prayers go out to the family.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #83 on: July 14, 2013, 06:16:17 PM »
I'm not offended in the slightest. The tone has shifted from an actual discussion to "Let's blame everyone and everything but ourselves" and I refuse to be a part of that.

This is the impression I also am getting from the direction of this discussion.  I am surprised that many of you are only pointing to outside forces as being responsible for poverty in minority communities.  While many of you are bringing up great points, I also feel that personal responsibility is also part of the solution.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #84 on: July 14, 2013, 07:14:49 PM »
This is the impression I also am getting from the direction of this discussion.

I'm surprised at that, because it's more than a bit of a strawman. Xiaomei stated it pretty candidly and quite well: minority communities can (and do) work plenty at self-criticism and character building (there are whole churches in the black community devoted to it, for instance; in fact pretty much every possible ideology along these lines has been tried at some point), but where the cards are externally stacked against them, there's a limit to the difference all of this can make. If you want to see real large-scale systemic change, changing the systemic pressures on those communities is what you want.

Xiaomei also said that you should try actually listening to people from those communities instead of lecturing to them. That is also correct. And I might suggest that resorting to the kind of strawman Slywyn just employed immediately on contact with any of those perspectives can rather undercut one's credibility as someone genuinely interested in understanding.

Offline Maiz

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #85 on: July 14, 2013, 07:24:28 PM »
This is the impression I also am getting from the direction of this discussion.  I am surprised that many of you are only pointing to outside forces as being responsible for poverty in minority communities.  While many of you are bringing up great points, I also feel that personal responsibility is also part of the solution.

Discussing systemic oppression doesn't mean we're ignoring personal responsibility. I think your own biases are showing through, if you automatically assume a discussion about racism means that everyone is blaming other people.

I'm surprised at that, because it's more than a bit of a strawman. Xiaomei stated it pretty candidly and quite well: minority communities can (and do) work plenty at self-criticism and character building (there are whole churches in the black community devoted to it, for instance; in fact pretty much every possible ideology along these lines has been tried at some point), but where the cards are externally stacked against them, there's a limit to the difference all of this can make. If you want to see real large-scale systemic change, changing the systemic pressures on those communities is what you want.

Exactly. Every feminist/womanist, every critical race theorist, every advocate, every activist I can think of discusses personal responsibility. But at a certain point personal responsibility can only take you so far. This is what we are arguing, that at a certain point the American Dream becomes unachievable because of someone's race. Banks give you shitty loans with shitty interest rates, people don't sell you houses in certain neighborhoods, you don't get promoted past a certain level, academia becomes hostile to your existence and questions you being there, etc. That is racism.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 07:28:12 PM by xiaomei »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #86 on: July 14, 2013, 07:29:06 PM »
I wish I could remember who said it.. It was a black civil rights leader.. I saw a bit of a sound bite.. something like 20 seconds. He was saying something like 'We have lots of males in our community but few Men and fewer FATHERS." I wish I could recall where I saw/heard it. It's been driving me nuts.

And sadly it's not JUST the black community there is a LOT of it at a certain level of poverty to ALL ethnicity. A lack of family and/or community in the last few decades. When you're so poor.. you're usually too busy to contribute. That is what several guys I knew in service said.. guys who came from those communities and all but killed themselves to bring their family to a better place. A lot of them wouldn't even talk about the father's in their lives.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of these racial issues (from both sides of the fence) come from a lack of willingness to accept responsibilty for your action on one side..and a willingness to refuse to help out those in our community that need it on the other. We could do so much better if we stopped look at the other side of the 'tracks' as the enemy. Neither side could really benefit without the other.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 07:33:02 PM by Callie Del Noire »

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #87 on: July 14, 2013, 07:46:50 PM »
Discussing systemic oppression doesn't mean we're ignoring personal responsibility. I think your own biases are showing through, if you automatically assume a discussion about racism means that everyone is blaming other people.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a non-white immigrant.  Like Callie Del Noire said above, I think the real issue in our society is poverty, regardless of ethnicity.  I am not denying that there are racist and socioeconomic factors that keep families in chronically poor situations, generation after generation.  However, I also feel that constantly reinforcing these notions instills a "them vs. us" bias into the minds of minorities.  Have I faced discrimination in my life?  Absolutely.  But I avoid letting a handful of narrow-minded individuals jade me into the belief that society, as an entity, is inherently racist.  I know that the majority of white folk (such as many people on E for example) believe in equality, and will always treat me as an equal. 

As Rocky once said in his speech to his son, "if you know what youíre worth then go out and get what youíre worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ainít where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!  That's how winning is done!" 

You may disagree, but the way I see it, all of us are born the way we are, and all of us (regardless of race) face some sort of bias.  Maybe someone is a little heavier, or someone is a little short, or a man has a very high pitched voice.  We are the way we are.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 07:48:15 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #88 on: July 14, 2013, 07:57:59 PM »
Imagining racism is statistically confined to "a handful of narrow-minded individuals" is factually wrong. More than half of the American populace admits to explicit racism. Having faith in people is fine -- not everyone who has racist impulses is a hardcore bigot and other elements of people's personalities can outweigh this given the right circumstances -- but just grandly dismissing the existence of systemic racism with a wave of your hand will not do.

I too come from non-white immigrant stock. Because of this, I'm familiar with the temptation to try to be "more native than the natives" and to outdo the most pollyannish self-appraisals of a host society. Immigrants can often fall prey to this, especially because it's a fallacy that lets them more easily look down on and differentiate themselves from minorities in the host society who haven't made it as they have, or as they hope to do. It's an understandable tendency. But it is wrong.

(That doesn't mean hope is wrong. If I didn't have hope I wouldn't bother with discussions like this one. It just means that hope absent realism and facts is not helpful. As North Americans, this is the society we live in. Denial won't change that, only acknowledgement and confrontation of the facts will.)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 07:59:02 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Maiz

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2013, 08:07:40 PM »
As I mentioned earlier, I am a non-white immigrant.  Like Callie Del Noire said above, I think the real issue in our society is poverty, regardless of ethnicity.  I am not denying that there are racist and socioeconomic factors that keep families in chronically poor situations, generation after generation.  However, I also feel that constantly reinforcing these notions instills a "them vs. us" bias into the minds of minorities.  Have I faced discrimination in my life?  Absolutely.  But I avoid letting a handful of narrow-minded individuals jade me into the belief that society, as an entity, is inherently racist.  I know that the majority of white folk (such as many people on E for example) believe in equality, and will always treat me as an equal. 

As Rocky once said in his speech to his son, "if you know what youíre worth then go out and get what youíre worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ainít where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!  That's how winning is done!" 

You may disagree, but the way I see it, all of us are born the way we are, and all of us (regardless of race) face some sort of bias.  Maybe someone is a little heavier, or someone is a little short, or a man has a very high pitched voice.  We are the way we are.

1. no one is saying that racism is the only discrimination people can face.

2. Poverty and racism go hand in hand. Racism fuels poverty. Yes, its a big issue for everyone regardless of race. But: it affects people of color more, there are less ways out for people of color, the recent economic downturn affected/s people of color more, it's harder for people of color to get jobs, etc etc etc.

3. "Them vs. us" is straight up a survival mechanism. It's not just a handful of people who are racist. It's a lot of people. It's built into institutions like government and banks and schools. No one is inherently racist, but people sure as fuck are socialized that way without even realizing it. Believing in equality doesn't stop someone from bringing up stupid racist stereotypes and presenting them as truth. Believing in equality doesn't stop someone  from being racist.

4. Don't compare getting shit for being short to decades and centuries and years of racism. Bias is not comparable to oppression.

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #90 on: July 14, 2013, 08:11:52 PM »
I'm not sure how "I don't appreciate the tone"(demonstrated excellently by the post above this) is a strawman argument. And I don't appreciate being insulted. >=(

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #91 on: July 14, 2013, 08:17:59 PM »
I'm not sure how "I don't appreciate the tone"(demonstrated excellently by the post above this) is a strawman argument.

Trying to front-load your critique of "tone" by folding in an opinion that hasn't actually been expressed or even implied by anyone in the discussion is strawmanning, yes. What you think about "tone" is your business, but trying to put words in other people's mouths is bad argument. If my pointing this out "insults" you, your attempts to stuff words in my mouth are no less distasteful to me, so I guess it evens out.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 08:19:07 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #92 on: July 14, 2013, 08:19:57 PM »
I'd like to give a staffly reminder that even in PROC (and perhaps especially here), civility is still required. 

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #93 on: July 14, 2013, 08:21:00 PM »
Look at the post above mine. A whole lot of "Everyone else does such horrible things". Nothing about "Maybe something about this problem comes from within". Sure, it was acknowledged "other people talk about it comes from within" but that doesn't stop the blame being thrown about on any and everyone else in just about every other post.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #94 on: July 14, 2013, 08:25:06 PM »
Look at the post above mine. A whole lot of "Everyone else does such horrible things". Nothing about "Maybe something about this problem comes from within". Sure, it was acknowledged "other people talk about it comes from within" but that doesn't stop the blame being thrown about on any and everyone else in just about every other post.
I don't see a single instance of "Everyone else does" anything. I see "Systemic racism exists", without accusing any given person of anything.

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #95 on: July 14, 2013, 08:27:19 PM »
Not trying to pick anyone out this is just the first quote that I could scroll up and get.

Quote
3. "Them vs. us" is straight up a survival mechanism. It's not just a handful of people who are racist. It's a lot of people. It's built into institutions like government and banks and schools. No one is inherently racist, but people sure as fuck are socialized that way without even realizing it. Believing in equality doesn't stop someone from bringing up stupid racist stereotypes and presenting them as truth. Believing in equality doesn't stop someone  from being racist.

"Everyone else does this" in a whole lot more words.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #96 on: July 14, 2013, 08:28:43 PM »
Not trying to pick anyone out this is just the first quote that I could scroll up and get.

"Everyone else does this" in a whole lot more words.
The keyword I object to in your assertion is "everyone".

Offline Slywyn

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #97 on: July 14, 2013, 08:29:35 PM »
Oh.

Well I blame my inability to express myself properly. I have a really hard time getting thoughts to words.

Offline Maiz

Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #98 on: July 14, 2013, 08:29:43 PM »
Look at the post above mine. A whole lot of "Everyone else does such horrible things". Nothing about "Maybe something about this problem comes from within". Sure, it was acknowledged "other people talk about it comes from within" but that doesn't stop the blame being thrown about on any and everyone else in just about every other post.

Again, your own biases are coloring your reading of what I said. Also what about any of I said do you think comes from within? There is only so much you can say about this problem comes from within before crossing the line into ridiculousness. Why are you so against this idea of systemic racism?

Not trying to pick anyone out this is just the first quote that I could scroll up and get.

"Everyone else does this" in a whole lot more words.

I don't see "everyone" or "all people" or anything like that.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Trayvon Martin
« Reply #99 on: July 14, 2013, 08:30:49 PM »
I don't see a single instance of "Everyone else does" anything. I see "Systemic racism exists", without accusing any given person of anything.

First of all, this is just a friendly conversation, so no hard feelings to anyone - just a sharing of thoughts.

I think what Slywyn and I are getting at, is that bias exists in many forms - it is something we all face, regardless of our race, in many ways.  While ending bias in all its forms is a very noble cause, in reality, it is very unlikely that all bias will be eliminated.  As such, what we can do is minimize systemic racism as much as we can, and focus on the individual.

Individuals (all of us) need to realize that regardless of how strong or weak we are in different attributes, the only productive thing that any of us, as individuals, can do is to be as productive and hard working as we can be, to overcome the biases that pull us down.  We may have to work doubly hard in some traits, but that is part of the human condition.