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Author Topic: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.  (Read 1885 times)

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Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« on: October 13, 2014, 02:53:32 AM »
So way back in time just over 200 years ago (or comfortably within 3 full human lifespans) America had Slavery. To say it was a terrible time is to say that a bullet to the gut itches.

But we're past that. It's gone. There's no more slavery. It doesn't matter, anymore.

Hold on. Scratch that last part and let me explain why.

Who bought you your first car? For most of the Middle Class and above people, the answer was a Parent or a Grandparent. The same answer will be found for paying for College. Or the first month's rent on an apartment. Plenty of middle class and above people will say that's also how they got the Downpayment for their house.

And even those in the Middle Class and above bracket who paid for their own house/apartment/car probably had a parent or other relative help by cosigning for them.

And, if you go back through history, you'll see that's true of just about everyone in their family. Oh, sure. Someone here or there pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and achieved some goal or another. Or turned a little seed money they squirreled away into a lucrative career with a lucky break or by founding a business. But you'll see that pattern repeated over and over and over again...

Until you get to African Americans. 3-4 generations ago their grandparents and great grandparents had no money. They weren't allowed to, for the most part, as they were considered Chattel. They didn't have houses they could take a mortgage out on to get their kids through college. And even if they did it would be the 1980s before people were really willing to deal with them in Banks and the like. All the way through 'til then it was still acceptable to turn people away on the basis of their race. And even if someone called you on it there was plenty of racial resentment to get a civil case thrown out. Still is, to some degree.

Add to that zoning laws and homeowners associations making sure only the (white) right people could live in a given area and you wound up with Black dominated areas being turned into ghettos. Add to that workplace and economic discrimination and those areas wind up depressed with little financial power.

So where a white middle class family often has the buying power established by 12 or more generations of their ancestors, black middle class families are right there at the forefront. They're either freshly bootstrapped up or their parents were.

That is the kind of economic situation most people don't want to talk about. It's systemic and was designed over the course of 200 years to put black Americans at an economic disadvantage. To keep them out of white neighborhoods.

Now combine that with school system design that left poor black communities poorly educated. Now combine that with poor media representation. And add to that a system of laws that were designed to criminalize Black people (Jim Crow "ended" in 1965) being used as the basis to say that Black people are more prone to crime and being the impetus for a hell of a lot of racist actions and assumptions by cops and civilians alike.

This isn't about whether a given person is "Nice" or not. And the egalitarian mindset that people just need to be nice to each other won't undo what's been done. We have to work to break down a lot of ingrained concepts, ideas, and pervasive ways of thinking based on generations of socio-economic abuse. More than that we've got to deal with the economic violence that has been done and continues to be perpetrated, today.

And the worst part about it? We live in a society where the very idea of trying to fix the damage we've done over the past two hundred years and more is considered subversive, antithetical, and is stigmatized to the point that even a lot of the people who would be most helped by the restructuring consider it a very bad thing.

Now look at everything I've said and think about how Native Americans have been treated in America. And Women. And Jews. And Chinese people. Transgender individuals. Homosexuals. Bisexuals.

Every one of these groups has their very own oppressive legacy. Combine them in any manner you choose (Black Bisexual Disabled Transgender Woman) and you're just adding those legacies one on top of the other. No. I'm not trying to create the Oppression Pyramid or Oppression Olympics, I'm demonstrating the idea of Intersectionality.

Interpersonal attitudes are bad enough. But the history of oppression is where the greater bulk of the problem lies.

We need to fix that.

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 03:56:22 AM »
Every race has been enslaved and/or practiced slavery at some point in history. Europeans were commonly enslaved by invading Arabs and Turks throughout the centuries for example as well as White races enslaving other white races etc. African slaves were sold to slavers by other African tribes as well as every other race practicing some kind of slavery. Slavery still exists today in some countries as well.

So Whites have had their own oppressive legacies as you put it and if you look at the world with open eyes you will see there are many races which can be incredibly racist and xenophobic.

I am totally over the whole "White Guilt" angle, every race and nation has tried to take over another one, including Asian and African ones taking over other Asian and African ones, the American Indians would fight among themselves as well and so on.

In Australia we have our own Aboriginals some of whom will tell you that by trying to provide special treatment and Government grants and what not you are creating a culture of entitlement and victim hood, I agree, if you want Equality, true equality than forget about race, forget about history, forget about gender, religion/non religion and sexuality, create a society where people are rewarded on their merits and not because of some score card that says today we need to select a "Black Bisexual Disabled Transgender Woman" because we have quotas to meet.

Anything else just creates more and more division in society and new sets of problems, it has become a mess, and furthermore you end up creating new types of underclass and oppressed.

I also totally disagree with this statement "And the worst part about it? We live in a society where the very idea of trying to fix the damage we've done over the past two hundred years and more is considered subversive, antithetical, and is stigmatized to the point that even a lot of the people who would be most helped by the restructuring consider it a very bad thing".

Society is so hung up on seeing racism where there is none and giving in to minority groups that it is the trend.

Please aquaint yourself with the recent Rotterham case in England, a group of Pakistani's were trafficking mostly White girls for quite some time, there is known to be 1400 girls so far that were raped, sexually groomed, tortured, prostituted and abused by these Pakistani's the authorities knew all about it and yet did not act as they were scared to be called racist! Seriously that was their excuse.

So, no White guilt here, proud of my culture and history.




Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 06:03:02 AM »
That took less time than expected.

Every race suffered slavery: Your point being?
Slavery was a touchstone of my post meant to highlight the economic disparity of wealth accrued over time in the hands of the majority and kept out of the hands of the minority. I also talked about Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights Movement, Discriminatory hiring practices, discriminatory business practices, and underfunded education.

"Every race was slaves. There are slavers in the world, now!" Is a complete derail of the topic at hand and the thrust of my argument. You've missed the point utterly.

White Guilt. Seriously? You think my intent was to make White people feel Guilty? I'm white. I talk about this stuff routinely. I don't feel guilt about what other people did beyond my sphere of influence. Guilt is useless. It is pointless. Understanding is what I'm looking for. Trying to recenter things on the basis of White Perspective is just kind of pointless when it's a white person doing the talking.

And to create a society where history, gender, race, etc etc etc don't come into play the first thing we need to do is get rid of economic disparity. Which, y'know, requires an understanding of WHY there is economic disparity and thus you need to understand the history.

Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, after all.

The rest of your presented argument is just kind of ignorant and I'm not gonna get into it.

Go back. Reread my post. Try to understand the points encapsulated into it. Then read the part where I say that we need to get rid of the systemic and economic problems to really fix things. Then maybe approach the topic from the understanding I hope to foster in you.

Offline kylie

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 06:12:08 AM »
         Things are unequal, and the merit system itself presumes race blindness and for that matter, class blindness where in fact there is often bias (some conscious, some less so).  Different tracks, often from young ages, for those whose families can reinvest wealth that generally does not leave their pot.  Race just happens to be one big way that is often divided.

          It doesn't mean people shouldn't be proud of good things groups have accomplished through history.  Just aware of what's left over from the exploitative side.  And there are other, newer versions of exploitation coming along too.  Some more of the familiar racial politics, and some more squeezing out the middle and working classes as a whole.  This is not being critiqued as a New Gilded Age for no reason. 

           As far as 'well what about other groups that have oppressed other groups throughout history,' I don't believe there is currently a viable complaint of people in powerful Turkish or Native American communities denying very many White people loans and even jobs on the basis of their addresses, names, and more importantly lack of family wealth.  Whereas Black Americans often do face these situations.  If you're trying to suggest that there must (or should?)  always be an exploitative dominant ethnic group and it's simply inevitable that they will use the sort of methods we've seen over the past century or so in the US, then you could forget meritocracy and just say you think economic apartheid is completely natural.

            There simply is very little level playing field, meritocracy etc. when this much accumulation of ill-gotten spoils from the past and rigged entry in the present, is accepted as a natural functioning of the market.  That is not calling it what it is.  If you think life is always dog eat dog and everyone should be able to keep whatever they can steal whenever and no one should ever care about that, that is one thing.  Call it that then and be done.  But it is not a meritocracy for everyone in any historical sense.  As it has played out in the US, it's pretty much a racially segregrated economy.  You can't say let's just reset the clock and forget about race, it will somehow go away by itself, and not redistribute wealth and opportunity too.  It won't go away by pretending that people whose families were robbed historically should simply suck it up and work harder.

            And admitting that people have been and too often still are systemically shut out, is hardly the same thing as giving them a pass to rape and human trafficking.  Which is not the same thing again as dealing with a situation where police tend to stop and harass Blacks disproportionately even in contexts where no crimes are generally found.

            But lately the American lower middle class (or what's left of it, historically speaking) and working class are getting abused so hard, it's not very surprising maybe that some people can't see past a zero-sum view where any sort of leveling suggestion gets cast as merely stealing from Peter to pay Paul.  It's still a paranoid time, whether that more often means only getting to have one car or (for fewer people) just one house, --- or rather, having fewer school districts to choose from at all.  Yet, those divides in experience (to be able even to worry about saving houses versus only to constantly worry about basic services) still very often also fall along racial lines.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 11:26:15 AM by kylie »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 06:19:11 AM »
Well. Okay. I'll make one note on another part of your post!

The division in society already exists. You just don't see it from your perspective.  You've got to shift your viewpoint to get the full picture and understand what is really going on. And to do that you need to talk to the people undergoing the problem.

For example, prior to my various surgeries and hormone therapy, people treated me as a white straight cisgender ablebodied man in America. Then, after I came out of the closet as a bisexual woman, friends dropped me like a hot potato. I got death threats from dudes I went to high school with and hadn't seen in almost 8 years.

And jobs? Pssssshhhh! I was a store Manager for half a decade. They found out I wasn't cisgender and suddenly all my performance reviews came up TERRIBLE. Nevermind that the store was running at a consistent profit year over year and the people I worked with treated me with all the dignity and respect in the world.

Now I can hardly -get- a job. And basically never keep them because someone gets uncomfortable working with a "Tranny" or "Shemale". Meanwhile the home office never hears a word and the sexual harassment lawsuit I filed (Transgender isn't a protected class and I have no right to work on that basis, legally speaking) got held up for 6 months and then summarily dismissed because wearing a dress to work was -inviting- the harassment.

The divisions and rifts exist. Few people understand it so completely as transgender women who transition after they turn 18. Bringing attention to them through discussions of social justice and equality just brings attention to them. It doesn't create them.

And Kylie? I love you.

Offline elone

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 08:31:33 AM »

We live in a society where the very idea of trying to fix the damage we've done over the past two hundred years and more is considered subversive, antithetical, and is stigmatized to the point that even a lot of the people who would be most helped by the restructuring consider it a very bad thing.

We need to fix that.

I agree with most of what you have said in the opening post, and that coming from one who basically is one of those who did it without a lot of parental financial assistance. GI bill, and working through college, bought my own first car, etc. I recognize that perhaps everyone may not be able to do that sort of thing, regardless of race or gender issues. Of course discrimination still exists because a lot of people identify with their own group, fear the unknown, and need to feel like they are better than someone else. I don't see us entering into some sort of utopian society any time soon, so I am curious as to what your suggestions are for fixing the situation.

How do we fix it? How do we change people's ingrained ideas on race and sexuality? Whose responsibility is it to institute the change?

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 08:57:01 AM »
Now look at everything I've said and think about how Native Americans have been treated in America. And Women. And Jews. And Chinese people. Transgender individuals. Homosexuals. Bisexuals.

I'm not sure the Jewish example supports your overall point.

Jews (both as a religion and a race) have had a pretty difficult time in the US. As a small anecdote, if I recall correctly the first Jew to actually reach the colonies was paid to go back by the Europe by the existing settlers and that rather set the tone for what was to come. The Jewish population of the US grew in spurts, each spurt largely coinciding with a crackdown on the Jews in their previous lands. As such the Jewish community had little links or unifying ideas and, understandably for those fleeing persecution, generally came to the US with very little material wealth. Despite the success of some Jews in the banking industry (for example both Goldman Sachs and Lehmen Brothers were founded in the mid-to-late 19th century by first or second generation Jewish immigrants) during the early 20th century the Jews were largely an underclass with around 80% of Jews working in manual labour (primarily in textile families) and with income and education levels well below the non-Jewish white average. In addition there were several laws formally and informally restricting Jews from certain careers and educational establishments.

Yet today, despite anti-semitism being a pretty common and open event (especially whenever Israel hits the news), a Jew is almost twice as likely to have a college degree and four times as likely to have a graduate degree as a non-Jew, over 60% of employed Jews works in one of the stereotypically "high prestige" fields (professional/technical, management/executive and business/finance) compared to 46% of employed non-Jews, their median income is 29% higher than the US median and, according to Gallup survey, have the most wellbeing of any group in the US. In pretty much every measurable way outside of employment rates (where the Jewish rate is slightly lower than the US average, although that is largely considered to be due to an aging population) US Jews are in a better position than non-Jews. And this came about not by specific or deliberate actions but simply by repealing the discriminatory laws that had once impacted on the Jewish community.

Likewise one can look at the history of Chinese-Americans. Largely brought to the US for cheap, manual labour they suffered some horrible discrimination from a complete ban on Chinese immigrants and a refusal to allow them to become citizens that lasted 50 years, laws forcing them to pay additional taxes and preventing them from owning land, the "yellow peril", trade unions opposing Chinese Americans as "taking our jobs", a number of massacres and murders, similar "separate but equal" policies as impacted on African-Americans and being victims of the Red Scare during the Cold War. Yet much like the Jews, today Chinese Americans have an average household income significantly higher than the national average, a higher rate of home ownership and are more likely to have a bachelors degree.

In both cases we are talking about groups that suffered terribly from oppression and in that regard are little different to some of the other groups you mention. They have no had special laws issued or treatment given yet have seemingly managed to overcome that oppression within about a 50-60 year period. One could also consider the status of relatively recent African immigrants to the US who demographically attain a higher education level, have a higher employment rate and earn a higher (around $2,000 if I recall correctly) than the average person in the US. 

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 10:56:12 AM »
Now combine that with school system design that left poor black communities poorly educated.

In the US, public school funding has traditionally been the responsibility of local districts, which use property tax for their revenue.  States provide some funding to local districts, and districts receive some federal funding (Title 1, special education etc), but the value of local property sets the parameters for how much funding is available for public schools.

Several court cases have been filed attempting to demonstrate that using property tax as the basis for school funding disadvantaged poor children because poor districts didn't have the tax base that wealthier districts had.  In San Antonio Independent School District vs. Rodriguez, the district tried to claim that the 14th amendment (which guaranteed equal protection under the law) had been violated.  The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that since there is no federal constitutional right to education, and since there was no systematic discrimination against poor people, the 14th Amendment was not violated.

The only practical solution for this funding disparity is to do what California did in 1971.  The California Supreme Court declared that the state's dependence on property taxes to support schools was a violation of equal protection principles in the state constitution.  In response, the state legislature put a cap on max revenues in wealthy districts, collected the extra revenue, and increased state aid to poorer districts.

I'm not sure of your perspective on this, but it seems quite authoritarian for the state to intervene in a district matter and "set limits" on how much investment middle-to-upper-middle-class citizens can make in their schools.  This situation led to a tax revolt in California, leading to a reduction in property taxes, which only significantly hurt public education in poor areas even more.



For years, the belief was that educating and empowering urban minority youth would encourage them to reinvest in their communities as adults, and thus reduce crime rates and poverty.  To the contrary, what often happens is that after achieving their college educations, they naturally choose to live in safer, more well-to-do, and usually predominantly white communities (and who can blame them for wanting to escape the violence of their youth).  If anything, this shows that these issues are socioeconomic ones in this day and age, and not racial ones.  In other words, the idea that an ethnic group sticks together, as a result of deep cultural ties is increasingly fading in a world where money dictates one's decisions.  Sadly, this only deteriorates urban communities even more, since their best and brightest are choosing to leave their communities.  Perhaps decades ago, there existed a kinship bond amongst urban blacks, or even blacks in general.  But in this day and age, it's largely an issue of poverty rather than race.

As a result, as we move to a more color-blind society, the biggest threat we face are those still continuing to cling to their "race" or "culture" with an iron fist.  As an example, many of us tend to think of the rise of interracial marriages as a sign of greater tolerance and unity.  However, there are minorities who criticize this as somehow taking a toll on their "ethnic identity."  This seems like an unhealthy perspective to perpetuate, especially when we are trying to move towards a society that decreases the need for racial group membership.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 11:12:17 AM »
In Australia we have our own Aboriginals some of whom will tell you that by trying to provide special treatment and Government grants and what not you are creating a culture of entitlement and victim hood, I agree, if you want Equality, true equality than forget about race, forget about history, forget about gender, religion/non religion and sexuality, create a society where people are rewarded on their merits and not because of some score card that says today we need to select a "Black Bisexual Disabled Transgender Woman" because we have quotas to meet.

You have the luxury of being blind to colour, gender, religion, sexuality, etc. People who have to deal with discrimination every day just because of what they look like do not.

Officially sanctioned oppression might be over, but systemic oppression is not. People of colour still tend to fare worse at the hands of the justice system. Transgender people are still primarily portrayed as punchlines or acceptable targets for violence. In America, atheists are still less trusted than rapists. It is not possible for these people to "just forget about it" and hope that society will give them a fair shake - you're asking them to walk through a minefield blindfolded.

Nobody here is saying white/cis/hetero/Christian people need to feel guilty for things that they had no control over. The point is that everyone needs to be aware of the context of our society and the existence of this shit, and push back against it where we see it.

In pretty much every measurable way outside of employment rates (where the Jewish rate is slightly lower than the US average, although that is largely considered to be due to an aging population) US Jews are in a better position than non-Jews. And this came about not by specific or deliberate actions but simply by repealing the discriminatory laws that had once impacted on the Jewish community.
The evidence does not support this - there are plenty of groups of people still experiencing oppression today, despite the fact that no discriminatory laws exist (and in some cases, I'm not sure they ever existed). I would say it has more to do with shifting cultural definitions. The definition of "White" has changed over time - at one time, it didn't include the Polish or Irish, either. It now includes these groups, and I'd argue that Asians are close to that point as well.



Several court cases have been filed attempting to demonstrate that using property tax as the basis for school funding disadvantaged poor children because poor districts didn't have the tax base that wealthier districts had.  In San Antonio Independent School District vs. Rodriguez, the district tried to claim that the 14th amendment (which guaranteed equal protection under the law) had been violated.  The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that since there is no federal constitutional right to education, and since there was no systematic discrimination against poor people, the 14th Amendment was not violated.

Interesting note: Redlining is something that was still being fought in the courts when this decision was handed down, and something that we know for a fact was happening as recently as the subprime lending crisis. There might not have been institutional discrimination, but the idea that there was no systematic discrimination against poor people of colour is just straight-up bullshit.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 11:24:48 AM »
Interesting note: Redlining is something that was still being fought in the courts when this decision was handed down, and something that we know for a fact was happening as recently as the subprime lending crisis. There might not have been institutional discrimination, but the idea that there was no systematic discrimination against poor people of colour is just straight-up bullshit.

I was summarizing a court decision relating to education.  The Supreme Court stated that the defendant did not (could not) argue that "there is some quantum of education that is fundamental and which the class is not receiving."  The defendant also could not argue on legal grounds that the class was entitled to the best education provided by public schools in Texas.  Whether or not we think such bias exists, it's impossible to prove legal systemic discrimination here since there is no baseline optimal standard of educational funding.  As a result, there is no legal grounds to suggest that poor people (relating to race or not) are being discriminated against funding-wise in education.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 11:41:00 AM »
I would say that the systemic discrimination did not meet a legal requirement for redress - it clearly existed. This is an important distinction.

Further, your argument does not address what you were responding to. The fact that the courts did not find this to fit the legal definition of discrimination has literally nothing to do with whether or not poor black communities have a lower standard of education - the court's decision actually implicitly agreed that they do. The deciding factor was that a lower standard of education is apparently perfectly fine under the law - which should be pretty disturbing.

Also, I'd strongly dispute your claim that the only practical solution is to cap contributions from the wealthy. How about subsidizing the poorer neighbourhoods, so they get lifed up isntead of pushing down on the better standard? How about, oh, I don't know, uncoupling education from property ownership so that quality of education is not inherently tied to wealth? Believe it or not, funding education directly with property tax is not the only system, nor the one that produces the best results.

Offline kylie

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 11:47:35 AM »
          Val,  you're citing case decisions from 1971 and 1973.  As I recall, that's roughly or barely the start of the period when interracial marriage gained legal protection at all.  And as we can see in the continued scuffle over things like voter ID laws -- often particularly in the South where the history of slavery and then Jim Crow looms especially large -- a little progress in one area is often followed by periodic waves of denial and backlash in other contexts. 

          If you are going to sit on that, then maybe it's time someone went back to court and took up the question of systemic discrimination or right to education again.  We are currently watching some of the same sitting Supremes who once slammed the door on gay rights, beat a retreat or lose on same-sex marriage today.  And it's hardly arguable that educational credentials for white collar jobs have not increased.  I imagine a case could easily be made that the government has an extraordinary interest in setting standards for education.  It has to be better than the case made so far for any extraordinary interest in defining marriage along med-sex lines.

         There is still no law guaranteeing women equal pay for the same jobs, either.  Would you also argue that lack of a positive law means that is something we couldn't establish a standard for or administer, either?  In both contexts, we now have continuing statistical proof of gaps over the generations and other cases and inquiries more recently dealing with specific ways these things have so long been maintained, as Ephiral mentioned.  Though I'm sometimes also left wondering how blind and selective judges can be when they decide what to notice when.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 11:51:09 AM by kylie »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 01:05:51 PM »
Also, I'd strongly dispute your claim that the only practical solution is to cap contributions from the wealthy. How about subsidizing the poorer neighbourhoods, so they get lifed up isntead of pushing down on the better standard? How about, oh, I don't know, uncoupling education from property ownership so that quality of education is not inherently tied to wealth? Believe it or not, funding education directly with property tax is not the only system, nor the one that produces the best results.

That's what they were essentially doing in California back then.  The state was intervening in district taxation to set caps, then increased state aid to subsidize education of poor school districts.

The problem is that this alone does very little to address educational issues in inner cities.  Right now, it's near impossible for an inner city school district to recruit high quality teachers, regardless of salary.  No matter how much money you throw at the system, if talented teachers tend to prefer working in safer schools, with lower rates of violence, it's a tough sell.  Money alone, without an actual plan for improving the community, does little to improve educational performance. 

I am assuming you are suggesting a system where school districts are funded equally - mainly from the state, rather than at the local level.  There are some serious long-term ramifications of this idea.  One of the consequences of this is that funding for school districts in middle class areas will decline from what they are now, since tax dollars are being pooled by the state now, and distributed equally to all school districts.  The vast majority of middle class families will experience declines in their school funding - while at the same time, not receiving any reductions in the taxes they are paying.  Over time, this would lead to an exodus of middle-class families from states with more poverty stricken districts (Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, etc) to states with less poverty stricken districts (Washington DC, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc).  The reason for this is that while taxation may not change significantly, they would be receiving a better quality school district for their children for the amount of taxes they are paying.  In other words, since wealthier states have more taxpayers, and correspondingly more revenue coming into the state, the distribution of school funds would be more advantageous for middle-class school districts.

Over the years, this leads to a worsening scenario for the poor.  Now you'll have entire states which are poorer than they originally were, and other states which are wealthier than they now are.  Rather than creating equality, well-intentioned programs such as this often lead to more polarization of wealth.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 01:07:16 PM by Valthazar »

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 01:29:15 PM »
That took less time than expected.

Every race suffered slavery: Your point being?
Slavery was a touchstone of my post meant to highlight the economic disparity of wealth accrued over time in the hands of the majority and kept out of the hands of the minority. I also talked about Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights Movement, Discriminatory hiring practices, discriminatory business practices, and underfunded education.

"Every race was slaves. There are slavers in the world, now!" Is a complete derail of the topic at hand and the thrust of my argument. You've missed the point utterly.

White Guilt. Seriously? You think my intent was to make White people feel Guilty? I'm white. I talk about this stuff routinely. I don't feel guilt about what other people did beyond my sphere of influence. Guilt is useless. It is pointless. Understanding is what I'm looking for. Trying to recenter things on the basis of White Perspective is just kind of pointless when it's a white person doing the talking.

And to create a society where history, gender, race, etc etc etc don't come into play the first thing we need to do is get rid of economic disparity. Which, y'know, requires an understanding of WHY there is economic disparity and thus you need to understand the history.

Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, after all.

The rest of your presented argument is just kind of ignorant and I'm not gonna get into it.

Go back. Reread my post. Try to understand the points encapsulated into it. Then read the part where I say that we need to get rid of the systemic and economic problems to really fix things. Then maybe approach the topic from the understanding I hope to foster in you.

Every one has a legacy of oppression. Like I stated every race has been conquered by another at some point, then you have individuals who also have suffered bullying for numerous reasons.

The strong survive and get on with it.

I mentioned the Rotterham case as it supports what I say about creating a new underclass, in the Rotterham case Authorities ignored the abuse because they saw the abusers as untouchable and the abused being mostly White Indigenous English girls as being less important.

Anyway, your insults and condescending tone are unwarranted, it seems to be the way of the Politically Correct to go on the attack when someone disagrees with them, I found your entire post to be naive and ignorant, I tried discussing it with you and am not surprised at your response to be honest.

I wrote nothing that disrespected you, yet you disrespect me. Not cool, not mature.


Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 01:54:36 PM »
So your argument is that state-funded education will lead to more inequality of wealth, mass exodus from poorer regions, and lowered quality of education? Can you point to a single example of this ever happening in the real world? Looking at my own nation: We've got an educational structure that is grossly similar to the US, except that there is a disconnection at the provincial level between a given area's property taxes and the funding it receives, and there are several federal mechanisms for subsidizing poorer regions. We have similar rates of high-school graduation (though ours are rising while the US is flat), our literacy, math, and science performance levels are higher, and - key to this discussion - our education inequality is hugely lower. I live in one of the poorest provinces, and our population is rising.

Source: OECD Better Life Index, Education breakdown.

So... which nations, exactly, are performing worse than the US, or experienced a significnat downturn, after uncoupling education funding from district-level property taxes?

EDIT: Your final point, about creating greater regional income disparity, is just straight-up wrong on its face. If people will flee poor regions for rich ones under systems which reduce the difference between poor and rich regions, then they will do so in greater numbers under the current US system - because those gaps are going to be wider without any means of addressing them.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 01:59:02 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 02:07:19 PM »
Every one has a legacy of oppression. Like I stated every race has been conquered by another at some point, then you have individuals who also have suffered bullying for numerous reasons.

The strong survive and get on with it.

There are some nuances you seem to be missing here. First: The legacy of oppression Steampunkette talks about? It's still happening in some regards, and even where parts of it have ended, their repercussions are still being felt by the oppressed. I don't think you'll find that this is the case for certain segments of the population. So saying "We've all been oppressed at some point, get over it" is trivializing a lot of real people's real, lived experiences, and sweeping a lot of ongoing, ugly shit under the rug. The "strong" in your statement are not just those who have enough willpower and ambition - they're the ones with willpower, ambition, and a whole long list of socioeconomic advantages. There are segments of the population in rich, ostensibly free and democratic nations today where strong and motivated people are still dying because of oppressive bullshit.

And yes, you were extremely disrespectful. Steampunkette is actually suffering in real, measurable ways from a legacy of oppression right now. The "Why should I care? Get over it!" attitude dismisses this, and lays the blame for actions others have taken against her at her feet. Obviously, she just wasn't strong enough to not get fired on the basis of her gender, right?

Dismissiveness is disrespect.

Offline consortium11

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 02:23:15 PM »
The evidence does not support this - there are plenty of groups of people still experiencing oppression today, despite the fact that no discriminatory laws exist (and in some cases, I'm not sure they ever existed). I would say it has more to do with shifting cultural definitions. The definition of "White" has changed over time - at one time, it didn't include the Polish or Irish, either. It now includes these groups, and I'd argue that Asians are close to that point as well.

I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding my point here... I'm not saying that removing discriminatory laws removes discrimination. What I'm saying is that despite isolated outliers (the much maligned "Jewish bankers" for example) both Jews and Chinese Americans entered the 20th century as a distinct underclass who, in demographic terms, earned less and were less well educated than the national average and especially in comparison to the WASP's. Both faced both openly discriminatory laws and practices for most of the 20th century and to this day face discrimination and condemnation.

Yet despite that legacy of oppression today, in demographic terms, Jews and Chinese Americans are higher paid and higher educated then both the national average and WASP's, with higher rates of home ownership, longer life expectancies and tend to top "wellbeing" or "quality of life" studies. In demographic terms it's basically a battle between Jews and the various Asian-American ethnicities (with Chinese Americans outperforming most of the other Asian-Americans) to see who has it "best"; on pretty much every scale they come out near the top. Yet there has been no special treatment or laws put forward to counteract this "legacy of oppression" here; all that changed was discriminatory laws were abolished and in at most a century and more likely 50/60 years we've seen both groups go from an abused minority to being what is referred to as a "model minority".

Thus if we want to talk about how a legacy of oppression holds people back even when oppressive legislation has been removed, bringing up Jews or Chinese Americans seems a strange example to use; both faced vast amounts of oppression, both are subjected to acts of racism to this day but both outperform both the national average and WASP's in pretty much all the key demographics. If anything bringing up the example of the Jews or Chinese Americans is an example that this "legacy of oppression" actually isn't really a powerful thing in and of itself.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 02:33:06 PM »
I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding my point here... I'm not saying that removing discriminatory laws removes discrimination. What I'm saying is that despite isolated outliers (the much maligned "Jewish bankers" for example) both Jews and Chinese Americans entered the 20th century as a distinct underclass who, in demographic terms, earned less and were less well educated than the national average and especially in comparison to the WASP's. Both faced both openly discriminatory laws and practices for most of the 20th century and to this day face discrimination and condemnation.

Yet despite that legacy of oppression today, in demographic terms, Jews and Chinese Americans are higher paid and higher educated then both the national average and WASP's, with higher rates of home ownership, longer life expectancies and tend to top "wellbeing" or "quality of life" studies. In demographic terms it's basically a battle between Jews and the various Asian-American ethnicities (with Chinese Americans outperforming most of the other Asian-Americans) to see who has it "best"; on pretty much every scale they come out near the top. Yet there has been no special treatment or laws put forward to counteract this "legacy of oppression" here; all that changed was discriminatory laws were abolished and in at most a century and more likely 50/60 years we've seen both groups go from an abused minority to being what is referred to as a "model minority".
My point wasn't that discrimination doesn't exist against these groups; it does, though it's shifting toward the margins. My point was that your assertion, repeated here, that the removal of discriminatory laws was the only change, is false. There was a shift in societal perception of these groups, granting them access to some or all of the benefits of white privilege. As a general rule of thumb, Jewish people today don't have to worry about undue scrutiny from police. They don't have to worry about being herded into ghettoes by homeowner's covenants and lending policies. They don't have to worry about every misdeed by a Jewish person being held up as representative of all Jews by the wider society. They don't need to worry constantly about representing all Jews to society. In general, as a rule, they don't have to worry about how their ethnicity might deny them access to things that white people take for granted. Ignoring this is going to seriously distort your view of reality as it applies to these issues.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2014, 02:46:57 PM »
Laura I respect you as a person, your argument less so. And the dog whistle disrespect -in- that post even less.

Your initial post was a series of derailments which were tailored to try and bring the topic to white perspectives. Your Rotterham case. Your "White Guilt" your "White Pride" at the end of the post. Rather than understand what I was trying to say, you took an individual point and made it into a strawman argument about white people and how I was trying to disrespect them.

And then for someone touting White Pride and freedom from White Guilt to talk about how "Some Aboriginals" believe X, Y, or Z about how helping them is bad? That's a big thing that happened in the early 1900s in America, too. But it wasn't Aboriginals and Social Welfare Reform.



It was women who felt like they shouldn't be allowed to vote. There were 90 of them in the Anti-suffrage society and their influence and social relevance made it seem like there were 9 million. Why? Because the men in power who opposed Suffrage touted those 90 whenever possible. They spread word about them over the radio, in movie houses, theatres, political rallies, advertisements... Do I believe you that there are "Some" Aboriginals who think any help is bad help? Sure. Some will believe that. It's a piss poor reason to let all the rest of them suffer systemic oppression, though.

You may not have INTENDED to come across disrespectful, but holy shit you did. Mainly by your dissection and belaboring of a single foundational statement about my argument rather than trying, at all, to address my argument's main point. Has everyone got it rough? Sure. Not nearly so much in the US of A and we made it rough on others, instead.

Ephiral: I love you. Sooooo much.

Elone: We fix it with economic restructuring.

America is supposed to be a laissez faire Capitalist society. It isn't. And it hasn't been since Jefferson rolled over and died. Hell, he lamented the very idea of banking institutions because of the massive economic damage they're capable of. But while I'd love to talk about the Founding Fathers and their beliefs that's not the point, here.

We aren't Laissez Faire. We probably never were. The fact that we had an entire class of people who weren't allowed to own property kind of shoots that idea in the foot. We have a romanticized idea of Capitalism, but what we're living is the restrained version of the monster. It took centuries for the 1% to get control of 40% of the wealth, here. Through trust busting and the like we'd been staving it off, but with Reaganomics and then the consecutive Bushes in the office any attempt at economic control became a political farce that brought out Hand-Wringy the Fox News Clown.

To get to a point where deep seated problematic opinions of people are eliminated the first thing we need to do is remove the economic blocks that allow those people to be exploited and turned into stereotypes. We need to economically elevate everyone above the poverty line.

Now I know that America thinks Socialism and Communism are terrible ideas and anything that smacks of Wealth Redistribution is anathema, but hear me out.

The idea that everyone needs to work to survive is a holdover from the Middle Ages. From a time when we didn't have enough food and water and shelter to go around. Today there are more empty houses than homeless. More change and bills are destroyed in a year than a third of the country makes. We throw away enough food to feed several nations. Okay the middle one was hyperbolic, but the point remains.

There is no need in our society for people to starve because they don't work. We have enough surplus wealth and luxury and safety and so forth that we could provide for our people. We don't do it because we are used to the idea that anyone considered "Lazy" is bad. But the Lazy appellation is put onto anyone who doesn't work, there aren't enough jobs, and a hell of a lot of people can't get hired because of disability or prejudices against them (or both) for the jobs that do exist.

Under Nixon the top tax rate was 70%. Reagan dropped that down to 28%. Clinton got it up to almost 40% before Bush cut it down to 33% and Obama is trying to put it back up to 40%. That Tax Revenue is a big part of -why- America has been spending at a major deficit. Because we cut the biggest supply of currency. Never mind the destruction of the Capital Gains and Estate Taxes that once created massive boosts to the economic power of the US.

We need to reinstate those taxes. If we do that we can then turn around and give every adult $30,000 a year, free and clear, just so they can have money.

That's not a social program for the poor. That's all 320 million Americans getting 30k a year.

It would pull everyone in our nation out of poverty. It would create a massive amount of spending on goods, services, and real estate. People would be able to afford their basic needs -before- going to work, which would allow them to purchase improvements above their own basic support. Wanna buy a new car? Get a part time job for a few months to put together the downpayment and then keep that part time job to keep making the payments on it. Want to go to college? Get a job to pay tuition fees, your housing and food and basic needs are already covered and you won't have to spend the bulk of the money you earn just supporting yourself.

Think of what the Middle Class would do with another $30,000 per year of disposable income. Vacations, new computers, putting money away for college or kids. But most of all people would spend money. They would buy things, which means things need to be made. Which means people need to make them and stock them and sell them.

People living in Ghettos would be able to get OUT. They'd have the financial stability to move to safer areas. Hell, they'd have the financial stability to move to different cities or states if they so chose. The idea of poor urban youth (read broke black people) would fade pretty quickly when the poor urban youth can afford college, good food, new housing, and more. Same thing with the Native American stereotypes of being poor and ignorant.

And, of course, with $30,000 more spending for most every adult within a given city, sales tax would give cities massive continuous flow to improve schools, roads, and infrastructure. Money changing hands and changing hands and changing hands would improve the area. People only needing to work one job rather than trying to hold down 2-3 while supporting a family and getting an education wouldn't need the "extra" jobs and free them up for people who need them. Or they'd be making REAL money and REAL progress towards wealth beyond their basic needs, which is just mind bogglingly wonderful.

And with all that money? Cameras on Cops. Monitoring interactions. After all, once you don't need to sell drugs or sex on the corner just to make enough money to survive crime is going to go down significantly. But complaints are still going to be high unless the interactions are monitored. One city, Rialto California, put cameras on it's cops and civilian complaints dropped 88% overnight. Whether that's from cops approaching situations with the knowledge that they're being monitored, civilians no longer lying to get out of trouble, or some combination of the two is kind of irrelevant: The result is important.

So yeah. Maintain our social security nets. Raise the minimum bar on them above minimum wage. Then dole out a $30,000 a year "Citizen Salary" to every American Adult. Raise the taxes on the top tier to pre-Reagan levels. And boom. The nation becomes fiscally solvent super fast, the economy explodes in growth, and most of the preconceptions and ideas about a given group of people are nullified, negated, or forced to be rewritten.

Now that won't help MOGAI individuals on the basis of their MOGAI status. But since a large portion of MOGAI identifying individuals are minorities that gives them a sudden boost in economic, and thus lobbying, power.

Sure. We'd have to control inflation. Specifically of prices as they currently stand. But this idea is not printing new money, as some nations have tried in the past. It's taking the money already out there and putting it into circulation.

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2014, 03:01:20 PM »
I didn't read your rant steampunkette like I said you are disrespectful and put forward a very poor argument. If you didn't want slavery to be mentioned than you shouldn't have mentioned it in your post.

You even responded with more disrespect, I have a personal rule in real life and on forums when someone resorts to insults and disrespect as you have than that means they have nothing else to offer, it also means they lack maturity and basic manners.

Have fun insulting people who disagree with you, I refuse to lower myself by trying to engage in discussion with you.

Online Blythe

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2014, 03:02:20 PM »
Let's remember the civility rule here in the thread, everyone. Thank you.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2014, 03:06:51 PM »
I didn't read your rant steampunkette like I said you are disrespectful and put forward a very poor argument. If you didn't want slavery to be mentioned than you shouldn't have mentioned it in your post.

You even responded with more disrespect, I have a personal rule in real life and on forums when someone resorts to insults and disrespect as you have than that means they have nothing else to offer, it also means they lack maturity and basic manners.

Have fun insulting people who disagree with you, I refuse to lower myself by trying to engage in discussion with you.
For someone who values respect, maturity, and basic manners so highly, this post is extremely condescending and rude. Please look into this.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2014, 03:14:32 PM »
I didn't read your rant steampunkette like I said you are disrespectful and put forward a very poor argument. If you didn't want slavery to be mentioned than you shouldn't have mentioned it in your post.

You even responded with more disrespect, I have a personal rule in real life and on forums when someone resorts to insults and disrespect as you have than that means they have nothing else to offer, it also means they lack maturity and basic manners.

Have fun insulting people who disagree with you, I refuse to lower myself by trying to engage in discussion with you.

None of what she said was in any way a rant.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2014, 03:17:19 PM »
Okay. Bye.

Seriously, though. Let's get back onto the actual topic now that the derailment has ended. Don't antagonize her, it only invites her to return to defend herself. She's made her opinions and perspectives quite clear.

What do you all think of my proposal, there? Would it work? Would it cause problems I'm not seeing? What are your opinions and ideas that could redefine mine to create a different, more positive, outcome?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Let's talk a little bit about oppressive legacy.
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2014, 03:25:57 PM »
Insufficient data. I think it's a good theory, but first and foremost I'd need to see data supporting the idea that 7.2 trillion dollars could come from simply shoring up income tax (to what level), and reinstating capital gains and estate taxes (at what level?).