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buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Racial Discussion

buzzsaw wrote:

I want to pull this out of the politics thread because this is not an anything goes subject.  Please keep posts on topic and do NOT post anything that could be considered a racial slur or overtly insensitive.  I will absolutely report anyone violating this.

buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Racial Discussion

buzzsaw wrote:

In the politics thread, I mentioned that (from what I have seen at least and I have lived in both Chicago and the south, so I have seen different areas), the racial divide doesn't really exist on the micro-level. Yes, there are racist white people and there are racist black people (and other races as well), but for the most part people of different races coexist fine at work, in communities, in sports leagues (professional and community), at bars and eateries, etc. 

So if most people aren't the issue, what is?  It can't be the few outwardly racist people. I hear a lot about systematic racism, but some (SOME, not ALL) of that is more socioeconomic than it is racial.  Why is it that at the macro-level people feel we have all these huge issues that don't exist at the micro-level? I'm not asking because I don't think it can exist, but I'd like to understand it better. To do that, I think we need to drill down further.

Do blacks in urban areas have disadvantages over blacks in more rural areas? I know schools get funding through property taxes. Inner city schools (logically thinking) aren't as well funded as suburban schools.  Not sure about farming communities, but that would be an interesting study to tell if this is a racial or economic issue). I understand why people can't afford to move to the suburban schools, but why couldn't the move to more rural communities?  Cost of living is lower than suburban cities and probably not much more (if any) than the inner city.  What keeps people in the inner city?  It used to be the jobs, but I don't think that's the case any more.  It makes sense that people went there years ago; why do they stay there?  How much of a difference would it make if they moved out of the inner city?

Randall Flagg
 Rep: 130 

Re: Racial Discussion

I guess my struggle in empathizing towards the BLM movement is their utter silence on the 99.9% of deaths unrelated to a police officer shooting an unarmed black man. 9 unarmed black men were shot by police last year. Approximately 5500 were killed by a firearm from another black man - 50% of all firearm homicides in the US, despite only being 12% of the population.

5 black men have been murdered by (presumably) black men in the Pittsburgh area the past week. We’ve had protests every day for George Floyd, with over 1k people staging a lay-in (they pretend to be dead) in front of the jail on Friday. Not a single mention about any of these five men, but a lot about George Floyd.

If the premise of BLM is that the lives of black people are undervalued in the US, and thus the statement, “Black Lives Matter” needs to be stated to bring awareness to this, how is such a notion compatible with the utter massacre inflicted on black lives largely by other black lives.

The movement is filled with disinformation and outright lies. “Hands up don’t shoot” is a lie. Michael Brown never surrendered, he never put his hands up. The autopsy showed this and was affirmed under Eric Holder and Obama. Brown charged the police officer after trying to disarm him, and was shot. That’s as clear cut a case of when lethal force is justified. You assault a police officer, resist arrest, then attempt to charge the police officer while he has his weapon drawn to protect himself from the assault you initiated, you’re going to die in every country on earth. Yet “hands up don’t shoot” has become as synonymous as “I can’t breathe!”  Yes, this slogan absolutely applies to George Floyd. But it’s been repeated for years since Eric Garner, who again, was proven not to be choked to death and clearly resisted arrest. Garner was repeatedly asked to not sell black market cigarettes and bootlegs in front of a store. Repeatedly. The police had let him go many times before, but at what point do we have to enforce the law? So the police go to arrest him, he puts up a fight, and has a heart attack. That’s what happened. He wasn’t choked to death. And in both the Brown and Grey incidents, a jury evaluated all testimony (with black jurors) and came back not guilty. So to lead a movement based on the lie that these men were murdered, undercuts they integrity of the entire thing. Same with Trayvon Martin. Yes, George Zimmerman is a known douche now. But that didn’t now or then entitle Martin to knock Zimmerman to the ground, and repeatedly bash his head into the concrete. Only when his head was being repeatedly beat against the concrete, did Zimmerman pull his gun and shoot Martin. That’s what the forensic evidence and medical exams of both Zimmerman and Martin said. You can hypothesize and conjecture all you want, but you better have a story that supported by the forensic  evidence.

How many unarmed white people were killed last year?  Black people commit more crimes than any other ethnicity. That’s not a racist statement, it’s objective fact. Half the murders in this country are done by black men. Unless you know of thousands of hidden murders that the police have failed to register, you can’t negate this fact. And if you acknowledge it, you have to acknowledge that any prudent police department is going to focus on the areas where the most felony 1s are committed. So despite that disparity, black men aren’t killed equally relative to their representation in police calls.

Yes, I agree there is absolutely a lot culturally, socially and institutionally that feed into this discussion. But the current climate seems to be centered around police brutality, and only alleged police brutality towards black men. Minneapolis wants to disband it’s police force. The notion is absurd, but let’s assume it actually happens. Granted, if there’s no police, black men can’t be murdered like George Floyd was. I’d like to point out that Floyd’s murderers are being charged with 2nd degree murder, and were charged before the protests even took place. So I don’t know what more in the incident if George Floyd people want. But on topic, no police, so 9 Unarmed black men aren't killed. But what about the 5491 other black men?  How many more of them die because there’s no police violence to mitigate the violence in the black community that takes 5500 black lives each year?

If I’ve missed something, tell me. But I disagree with the notion black lives are undervalued. In fact, I’d argue the black community devalues black lives the most since they’re responsible for the most black deaths. To take it a step further, it’s well known that witnesses tend not to cooperate with police in these murders. Leaving murderers on the street, to take more black lives.

I believe police actions should be reviewed. I believe those found to be in violation of the law should be punished. But I don’t support dehumanizing police. How many police officers have been murdered or shot in the past week?  Anybody?  They’re humans too, and they don’t forfeit their right to defense by wearing a badge. Their lives are just as important as anyone else’s. I haven’t seen the marches for the officers murdered in cold blood, including the black officers who have been killed the past week.

So I’m summation, I don’t understand BLM. I find most of them to be misinformed and taken advantage of by pieces of shit like Al Sharpton, and the countless others who peddle his wares.  I’d love someone to explain what I’ve got wrong and what I’m missing. But I make decisions on data and the researched truth. So please provide those figures rather than your opinion on how others value the life of someone you didn’t no existed.

buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Racial Discussion

buzzsaw wrote:

I appreciate the thoughtful response.  This isn't an easy topic to discuss.  But BLM wasn't really what I wanted to discuss here.  What I'd really love to focus on is the systematic part of racism and how we fix that.  If we agree that on an individual level most of us can get along with people of other races, there has to be something systematically that we can address to actually make a difference instead of protesting endlessly.  We can debate BLM to death, but it won't change anything.

I'd like to focus on things that can lead to real change for the ones impacted directly.

Randall Flagg
 Rep: 130 

Re: Racial Discussion

I guess I don’t acknowledge the existence of systemic racism, or at least its presence as a primary driving force in disparity between ethnicities in America. If someone can point out a law that is designed to harm people other than whites (cause that’s all we’re talking about when we discuss systemic racism), please do and I’ll advocate its removal. But the past 150 years have been about doing what no other nation has done - integrating and improving a group of people previously subjugated. We can look at the Caribbean or India and see how the standard of living and quality of life differs between them and the UK. The best example you’re going to have is Australia with its Aboriginals, and the US wins that comparison. Australia was closed to non-whites until the late 70s.

I’m genuinely asking for examples of systemic racism in modern America.  It’s no secret that in today’s world, all things being even, colleges and corporations choose to pick someone who they can mark as a diversity hire. Colleges are fighting to be allowed to consider race at this moment.

If a black person is harmed by the police, it’s the front page of every local paper, and if one is killed, it’s national news. The notion of the police assaulting minorities with impunity isn’t substantiated. When a police officer does something wrong, the feds are called in to look at civil rights.

Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. That’s according to Wikipedia. Oxford doesn’t have an entry yet.

Socially, white supremacy is condemned. I don’t know anyone in the mainstream who advocated non-whites are a lesser people. It’s prohibited by state and federal law in terms of considering it to pass policy.  Politically, it’s suicide. Run on the platform “Black people aren’t equal to Whites” and see how far you get in the election. I know people will accuse others of this, but they accused Romney, McCain and Bush of this, and at the moment all three are the Bee’s knees. Run on a platform that white people are morally inferior to minorities, and you’re in Congress or writing for the New York Times.

There are clear disparities at the macro level. But if we’re not allowed to discuss the reasons for that disparity other than to yell “systemic racism”, we’re not really interested in addressing grievances. Education, behavior, procreation, and work ethic are all traits that define each of our opportunities in life. And they’re each almost entirely in our own hands.

I don’t have a solution. Punish bad actors to the full extent of the law. Until we hold people accountable, we can’t really discuss solutions.

buzzsaw
 Rep: 423 

Re: Racial Discussion

buzzsaw wrote:
Randall Flagg wrote:

There are clear disparities at the macro level. But if we’re not allowed to discuss the reasons for that disparity other than to yell “systemic racism”, we’re not really interested in addressing grievances. Education, behavior, procreation, and work ethic are all traits that define each of our opportunities in life. And they’re each almost entirely in our own hands.

I don't agree with this.  I think we have to discuss all of it (which is what I'm trying to do) to dig deeper and find the nuances between everyone has an opportunity and systematic racism.  Everyone might have an opportunity, but that doesn't mean they have the same opportunity.  Absolutely decisions made when presented with opportunities make a difference, but so does the number (and type) of opportunities presented to people. 

For example, I grew up poor.  We were on food stamps at times.  Our big family vacation of my childhood was driving from Chicago to St Louis to go stay at a Howard Johnson.  I was a smart kid but got bored with school easily.  Here's where things start to veer off though.  I didn't have anywhere near as many "negative" opportunities available to me.  I wasn't surrounded by gangs, drugs, prostitution, etc.  The worst decisions I made as a child was some very minor shoplifting.  Once we moved out to the suburbs, there were even less opportunities for bad choices.  I drove by Cabrini Green in Chicago.  I went to games at Comiskey Park and Chicago Stadium.  I didn't live there and I didn't live that life.  I didn't have to dodge that many pot holes just to survive.

I'm not here to blame everything on systematic racism, but I'm not going to pretend it doesn't exist on some level.  What I want to know is why?  If it's not at the micro-level, then what at the macro-level is allowing this to happen?  I think environment matters, and while some of that is socioeconomic more than race, cities like Chicago while they are very diverse, the neighborhoods themselves aren't as much.  There's something to it and while I don't blame it for everything like some do, I think the only way we can get past this and make it better is to have real discussion about it.  Hard discussion.  It's going to hurt people's feelings (not here, in general).  But progress will never be made until it happens.  Honestly.  Lay it all on the table.

Randall Flagg
 Rep: 130 

Re: Racial Discussion

buzzsaw wrote:
Randall Flagg wrote:

There are clear disparities at the macro level. But if we’re not allowed to discuss the reasons for that disparity other than to yell “systemic racism”, we’re not really interested in addressing grievances. Education, behavior, procreation, and work ethic are all traits that define each of our opportunities in life. And they’re each almost entirely in our own hands.

I don't agree with this.  I think we have to discuss all of it (which is what I'm trying to do) to dig deeper and find the nuances between everyone has an opportunity and systematic racism.  Everyone might have an opportunity, but that doesn't mean they have the same opportunity.  Absolutely decisions made when presented with opportunities make a difference, but so does the number (and type) of opportunities presented to people. 

For example, I grew up poor.  We were on food stamps at times.  Our big family vacation of my childhood was driving from Chicago to St Louis to go stay at a Howard Johnson.  I was a smart kid but got bored with school easily.  Here's where things start to veer off though.  I didn't have anywhere near as many "negative" opportunities available to me.  I wasn't surrounded by gangs, drugs, prostitution, etc.  The worst decisions I made as a child was some very minor shoplifting.  Once we moved out to the suburbs, there were even less opportunities for bad choices.  I drove by Cabrini Green in Chicago.  I went to games at Comiskey Park and Chicago Stadium.  I didn't live there and I didn't live that life.  I didn't have to dodge that many pot holes just to survive.

I'm not here to blame everything on systematic racism, but I'm not going to pretend it doesn't exist on some level.  What I want to know is why?  If it's not at the micro-level, then what at the macro-level is allowing this to happen?  I think environment matters, and while some of that is socioeconomic more than race, cities like Chicago while they are very diverse, the neighborhoods themselves aren't as much.  There's something to it and while I don't blame it for everything like some do, I think the only way we can get past this and make it better is to have real discussion about it.  Hard discussion.  It's going to hurt people's feelings (not here, in general).  But progress will never be made until it happens.  Honestly.  Lay it all on the table.

But I find the assumption that because someone was black, they experience hardship to be at the heart of the "soft bigotry" Bush II was mocked for championing.  The whole purpose of growing up in the 80s and 90s as I did, was to look beyond race.  We were taught (rightly so) that you can't make assumptions about someone based off their skin color.  (Negative)Preconceived notions based on ethnicity is the definition of racism.  If you (society) sees a black 22 year old, and think "that guy must have had a rough go at life, so let's treat him differently", that's the problem that needs to be addressed in my eyes.  Cause if that's the view, we can't pretend there's a way forward if we don't view everyone with equal agency.

The problems you mention of drug and crime that seduce a young man into easy money, are the very reason major cities increase their police presence in these communities.  As you said, people of similar socioeconomic status tend to huddle, and to a lesser extent, they do based on race.  So we know where certain criminal activity is going to occur, and statistics tell us the majority of violent crimes occur in black communities.  That is the solution to the disparity in opportunity and circumstance; increased police presence to remove those that facilitate those negative opportunities. 

We provide public housing.  We provide food stamps.  We provide medicaid.  We offer head start.  We offer a free public education.  At this point we're talking about the circumstances of parents, and I don't know how you legislate good parenting.  We've dramatically reformed our divorce and child support laws the past 50 years.  Do we send dead beat dads to jail?  Do we take the opioid addicted mother away?  Where does the kid go?  What if their family member is just as shitty.  What if they have both parents, but they're really shitty people that have no interest in raising a productive member of society? What if their school is full of clowns and trouble makers? 

None of these issues are unique to any ethnicity.  They apply to people of all colors and creeds.  A child's environment is significantly more important to their development and success in life than "systemic racism".  There are known factors that increase the likelihood that a man will become a criminal:  poverty, single parent home, and low IQ.  If there's a disproportionate amount of an ethnicity represented in the data, it's because of factors that cause those three situations.  And none of those problems are unique to any ethnicity.  So if we're going to fix them, let's fix them for all people.  The governor of KY just announced he's going to provide healthcare for all black americans in the state.  Ignoring the wonderous task of defining who qualifies as "black" (my 23&me says I have sub-saharan DNA - do I count?), it's blatantly unconstitutional to do such a thing.  I mean, c'mon.  This isn't a serious solution to the alleged woe, but half the country is cheering this idiot on. 

I guess I just feel we should evaluate each individual as a person, and not part of some monolithic demographic.  And applying a negative assumption about a person's life experience based on their skin color isn't right.  I'm not saying you're intentionally doing this, but it's a mistake I believe to be at the center of the popular discussion on the topic.

Axl S
 Rep: 109 

Re: Racial Discussion

Axl S wrote:

Good topic Buzz and glad to see this brought up in a good way.

Systemic racism isn't just about laws, it's about baked in socio-economic disadvantages that due to historical reasons do tend to cut along racial lines. As you mentioned whilst you may have grown up poor the environment you grew up in meant there was still fewer potholes or off ramps that could badly affect your future life, statistically for black people - both in the US and other western countries - that isn't the case. So it's about how do you address that imbalance - which is where you get stuff like affirmative action.

Folk then complain about actions like that saying they are unfair because they mean person X may get certain opportunity because of the colour of their skin but the fact is these measures are taken really as a way to try and rebalance the scales but it's a long process to reap the benefits.

That said, perhaps it would be better to tackle these issues along class lines and racial lines at the same time. So that no one is left behind.

bigbri
 Rep: 341 

Re: Racial Discussion

bigbri wrote:

A good example of institutional racism or systemic racism or whatever you want to call it is "redlining." This is a big topic in Chicago because the city is so segregated. There are a shit ton of articles about how this affected where blacks and other minorities lived, and also whether they could even own their own homes. You can get a copy of the Chicago Fed's report here: https://www.chicagofed.org/~/media/publ … 12-pdf.pdf

Basically, neighborhoods were given grades (credit reports) that affected the ability to get home loans in those areas. And it just so happens many of the poorly graded communities were made up of minorities. This was in the 1930s.

Here are a couple of stories that are intros into the subject.

https://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/Au … d-America/

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/residen … ghborhoods

misterID
 Rep: 469 

Re: Racial Discussion

misterID wrote:
Axl S wrote:

That said, perhaps it would be better to tackle these issues along class lines and racial lines at the same time. So that no one is left behind.

This, 1000X

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