PDA

View Full Version : Racism is always about power



ishmael
12-13-2007, 05:22 PM
I know some of you will object to this simply because it's Fred Reed. I found it interesting, in part because I used to ride that bus system a lot, sometimes late at night, and wandered neighborhoods no sensible white hippy boy would.

It's a dark story, and Fred is right, we almost never hear of black racism from the mainstream. According to many of the ivory tower crew it's impossible for blacks to be racist, because racism has to involve power over. So when blacks express their hatred and racism its simply a reaction, not a heinous act coming out of evil motivations.

Without further adieu, I toss this into the lion's den.

http://www.fredoneverything.net/FOE_Frame_Column.htm

Kaa
12-13-2007, 05:27 PM
According to many of the ivory tower crew it's impossible for blacks to be racist, because racism has to involve power over.

Huh? Racism is the belief that people of some race(s) are superior to people of other race(s). That's it. Black racism certainly exists and is not subtle at all.

Kaa

Ian McColgin
12-13-2007, 05:38 PM
Were Mr. Reed’s intentions anything other than racist pandering, he’d not have written, “The only reason can be the expectation that blacks will try to kill her to prevent her from testifying against the attackers.”

It’s quite possible that Ms Kreager needs witness protection to be safe from the vicious twisted souls who attacked her and from their friends, but not from “blacks” generically.

There is nothing new in people being so twisted in their own racial and social situation that they opportunistically attack. Read “Soul on Ice.” White and black, Protestant and Catholic, Arab and Israeli, Moslem and Hindu . . . people have recognized the hatred and violence that come from oppression for at least the last 4,000 years.

It’s not going to be easy to make justice and opportunity reach deeply enough to start seriously reducing this sort of problem. Racist rants that “blacks will try to kill her” is not insight and not part of the solution.

ishmael
12-13-2007, 05:39 PM
I've heard it stated, repeatedly here by intelligent people, that black racism can't exist. Because of the oppression of the past, only white racism exists, by DEFINITION!

SamSam
12-13-2007, 05:44 PM
Racism doesn't have to involve "power over" or beliefs of superiority.

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. for real or imagined reasons works fine and always has.

ishmael
12-13-2007, 05:46 PM
When was the last time you lived in a majority black city, Ian? BTW, that phrase struck me, also, but it might well be true, I don't know.

As I've said, when I lived in Baltimore for four years there was a clear tension and division between black and white. I, being naive and open, would wander the black neighborhoods at all times of day or nigh. Sometimes on foot, sometimes in my car, sometimes on the bus. I confess to feeling nervous waiting for the last bus in places, but I never had a problem, and NEVER thought about the kind of attack described here. Again, maybe naive. Or, perhaps there has been a ramping up in places like Baltimore in the last fifteen years? This story would seem to indicate that's the case.

Ian McColgin
12-13-2007, 05:49 PM
You may have heard it from someone, but again, read "Soul on Ice."

What may be ellusive for some is the difference between racism - a set of emotions - and discrimination based on race, a set of actions. There have been those who argue that the folk usually discriminated against cannot by definition discriminate. Usually used in the context of affirmative action, this argument misses the point of expanding positive criteria in ways that put under-accepted minorities on a more level field. That is not "discriminating against a white guy."

The law recognizes that racial discrimination can occur between any races. It's rare but there are examples of black and other minority people in supervisory positions who were found culpable for unlawful racial discrimination.

ishmael
12-13-2007, 05:57 PM
So, when was the last time you lived in a black dominated city, Ian?

It's not pandering to racial fears if it's true that going into the black sections of Baltimore were sussed a very real anger, hatred and basic concern for one's safety--which it did in this case.

Some of the times I wandered into black Baltimore I had good experiences, but other times--I remember one in particular when I was searching out a used tire for my van--when I got more than a cold shoulder. Nothing overt, but it was obvious that I was not welcome at that establishment. They did all but say, "Get the hell out of here, whiteboy."

And I have heard people here say(Scott Rosen comes to mind) that black racism is impossible because of the past. I say, Bushwa to that!

Memphis Mike
12-13-2007, 06:16 PM
Good attention getter there, Jack. How about a little about Catawumpus love? Have you scratched her toes today?

The Bigfella
12-13-2007, 06:27 PM
I'm waiting for the inevitible sexual tension of youth

Memphis Mike
12-13-2007, 06:51 PM
I'm waiting for the inevitible sexual tension of youth
and the astonishment that gay bath houses are still in existance but we could just talk about oil skins instead.

ishmael
12-13-2007, 06:55 PM
Bigflella,

The sexual confessional of those--many who have spoken vehemently against my psychological musings in the past--when that blond teacher was the focus, and most of the men said, "Hoo boy, if I were fourteen and she made a pass at me... Pant, Pant" have soured me to the honesty of most of the posters here.

It's not just OK, it's good to be a fourteen year old male and have a twenty two year old girl teacher screw you according to our panting sexual males raised on Playboy. Turn it around and have a twenty two year old male teacher screwing a fourteen year old girl and the men get ready for shot guns.

Hypocrisy. And I got reamed because of it.

I don't like hypocrisy. It makes all of us liars.

The lying of the media regarding these racial attacks, where we don't hear the truth--yes, indeed, this was black on white, vicious, racism-- is a cognate hypocrisy. Not the same, but a similar lack of willingness to look at the situation honestly.

I think, to continue the thread drift, that a twenty two year old and a fourteen year old can fall in love. In general, our strictures against such unions are a good idea, because there's also the potential for exploitation. But, but, I think we've become too highly sexualized, made a strong taboo against basic romantic impulses that kills the spirit.

Memphis Mike
12-13-2007, 07:08 PM
I'm having a nice homemade vegetable beef soup for dinner.

Homemade biscuits too.

Dan McCosh
12-13-2007, 07:16 PM
I don't get the racism. A savage attack, to be sure, but the attackers in all likelihood would easily have gone after anyone they perceived as weak. There are people like that around. I would be very surprised if they had not attacked many black victims before, and will again if not taken out of society.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-13-2007, 07:31 PM
How's the not drinking going Jack?

ishmael
12-13-2007, 08:12 PM
"How's the not drinking going Jack?"

It's going OK, Peter, how about yours? Have you gone beyond simply not boozing? Or are the relationships still really hard? How's the love life? Can't quite commit, eh? Well, commitment, honesty, is over rated.

I get sick of people like you asking this question. I see so many who think it's the answer, nothing further needs exploring.

You seem an intelligent, arrogant prick, just like you were when you were drinking. But, it's just a few lines on a internet board, so I'm silly willing to be wrong. How about you, are you willing to be wrong?

Last night I dreamt. My father came to me, said he was worried about my experiments in chemistry. He was right to be worried, I'm stepping into unknown territory. It's dangerous and is the anti-thesis of drinking.

I wish you well, but get over this need to know about my drinking. I'll work my field, you work yours.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
12-13-2007, 10:20 PM
I'm wrong regularly Jack. If you've stopped drinking, then it's just another thing I was wrong about.... and nothing would make me happier to be wrong about.

The Bigfella
12-14-2007, 02:53 AM
The last predominantly black city I was in was Port Moresby. A city with a lot of violence. It was pointed out to me that it wasn't black on white or vice versa - it was have nots versus haves. Not sure how that comment was rationalised with the sexual violence though.

We saw some rather nasty racism on our TVs here recently - an Australian cricket player being subjected to monkey cries by Indian cricket supporters. Black on black racism actually.

Ian McColgin
12-14-2007, 07:23 AM
Now with the clear light of day, are we all on the same page that racism is a nasty set of emotions basicly amounting to hostility to people precieved to be of another race, usually based on skin colour. Both the oppressed and the oppressers may be racist.

Discrimination based on race is an act where a person is denied something because of his or her "race". Naive arguments against "affirmative action" argue that AA is discrimination against white guys. Indeed, there have been essentially racism-inflaming bad AA programs of lock-step quotas that do just that. Equally naive defences of AA programs essayed the argument that it's not socially possible to discriminate against the white man. (I think this is what Jack had in mind.)

As a matter of law, AA plans should be about opportunity and the ability to expand criteria such that the white Harvard grad and the black Howard grad are compared on a more level and job related basis.

As a further matter of law, most civil rights commission in the nation - federal, state and town - have by now had the opportunity to examine real (not just white guys moping about AA) complaints from white people who were indeed discriminated against by a minority employer or supervisor or landlord or whatever.

I recall a time my tug boat crew and I were taking the subway across town from our base in Staten Island over to King's Point to pick up the boat. There we were five burly white guys in a car where everyone else was black, including some about our age and size. My guys, all Staten Island boys and thus more than a little racist, were getting nervous. I tried to calm them but nothing worked till I said, "Really, we are a lot scarier than anyone else in this car. Watch." I pulled out my big marling spike and used it to pick my nose. We had the car to ourselves pretty quick.

There are indeed places where it's dangerous for a lone white person to wander. There are far more places - Southie (Boston) anyone? - where a black person walks alone at great peril. And you really don't want to look Native American in Walla Walla. Reed's racist screed does not rise to helping anything.

ishmael
12-14-2007, 07:57 AM
"Reed's racist screed does not rise to helping anything."

Pointing out the facts always helps, even when they are uncomfortable to look at. That's why I don't see Reed's sentiments as at all racist screed. His "beat" for ten years was reporting from, riding with, the Washington D.C. cops into the war zones of D.C. black ghettos. He saw first hand the unthinking hatred there, and he reports it. How is that a screed?

When I was young and foolish, I suppose, I went into those ghettos as a different observer. I remember one time when a friend was visiting. We set off in my marvelous Ford van, to seek out the Poe house, a Baltimore landmark we both were interested in visiting. We never got parked. The house sat in a wasteland of the inner city: boarded up houses, young black men giving we white boys the evil eye. Heard a few gun shots, and that was it, we're out of here, not gonna try to visit this place Poe lived when he stumbled around Baltimore.

It's not racist to look, with jaundiced eye, at just what is happening in these places. It's racist not to.

Dan McCosh
12-14-2007, 09:10 AM
I don't think there is any question that Reed is a particularly articulate racist.

ishmael
12-14-2007, 09:22 AM
You keep thinking that way, Dan. After all, it's brought us so far.

Ian McColgin
12-14-2007, 09:55 AM
Returning to Reed's bit about protective custody, “The only reason can be the expectation that blacks will try to kill her to prevent her from testifying against the attackers.”

Reed got the fact of protective custody from the news. All the news stories I've located from December 7, when Ms. Kreager was placed in witness protection noted the reason: One of the teenagers cousins sent a threatening message to the homeless shelter where she is known to stay.

The savagery and the racial hatred in the attacks - two other white people on the bus were also victems - is newsworthy and despite Reed's sanctimoney to the contrary was treated as such in the area press. Coverage becomes racist when, as Reed chose to do, a writer flogs on that "blacks will try to kill her." It's right to report news. It's racist to pretend unbiased reason while blatantly playing the race card.

Dan McCosh
12-14-2007, 10:01 AM
You keep thinking that way, Dan. After all, it's brought us so far.


Now sure what this is supposed to mean. Having spend about seven years as a reporter on an urban police beat myself, I would say he is recognizable as paranoid, disconnected, and alienated, with a mildly delusional understanding of black neighborhoods and crime in general. It's not all that unusual. I once knew an assistant police chief so fearful of his own fantasies that he covered the police station in an all-white suburb with chicken wire, to keep blacks from breaking in. A tirade about how nobody is covering the story, based on his own reading the headlines in a newspaper, is yet another issue.

ishmael
12-14-2007, 11:06 AM
“The only reason can be the expectation that blacks will try to kill her to prevent her from testifying against the attackers.”

This is getting disjointed, but why else would she be put in protective custody? You can read it as blacks in general are after her, or that the people who attacked her, who are black, might be after her. Though I agree, not one of Reed's better turns of phrase.

Dan,

I meant that most of us don't have any idea what Reed is talking about. That's why I keep asking Ian how much time he's spent in a black dominated city. He keeps skirting the question, but it's a real question.

I have, and as I've said had both good and bad experiences. I'd like to hear more of how you experienced being a reporter on the cop beat in the urban jungle. What was the city? Washington is a rough place, as I imagine is Detroit.

Dan McCosh
12-14-2007, 12:09 PM
I think the actual story is about the casual attitude about assault in the so-called inner city compared to assault in so-called "nice" areas. The crime is pretty much a 15-25 year felony, and in fact a black, female teen did get a 15-year sentence for a purse-grabbing incident in downtown Detroit, in a highly publicized case. Having caught the gang, they appear to have suspended them from bus rides, although the actual criminal prosecution isn't all that clear. This is disgusting, but not all that shocking.
That said, the gang was looking for someone to attack, and she happened to be in sight. The main racial component is that had they attacked another black teen, it is unlikely it would have made the papers.

ishmael
12-14-2007, 12:42 PM
"The main racial component is that had they attacked another black teen, it is unlikely it would have made the papers."

This is the sort of dancing that makes me nuts. These were black teens, and they went after a young white woman in a blatant, racist attack. Will there be hate crime charges filed? If it were a gang of white skin heads going after an innocent black woman trying to sit down on a bus we'd hear no end of it.

To not see these facts is a blindness. We want to treat people fairly, at least I do. And fair in this case is calling a spade a spade(so to speak.)

Ian McColgin
12-14-2007, 05:42 PM
I don’t really think that personal experience is the only measure of learning about racism, except to the extent of experiencing one’s own racism and dealing with it.

My own experience is paltry – Chelsea’s tough but still 53% white. My time at 155th & Amsterdam was in the mid-late-‘60’s when family and community acceptance gave me great protection against racially motivated crime. In Portland OR my community organizing work involved the black community over in North Portland where I live but if you know Portland you know that the black population is only about 6% and besides Portland’s so tolerant that there’s even white punks against racism. The CO work but me in line with becoming part of bringing affirmative action to the Police and Fire Departments when I was working for the only black city commissioner and he had those departments. My race was not a barrier to my directing studies in racial discrimination in rental housing in Portland and two decades later on Cape Cod that led to prosecution and compliance orders. Nor has race been a problem for me in work with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination or the NAACP.

But I have so much more than my own experience. I have diverse cultural teachers from Gil Scot Heron to Martin Luther King to my own father. I have the people I’ve loved and the people I’ve struggled with. It’s such a treat being human and thus being able to learn from other and, even more, being able to reflect critically on both direct and cultural experience.

To reiterate: The Baltimore press reported this incident for what it was: A nasty and racist local crime. It took Reed to pretend that no one noticed and to excoriate blacks for the threat of a cousin. It is not racist to know that there are black people who deeply hate white people and who will attack them opportunistically. It’s racist to pretend that people struggling for equality in this society don’t get it.

Dan McCosh
12-14-2007, 06:01 PM
"The main racial component is that had they attacked another black teen, it is unlikely it would have made the papers."

This is the sort of dancing that makes me nuts. These were black teens, and they went after a young white woman in a blatant, racist attack. Will there be hate crime charges filed? If it were a gang of white skin heads going after an innocent black woman trying to sit down on a bus we'd hear no end of it.

To not see these facts is a blindness. We want to treat people fairly, at least I do. And fair in this case is calling a spade a spade(so to speak.)


You have no idea whether this was a blatant racist attack--i.e., they were out looking for white people. It is unlikely, as opposed to them being out looking for someone to attack. I don't know either. Filing hate crime charges seems idiotic. Felony assault charges should be filed. (That's 10 years, FWIW.)

Ian McColgin
12-14-2007, 06:07 PM
About the level of charges: I'm not clear on Maryland law but it appears that these vicious kids might not be old enough to be tried as adults for these crimes.

ishmael
12-14-2007, 08:23 PM
"My own experience is paltry"

I don't mean to extol my experience. I lived in a tiny basement apartment in the richest whitebread neighborhood within the city limits of Baltimore, Roland Park. I worked in a much grittier place, and a part of living in Baltimore, assuming you weren't wealthy, was rubbing shoulders. The mayor was black, as was most of the city council.

As I've mentioned, some of my wanderings then bring a certain shiver now, yet I never had a problem. I had friends who did, one comes to mind. He was walking down near Hopkins, in front of the Baltimore Art Museum, late afternoon. A black kid accosted him, held a pistol to his forehead, and demanded his wallet. Sure, here, just don't pull that trigger. Brian left Baltimore within the month, the dust shaking off his boots.

Do I think, as a dyed in the wool racist would, that this is a matter of color? Of course not. In a different time, a different city, Brian would have been rolled by a white kid.

I do think this divide needs to be addressed in some new way. There is a perpetual underclass, largely black, that inhabits our inner cities. Their resentment only grows, is never pruned by optimism. What do you suggest?

Here's an idea, probably not new. A big part of the blight in the inner city is the abandoned buildings and houses. How about apprenticeships? Set those kid's who are lolling about, easy targets for gangs and drug dealers, to work remaking those neighborhoods. Seed money from government, but once things got rolling housing stock that is basically worth zero now would become valuable again, and the program would pay its own way. Just a thought.

brad9798
12-15-2007, 12:40 AM
Just today, my best loan officer in st. louis, was a victim of racism ... I had customer come on, and ... oh, nevermind!

Dan McCosh
12-15-2007, 12:46 PM
About the level of charges: I'm not clear on Maryland law but it appears that these vicious kids might not be old enough to be tried as adults for these crimes.

That's quite true--a teen gang that murdered a driver in Detroit, who was killed after they blockaded the street to trap and rob the next car along, was given a couple of years and probation. The reluctance to follow through and prosecute violent crime is part of the pathology of so-called inner cities, where the victims, mainly, are the local residents.

kharee
12-15-2007, 05:55 PM
Racism knows no "racial" or ethnic boundaries. Whether any one group has the power to effectuate their anti-feeling toward another group is another question. The way the Japanese treated captured American troops after the fall of the Phillipines and other American possesions was racism. The Bataan Death March was racism. The Japanese were equal opportunity practioners of racism. They did not discriminate, everyone caught hell if they got the ups on you! A close friend of my father was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a Warrant Officer and the Germans could not believe a Black officer did not know some secrets, so he was tortued. He was just a green horn right out of Tuskegee. All he knew was his name, rank and serial number. Was it racism? Probably not, just tough luck.